Will Miller (College of the Albemarle) comes to the plate
The Albany Dutchmen fell victim to a big inning from the Elmira Pioneers, but nearly mounted a huge comeback in the ninth, dropping a 10-8 decision Saturday night at Dunn Field in Elmira. The loss dropped the Dutchmen to 12-12 at the midway point of the season.
The night had a promising start for Albany, who scored a run in the top of the first. With two outs in the inning, Sean Aspinall (Azusa Pacific) singled, which was followed by another single from Cameron Miller (Baylor). Will Miller (College of the Albemarle) drove in Aspinall on a single of his own, putting the Dutchmen ahead, 1-0.
The Dutchmen offense was shut down from that point on, as the only base runner the Dutchmen had in the next six innings was Danny Hrbek (Radford), who reached on an error and was picked off at first. Elmira pitcher Bryson Hough (Bucknell) struck out eight Dutchmen hitters over his seven innings of work as he picked up the win. He retired the final 17 Dutchmen hitters he faced.
The Pioneers answered the Dutchmen run with a run of their own. Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan) started the inning with a single. He went to third base on an errant attempt at a pickoff, and scored on an RBI groundout from TJ Dixon (Samford).
The big inning struck in the third, when Elmira put six runs on the board. The first six hitters of the inning all scored, as the Pioneers recorded five hits on the inning. The first run was driven in on a bases loaded walk drawn by Nick Walker (Old Dominion). RBI singles by Christian Santisteban (Manhattan) and Taylor Hillson (Mansfield) followed, making the score 4-1. Taylor Skerpon (Penn State) drove in the next run with a sacrifice fly, and Jason Patnick (Manhattan) ended the scoring with a two-run single.
The lead was extended in the sixth inning, when the Pioneers scored three more runs. Kalousdian started the scoring when came home on a wild pitch. An RBI groundout from Santisteban and an RBI single from Hillson completed the Elmira scoring.
The Dutchmen nearly came up with a huge rally in the top of the ninth, scoring seven runs in the inning. An Aspinall single, followed by walks to Cameron Miller and Will Miller loaded the bases with no outs to start the frame. After a flyout and a groundout, Demetrius Webb (Indiana) reached on an error to score the first run. Dave Vaccaro (Radford) then drew a bases-loaded walk, and Justin Brock (Franklin Pierce) was hit by a pitch to pull the game to 10-4. An error off the bat of Adam Lee (Lipscomb) scored two more runs, and another Aspinall single brought the tying run to the plate with a 10-8 score. The Pioneers were able to induce a groundout to end the game.
The losing pitcher for the Dutchmen was Spencer Hotaling (Susquehanna), whose record dropped to 3-2.
After an off day on Sunday, the Dutchmen return Monday to Bellizzi Field for a doubleheader with the Amsterdam Mohawks. The doubleheader, scheduled to begin at 5:05, will host Mystery Monday, where Lucky Program winners will choose their prize out of sealed envelopes. The rescheduled Helmbold’s Hot Dog Eating Contest will also take place between games, where the first contestant to down five hot dogs will receive a trip to Foxwoods Resort and Casino, four Dutchmen season tickets, and a gift certificate to Helmbold’s.