Dutchmen Win Crucial Game Behind Cioffi Gem

By: Ryan Murphy

Nick Cioffi (Towson) tossed a complete game, and the Albany Dutchmen moved to within two games of the Glens Falls Dragons for a PGCBL East playoff spot, as the Dutchmen claimed a 6-1 victory over Glens Falls Thursday night at Bob Bellizzi Field.

The Dutchmen opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, as Grayson Lewis (Rice) drilled a double on the very first pitch delivered by Nick Duthu (LSU-Eunice). Lewis would quickly put the Dutchmen on the board, scoring when Jack Weiller (Virginia) singled through the Glens Falls infield. Weiller would advance to third on an errant pickoff throw, but was stranded on third after a pair of pop outs.

Albany broke the game open in the sixth inning, plating four runs to give Cioffi a 5-0 lead. Michael Fitzsimmons (Ole Miss) started the inning with a double into the right center field gap. The lead became 2-0 on a triple by Sean Aspinall (Azusa Pacific) into the same gap. After a walk to Dominic DiCaprio (Rice), Adam Gauthier (Dartmouth) laid down a perfect push bunt, scoring Aspinall. The bunt was mishandled, allowing Gauthier to reach first. A walk to Jesse Cooper (Seton Hill) loaded the bases against reliever Cameron Churchill (Nova Southeastern), and another walk to Lewis allowed DiCaprio to score. A sacrifice fly from Weiller plated the fourth and final run of the inning, his second RBI of the game.

Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina) started the next inning with a single and a stolen base, putting a runner on second with no outs. Fitzsimmons clubbed a single through the right side to drive in Remillard and give Albany a 6-0 lead. The RBI single was the 30th RBI of the year for Fitzsimmons, and he became the third player in Dutchmen history to drive in 30 runs in a season, joining Zach Remillard in 2012 and current Tampa Bay Rays prospect Matt Dacey in 2013. Both Remillard and Dacey had 31 runs batted in for the Dutchmen in those seasons, putting Fitzsimmons one short of the team record.

The Dragons scored their lone run in the top of the ninth inning, as Ryan Hooper (UC Davis) hit his fifth home run of the season over the wall in left field. Hooper’s homer was his fourth of the season against the Dutchmen, and third at Bellizzi Field. Cioffi would record his ninth strikeout for the final out of the game, ending a complete game, his third of the season.

The Dutchmen now embark on a key two-game road trip, which begins Friday with a game against the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. The trip continues Saturday in Boonville for a contest with the Adirondack Trail Blazers. Albany returns to the Capital City on Monday for a contest with the Glens Falls Dragons, the last Subway Summer Series game in Albany. Monday will feature the recognition of the team’s eight Spotlight Players of the Week. The game will also allow kids to eat free at the ballpark with paid admission.

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