LITTLE FALLS, NY – On Saturday night, the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs looked more like the Jamestown Jammers, wearing purple jerseys to support the March of Dimes. Unfortunately, the visiting Watertown Rapids came into Veteran’s Memorial Park and made them feel blue – Watertown blue.
The Rapids scored six runs in the first three innings and never looked back, clocking two home runs en route to stopping Mohawk Valley’s five game winning streak, 8-6 over the Diamond Dawgs.
William Heurtin (Covington, LA/Rhodes) got the scoring started in the second inning, with a shot to left field that would score Kenny Bergmann (Philadelphia, PA/UConn). The Rapids added another run on a groundout to first base that would score Michael Russell (Staten Island, NY/Stony Brook). This was all done with no one out, but Mohawk Valley starter Sam Turcotte (Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Stony Brook) managed to calm down and get three straight outs to mitigate the damage to just two runs.
Julian Kurych (Middletown, DE/Wilmington) extended the lead in the very next inning with a long fly ball to straightaway center field that hit the very top of Veteran’s Memorial Park’s center field bleachers. The long home run would score himself and Daniel Little (Nicholesville, KY/Richmond). Heurtin also got into the home run column, his second of the year flying just over the left field fence to score himself and Nolan Wilson (Atlanta, GA/Virginia Tech).
Ryan Hernandez (Boston, MA/SUNY Albany) got the Diamond Dawgs on the board in a big way in the third inning, just eking a single past the outstretched glove of the Watertown first baseman and into right field. That two-RBI single scored Stephen Furman (Brookhaven, PA/Iona) and Austin Pollack (Harrison, NY/Manhattanville).
The Rapids picked up another run in the fifth, while a Rapids runner was in a rundown, Wilson came home and would score on a throwing error by the second baseman.
Joel Alvarez (Hainesport, NJ/Barry) cut into the Watertown lead slightly in the sixth, as a wild pitch by Rapids starter Matt Valin (LaFargeville, NY/SUNY Cortland) brought him home. That would be the last run Valin would give up, as he was immediately replaced afterward by Robbie Frongello (Apex, NC/Richmond/). Frongellow would mitigate the damage to just one run, though, forcing John LaRocca (Plainview, NY/Monmouth) to ground out to end the inning.
Kurych would extend the lead once again in the seventh, rapping a ball deep to right field, just long enough to score Little.
Ryan Toohers (Florham Park, NJ/Villanova) started a small rally in the bottom of the ninth with a sacrifice fly that would score LaRocca. Not to be outdone, Jake Barbiere (Randolph, NJ/Rider) scored another two, with a hot grounder that scored Joseph Castellanos (Nutley, NJ/UMass Lowell) and Hernandez. However, Wilson, who had shifted over from first base in the eighth inning, would not allow any more, forcing Young to fly out to end the game.
Valin would pick up the Rapids’ (6-2) fourth straight win, while Turcotte was saddled with the Diamond Dawgs’ (5-2) second loss of the season, which forces them into second, half a game back of Watertown.
The Diamond Dawgs will go on a short road trip on Sunday, going just about an hour down the road to Siena Field to face off with the Albany Dutchmen. They’ll be back at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Little Falls on Monday for an interdivisional showdown with the Elmira Pioneers. The Rapids are off on Sunday, but will host the first half of a home-and-home series with the Geneva Red Wings.