Junior John Conti (Canisius College) went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, and the Jamestown Jammers defeated the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs 5-2 in game two of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League championship series at Russell Diethrick Park Monday night.
With the win, the Jammers forced a decisive game three having lost 11-1 the series opener on Sunday. It also marked the first loss in the 2017 playoffs for the DiamondDawgs.
Conti contributed a double and triple to the Jammers’ cause, improving his playoff batting average to .545. He was also one of four different Jammers players to drive in a run.
Redshirt junior Cory Blessing (Ohio University) started for Jamestown, pitching six-and-one-third innings and allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts to earn the win. Sophomore Colin Johnston (Monroe Community College/Greece Athena) relieved Blessing, throwing the last two-and-two-thirds innings and giving up no runs on two hits and a walk while striking out one.
The DiamondDawgs kicked off the game taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With two outs in the inning, sophomore Clay Koniencki (Monmouth University) stepped to the plate and drove a 3-1 pitch over the outfield wall for a solo home run to get things going.
But the Jammers did not trail for very long, as Conti led the home half of the frame with a triple to center. Junior Chris Estrada (University of Texas-San Antonio) followed with a walk, bringing up junior Ben Brookover (University of Texas-San Antonio), who grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate Conti.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the third when the Jammers broke through for another three runs. Conti reached on a double to right field, scoring when redshirt junior Christ Conley (Canisius College) singled to right. Brookover walked to put runners on first and second with two out, setting up junior Skyler Valentine (University of Texas-San Antonio) for a two-run triple to center field and putting the Jammers up 4-1.
The Jammers added another run in the fourth inning, thanks to Conti. Junior Jimmy Standohar (Mercyhurst University) doubled to left to start the inning, moving to third on a ground out and reaching home when Conti singled into left field.
The DiamondDawgs got a run back in the top of the seventh. Sophomore Ben Porter (Columbia University) doubled to left and junior Austin Pollack was hit by a pitch to start the inning. A ground out moved the runners up a base each, putting both in scoring position with one out. After the Jammers got another out, sophomore Joe Engel (Columbia University) came to the plate and slapped a single into right field bringing home Porter from third.
But this is as far as the DiamondDawgs’ rally would go, as the Jammers locked down the rest of the game for the victory.
Junior Crandall Poore (Middle Georgia State University) tossed four scoreless innings in relief for the DiamondDawgs, surrendering one hit and one walk, fanning one.
The third and final game of the series will take place Tuesday in Jamestown at 7:05 p.m.