Dutchmen take batting practice at Cantine Field in Saugerties.
SAUGERTIES, N.Y.- The Albany Dutchmen (23-16) moved four games ahead of the Saugerties Stallions (21-22) for the final guaranteed PGCBL Playoff spot out of the East Division with a 6-5 win on Thursday night in Saugerties.
The Dutchmen have five games remaining in the regular season and trail the Amsterdam Mohawks (27-15) by two and a half games in the East Division.
The Dutchmen struck first in the top of the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Zach Durfee (Siena).
Following a scoreless third and fourth innings, the Stallions took a one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Danny Martin (Stetson), followed by a sacrifice fly by Easton Bertrand (Minnesota).
A four-run top of the seventh inning gave the Dutchmen a three-run lead. Following a lead-off single by Griffen Herrera (Azusa Pacific), a balk moved him to second and a single by Durfee scored him one batter later. An infield error then allowed two to score, which gave the Dutchmen a 4-2 lead. Lucas Dunn (Louisville) knocked in another run with a single to cap the big inning.
Herrera launched a home run to lead off the eighth, which seemed like an insurance run in the top of the eighth but turned out to be the game winner.
Saugerties produced one in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Cameron Comer (Virginia). Then, in the ninth, the Stallions loaded the bases with one out, eventually put the tying run at third base with two outs but scored just twice as the Dutchmen escaped with the win.
Deaven Phillips (Tampa) pitched seven innings of two-run ball and earned the win, which shares the team-lead with four. He retired 11 out of the first 12 men he faced, including a streak of nine in a row.
Herrera and Durfee led the team offensively. Herrera was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, including the big home run in the eighth. Durfee was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and a run. Brandon Seltzer (Palm Beach Atlantic) was 1-for-4 with a walk and boosted his team lead with his 17th stolen base.
Nick Bird (Albany) entered in the ninth and picked up the save, his second of the season.
The Dutchmen are scheduled to return home on Friday to take on the Utica Blue Sox at 5:05 pm for Spotlight Player of the Week Awards, Premiere Transportation Night, and Siena College Night (Rescheduled from July 25th).