Ninth Inning Rally Sends Dutchmen to Third

By: Ryan Murphy

The Albany Dutchmen moved into third place in the PGCBL East Division by picking up a crucial 9-5 victory over the Adirondack Trail Blazers Saturday night at the , coupled with an Amsterdam victory over the Glens Falls Dragons. The win moved the Dutchmen a half game ahead of the Dragons with four games to go for both teams.

The Dutchmen rallied from an early deficit, as the Trail Blazers scored first in the game. Brett Connors (Siena) tripled with two outs to drive in Kyle Walker (Rutgers), who had hit a single to start the second inning. The lead extended to 2-0 in the third inning, as a high fly ball from Shane Allen (Northeastern) left the park for his first home run of the season.

From there, Albany starter Chris Amorosi (Siena) shut down the Adirondack offense. Amorosi struck out twelve Trail Blazers hitters, just one short of the team record set by former Saint Justin Brantley. Amorosi used his change-up to keep hitters off balance and keep the Trail Blazers off the board.

Albany began their rally in the top of the fifth, scoring a run to cut the Adirondack lead to one. Jesse Cooper (Seton Hill) reached on an infield single, and moved over to second base when the throw deflected off the glove of the first baseman. With two outs in the inning, Grayson Lewis (Rice) clubbed a double for the first Dutchmen run of the game.

The Dutchmen took the lead for the first time in the sixth inning, plating a pair of runs to claim a 3-2 lead. Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina) hit a deep home run to center field after a sure double was ruled foul by the home plate umpire. Michael Fitzsimmons (Ole Miss) followed the home run with a deep double, and scored when Cooper recorded his second single of the game.

A 3-2 score remained until the bottom of the eighth inning, when pinch hitter Chris Kwitzer (Buffalo) reached when a high pop-up was not caught by the Dutchmen. Mitch Stophel (King U.) came on to pitch, and allowed a double to Brendan Looby (Chestnut Hill) after retiring the first two hitters he faced. The Looby double tied the game, but Stophel got out of the inning with a strikeout of Connors.

The Dutchmen erupted in the ninth inning, scoring four runs to provide the winning margin. A Sean Aspinall (Azusa Pacific) walk, an Adam Gauthier (Dartmouth) single and an intentional walk to Cooper loaded the bases with no outs. Tom Moore (Saint Rose) came through with a single through the left side to score Aspinall and give Albany a 4-3 lead. After a line-out resulted in a double play, Lewis drilled a double down the right field line to score two runs, and then scored on a passed ball. Stophel pitched the ninth inning, and worked a 1-2-3 inning to pick up his first Albany victory.

After an off day, the Dutchmen and Dragons are set for a showdown at Bellizzi Field on Monday, with third place in the division on the line. Monday is 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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