by Josh McMullen – Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs

LITTLE FALLS, NY – It’s been quite the week for Mohawk Valley’s Pete Durocher (Emerson, NJ/Manhattan).

First, the Diamond Dawgs outfielder celebrated his 21st birthday earlier in the week, about the same time he was named PGCBL Player of the Week. Then, he was named to the Eastern Division All-Star team as one of three Diamond Dawgs to make the team.

Then came Saturday night’s game against Albany, where Durocher became a hero in Little Falls.

The Diamond Dawgs got things going just four batters into the first, thanks to a sacrifice fly to right by Garrett Musey (Millville, NJ/Goldey-Beacom). That high fly ball would bring Evan Berta (Yorktown Heights, NY/Fairfield) in jogging from third and give Mohawk Valley an early 1-0 lead.

The score would stay 1-0 until the fifth when Albany tied the game up on an RBI single from Chance Checca (Ballston Spa, NY/Herkimer). The late throw by the Mohawk Valley shortstop would score Austin Bode (Columbus, IN/Louisville).

The Dutchmen took the lead in extra innings, thanks to an RBI single from Nick Schwartz (Massapequa, NY/Southern New Hampshire) that scored classmate Zach Ranney (Wallingford, CT/Southern New Hampshire). However, Durocher would pick up the last laugh, rocketing a ball to Veterans’ Memorial Park’s cavernous left field. Durocher did not even bother to slow down as he scored Zach Brush and ran even faster as he slid into home and scored the game-winning run.

Billy Hoffacker (Erial, NJ/RCSJ Gloucester) picked up the win for Mohawk Valley (20-17). Jack Wren (Theills, NY/Marist) got the loss for Albany (17-19), who have lost eight of their last nine.

Mohawk Valley is off on Sunday before returning to Veteran’s Memorial Park on Monday night to host the Glens Falls Dragons. Albany will also be off on Sunday before hosting the Oneonta Outlaws at Keenholts Park.