Stallions’ Defensive Miscues Lift Dutchmen 3-2

By: Jeremy Meyer

Dutchmen celebrate win (photo by: Shawn Stannard)

ALBANY, NY—The Albany Dutchmen (6-6) walked off with a 3-2 victory over the Saugerties Stallions (5-7) at Bellizzi Field. Albany loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 9th, and when Nick Russo’s (New Haven) throw homeward eluded Chris Reynolds (Manhattan) at the plate, Adam Gauthier (Dartmouth) raced home with the Dutchmen win.

Each of Albany’s three runs was unearned, thanks to seven errors committed by the Stallions. Albany never lead in the game until Gauthier crossed home plate with the winning run.

The Dutchmen got a strong outing from ace, Nick Cioffi (Towson). Cioffi relinquished two earned runs—one in the 1st, one in the 3rd—while scattering six Saugerties hits. Cioffi also struck out eight hitters before giving way to the bullpen.

Albany touched up Saugerties’ starter, Phil Zdanowski (College of Saint Rose) for six hits and two unearned runs, both scored by Tyler Nelin (George Mason) thanks to Stallions defensive miscues.

The collective energy in the Christian Pulmeri Sports Complex rose dramatically with the first batter of the 8th inning. Dutchmen reliever, Steven Pietrzyk (Florida Gulf Coast) inadvertently plunked third basemen Clint Hardy (Georgia Regents) in the elbow, but the home plate umpire ruled that Hardy did not attempt to dodge the pitch, and did not let him take his base.

After a short argument and a slam of his helmet, Hardy was ejected. The Stallions’ manager Matt Righter joined his third basemen in leaving the field after a demonstrative conversation with the home plate umpire.

Hardy’s pinch hitter, Cole Clifton (Wayne State) reached on the lone Dutchmen error of the night, before being stranded at second base.

In the bottom of the 8th, a two-out walk to defensive replacement, Sean Aspinall (Azusa Pacific) and a bloop single by Eric Mueller (UAlbany) put runners at the corners for pinch hitter Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina). Remillard grounded to third, sending the tie score to the 9th inning.

In the bottom of the 9th, Jesse Cooper’s (Seton Hill) single, sandwiched by a pair of Stallion errors, loaded the bases for Hunter Boose (Georgia Regent). Russo initially handled his sharp ground ball while standing on the infield grass, before his short-armed throw allowed Gauthier to score with the game’s winning run.

Blake Allen (Baylor) got his first win for the Dutchmen, going 2 and one third innings without relinquishing a hit.

Tomorrow, the Dutchmen get a reprieve from PGCBL play, but will play in an exhibition contest with the Tri-City ValleyCats, the short season, single A affiliate of the Houston Astros. Gavin Wallace (Fairfield) will get the spot start in a 10 a.m. start at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy.

Albany’s next PGCBL contest will be Wednesday in Mohawk Valley, beginning a home and home with the Diamond Dawgs. Friday Night is Albany Clothing and Promotion Giveaway Night at Bellizzi Field, when the first 250 fans will receive a Dutchmen orange solo cup. It is also Baseball Bingo Night at the ballpark.

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