Sean Aspinall drills one against the Newark Pilots (Photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
The 2014 Albany Dutchmen roster has multiple players from the state of New York — nine to be exact.
However, in the first week of the season, it was the player that hails the furthest from New York’s capital city that made the biggest impact for the Dutchmen.
Sean Aspinall was named the team’s first Spotlight Player of the Week for his efforts in the Dutchmen’s first six games. Aspinall hails from Upland, California, a city situated about 45 minutes east of Los Angeles, and plays his college baseball at Azusa Pacific, also located in southern California.
The transition from west coast to east coast has been easy for Aspinall, who has been a major part of the Dutchmen’s 5-1 start. The Californian leads the team with four runs batted in, is tied for the team lead in doubles (2) and hits (7), and is tied for second in batting average (.333). He is also one of six Dutchmen players who have played in every game thus far.
In his first week with the Dutchmen, Aspinall constantly came through in big situations, beginning with a bang on Opening Night. The Dutchmen held a 4-1 lead over the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning when Aspinall stepped to the plate. He clubbed a double to right field, scoring all three runs and giving the Dutchmen a 7-1 lead, breaking the game open.
He further displayed his penchant for clutch hitting in Albany’s first road game, a 3-2 win in 12 innings over the Amsterdam Mohawks. Aspinall was brought in to pinch hit to lead off the top of the ninth with the Dutchmen trailing 1-0. He promptly doubled down the left field line, and eventually scored the tying run to send the game into extra innings. He also recorded an eighth inning single that tied the game the next day against the Watertown Rams, and scored two runs — the game’s margin of victory — in the win over the Elmira Pioneers.
Aspinall’s athletic ability has been on display since high school, where he was a two-sport athlete at Upland High School. Aspinall was the starting kicker and punter for the Scots, who went 44-8 in his four years and saw Aspinall earn All-Baseline League Honors. Aspinall is not alone on the Dutchmen roster in his kicking abilities, as pitcher Spencer Hotaling serves as the kicker for Susquehanna. In baseball, he was an All-Area and All-League selection while earning team MVP honors.
While the Dutchmen season has just begun, performances such as Aspinall’s will be necessary for Albany to earn their second consecutive berth in the PGCBL Playoffs. Even nearly 3000 miles from home, Aspinall has proven that he will be a major part of that push.