LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. – Each team had 16 hits in a Thursday slugfest and Watertown’s Rapids defeated the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs 18-9 in a showdown between the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s top two Central Division teams at Veterans Memorial Park.
Two days after they gave up four runs in the top of the first inning and trailed 5-1 before coming back to beat the Rapids (17-16), the DiamondDawgs (20-12) squandered a 5-1 lead of their own in the early going. Mohawk Valley scored five runs in the first inning but Watertown came back with six in the second and never trailed after that.
The DiamondDawgs tied the game at 7 in the fifth inning. Villanova University’s Ryan Toohers led off with a home run, and Barry University’s Joel Alvarez scored the tying run on the first of two sacrifice flies hit by Iona College’s Stephen Furman.
The Rapids wasted little time regaining the lead. Julian Kurych, Watertown’s leadoff hitter from Wilmington University, hit the Rapids’ fourth home run of the game and put the visitors up 8-7 in the top of the sixth. The Rapids added four more runs in the seventh, and scored six in the ninth on six walks, a hit batsman and a throwing error.
Northern Kentucky’s Andrew Bacon started the scoring with a home run in the first inning for Watertown and Rhodes College’s Nick Bosma and Union University’s Joshua Bozoian homered back-to-back in the six-run second. Bosma homered with one runner on base, Bacon added an RBI-single in his second at-bat, and SUNY-Stony Brook’s Michael Russell gave the Rapids the lead with a two-run single.
Before the Rapids’ had their big inning, the DiamondDawgs batted around and scored five runs their first time up. Alvarez and The Citadel’s J.D. Davis each hit a two-run single, and Canisius College’s Mark McKenna got the scoring started on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
Tony Rivera, the Watertown starter from Felician University, settled in after the first inning and held Mohawk Valley scoreless until Toohers’ home run marked the end of his time on the mound. Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Christian Bacon allowed the tying run in one inning of work and wound up with the win when the Rapids regained the lead. The University of New Haven’s Cam Guarino and SUNY-Oswego’s Dylan Wiley each allowed one run in two innings of relief.
Fordham University’s Marc Bisogno took the loss for Mohawk Valley in relief of Skidmore College’s Sam Beck. Bisogno entered the game with one out in the second inning and allowed two inherited runners to score. The final run in the second was charged to Bisogno who also allowed Kurych’s home run in 4 2/3 innings. Union College’s Colin Nye, Mohawk Valley Community College’s Jon Hardy and Manhattan College’s Alexis Calderon finished the game. Hardy was not charged with a run in an inning and two-thirds.
Russell and Bacon each had three hits for Watertown, and Russell and Bozoian each drove in three runs. Kurych, Bosma and Rhodes College’s William Heurtin scored three runs.
With the nine-run win, the Rapids moved ahead of the DiamondDawgs as the PGCBL’s top scoring team, 259 runs to 256. Watertown has played one more game and averages fewer runs, 8.0-7.85.
Every player in the DiamondDawgs’ lineup had at least one hit and seven had two. Toohers tripled and scored a run in the seventh inning in addition to hitting the lone Mohawk Valley home run. Alvarez and Furman each had two hits, two runs and two RBI, and Le Moyne College’s Drew Fureno had two hits and threw a Watertown runner out trying to score from left field.
Toohers’ home run was his eighth of the season and it gave him 42 runs batted in. The first baseman leads the PGCBL in both categories and has matched the 2017 league-leading totals of Russ Olive, the DiamondDawgs’ first baseman last year from Massachusetts-Lowell.
The DiamondDawgs played at home again Friday against Adirondack. They travel to Utica Saturday and play in Little Falls again Sunday against Amsterdam before taking three days off for the PGCBL All-Star break.