With the Dutchmen in a playoff race, it has been the youngest Albany player that has come up with some of the biggest performances.
Ernie Clement (Virginia) has been a major part of the Albany playoff push, and has been named the team’s Spotlight Player of the Week for the past seven days.
Clement’s stellar week began with the Dutchmen’s doubleheader split with the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in Albany, where the incoming freshman went 4-for-6 with two runs batted in. Clement drove in the winning run of the opening game with a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Clement added three hits in the doubleheader with the Golden Eagles the next day, including an RBI single in the fourth inning of the victory.
On Sunday, Clement added a hit, and made a stellar play at shortstop in the later innings, helping the Dutchmen to victory over the Watertown Rams.
He also scored two runs in a 2-for-4 day in the Albany 12-5 loss to the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs.
The Rochester, New York native said his stellar week was the product of his extensive preparation before games.
“I’ve been working my tail off in early work,” Clement said, “and it was really just that paying off, I guess.”
Since his arrival in Albany at the end of June, Clement has become a crucial part of the Albany lineup. Over 13 games and nine starts, Clement has hit .353 with five runs batted in and six runs scored. He has stolen four bases, and clubbed four doubles. He has also been a stalwart in the Dutchmen infield, making several fantastic plays with his glove.
Clement was a star for Brighton High School in Rochester, being named to the All-Area team three times. The infielder was more than just a baseball star at Brighton, and was a three-sport athlete, playing soccer and hockey in addition to baseball.
Next year, Clement will head to Charlottesville, Virginia, and join the Virginia Cavaliers, who finished second in the nation in 2014, advancing to the College World Series finals.
Clement said his experience with the Dutchmen has helped prepare him for his collegiate career ahead.
“It’s a huge step up, and the pace has been pretty noticeably different,” Clement said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”