LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – The Albany Dutchmen (10-7) got the winning run to second base against the Adirondack Trail Blazers (5-10) but a double play ended the Dutchmen rally as Albany lost 5-4. The loss marks the first time the Dutchmen have lost this season against a PGCBL West Division team.
The Dutchmen trailed early after a Chris Rotondo (Villanova) solo home run in the top of the first inning. Despite the early deficit, Albany starter Ben Seiler (Siena) pitched effectively in his fourth start for the Dutchmen. The lefty went 4.2 innings and allowed one run on six hits while striking out seven. Seiler moves to second on the Dutchmen in strikeouts with 19 on the season behind Ian Murphy’s (St. John’s) 21 punch-outs.
Albany couldn’t provide the run support needed to match Seiler’s strong start. Trail Blazers starter Jason Hebner (Fairfield) nullified the prolific Dutchmen offense through 5.1 innings. The lefty allowed one unearned run on an error that scored Nick Melillo (Siena) and struck out six Albany batters.
“We’ve gotta be better in our approach,” said Dutchmen Head Coach Nick Davey. “He just kept us off-balance.”
Adirondack broke open the 1-1 ball game in the sixth inning aided by a couple of Dutchmen errors. Errors from Will Duff (Vanderbilt) and Chris Seng (Louisville) allowed the Trail Blazers to score four unearned runs, with the big hit coming from another Rotondo home run that scored two. The outfielder drove in three of the five Adirondack runs on the afternoon. At the end of the sixth inning, the Trail Blazers held onto a 5-1 lead.
“Guys just have to make simple routine plays,” said Davey. “We’ve gotta get better defensively.”
The Dutchmen offense gained momentum after Hebner exited the game. Luke Gold (Boston College) started the Albany rally with a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut the deficit to 5-3. Albany chased the first Adirondack reliever Brendan Aldridge (Franklin Pierce) from the game in the inning but couldn’t capitalize with runners on second and third against the second Trail Blazers reliever Andrew Hernandez (Mercy).
“We had some guys come up with some big at-bats,” said Davey.
Albany started off its comeback attempt in the bottom of the ninth well. Ben Metzinger (Louisville) singled in his first game with the Dutchmen after joining the Louisville Cardinals in Omaha for the College World Series. He came around to score on a single from Seng, his Louisville teammate, to make the score 5-4. Gold came back to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with Josh Hall (Ole Miss) on third and Seng on second. The infielder hit a line drive right back to the pitcher Hernandez who caught the ball on the fly and doubled off Hall on third to end the ball game.
Hall was the only Dutchmen to have a multi-hit game, as he went 3-5 at the plate. The Ole Miss outfielder has three multi-hit games this season for the Dutchmen in only his seventh appearance. Seng also stole two bases against the Trail Blazers, increasing his PGCBL lead to 16 stolen bases. The Dutchmen continue to lead the PGCBL as a team with 66 stolen bases. The next closest team, the Watertown Rapids, has 47 stolen bases.
Albany’s upcoming schedule is very tough, with three games against the Amsterdam Mohawks, who have the best record in the PGCBL at 14-2 coming into Sunday’s games, and three games against the Glens Falls Dragons, who the Dutchmen have lost three out of four games to this season. Albany still remains in second place in the PGCBL East Division.
“We gotta start one game at a time,” said Davey. “We need good pitching performances and good defense.”
Albany’s next game is at Shuttleworth Park against the Amsterdam Mohawks on Tuesday, June 25th, with first pitch set for 6:45 p.m. The next Dutchmen home game is scheduled for Thursday, June 27th, against the Saugerties Stallions. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit dutchmenbaseball.com