ONEONTA, N.Y. – A four-run sixth inning propelled the Oneonta Outlaws (12-24) to a 6-4 victory over the Albany Dutchmen (20-13) in the first game for both teams after the PGCBL All-Star break.
The Dutchmen started the game strong with two runs in the first. With runners on second and third, Tommy Pellis (Seton Hill) grounded out to shortstop to record his 18th RBI of the season. Mitchell Henshaw (St. John’s) followed up with an RBI single to give Albany an early 2-0 lead. Oneonta got a run back in the top of the second with a Ben Bianco (Louisville) single.
Despite a shaky second inning, Dutchmen starter Aaron Dona (St. Thomas Aquinas) shut down the Outlaws offense in his second start for Albany. The right-hander went five strong innings, allowing only one run on three hits. Dona struck out four Oneonta batters to preserve the Dutchmen lead heading into the middle innings.
“Once he settled in mechanically, he competes,” said Dutchmen Head Coach Nick Davey. “When he gets ahead, he’s tough.”
While Albany increased its lead initially in the sixth inning, the Outlaws rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the frame. Ryan McGee (Siena) singled to increase the Dutchmen lead to 3-1, but that would be the last time Albany led in the game. Minjae Hong (Herkimer) started the Outlaws comeback with a two-run single off Dutchmen reliever Luke Walter (Manhattan) to tie the game at three.
Oneonta broke the tie later in the inning with a two-run home run from Reilly Hall (Coker) off Dutchmen reliever Jack Delaney (St. John Fisher). The Outlaws scored four runs on four hits in the inning to take a 5-3 lead.
“Guys just have to come in and focus in on what their job is,” said Davey. “It got away from us a little bit.”
The teams traded runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Albany cut into the deficit thanks to a Ben Metzinger (Louisville) solo home run, his second in as many games. However, Oneonta restored its two-run lead thanks to another Hong single which plated a sixth run for the Outlaws.
Despite scoring two runs, the Dutchmen could not gather enough momentum against the combined efforts of Rick Burroni (Northeastern) and Ryan Mostoller (Washington College), as the duo pitched the last four innings and allowed only four hits. The two Oneonta relievers struck out three Dutchmen and only surrendered two walks.
Albany attempted a rally in the ninth inning, as the go-ahead run came to the plate with two outs. A walk to Metzinger and a single by Justin Bench (Ole Miss) gave the Dutchmen some late hope, but the game quickly ended afterwards on a fielder’s choice. Albany left 11 runners on base against the Outlaws.
“I just want to see us do a little better with guys in scoring position,” said Davey.
The Dutchmen now move to 2-2 against Oneonta this year with the home team winning each game of the season series so far. The Dutchmen and the Outlaws play two more times this season – once at Damaschke Field and twice at Connors Park.
With the loss, Albany fell further back from Mohawk Valley in the race for second place in the PGCBL East Division. The DiamondDawgs won on Thursday night, which increased their lead to three games over the Dutchmen for the second spot in the division. The top two teams in each division of the PGCBL earn home field advantage in the first round of the PGCBL playoffs, which is a one-game series.
Albany is back on the road again on Friday as the Dutchmen travel to Cantine Field to take on the Saugerties Stallions at 7:05 p.m. The next Dutchmen home game is a doubleheader against the Glens Falls Dragons on Saturday with first pitch for game one scheduled for 3:00 p.m.