July 26, 2023
(UTICA, NY)-- The Albany Dutchmen (21-20) and the Utica Blue Sox (25-13) split one of the most unique doubleheaders one could possibly think of Wednesday evening.
To start, let’s set the scene: Donovan Stadium at Murnane Field in Utica.
And in game one, the home team was, you guessed it: the Albany Dutchmen.
In a game that was suspended 24 days ago.
And postponed 18 days before that.
And at the end of the night Wednesday, after the Blue Sox took game one, 4-3, and the Dutchmen took game two, 4-3, the final tally between the two teams was 7-7.
Game one was resumed with the Dutchmen trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third. Two and a half innings were completed back on July 2nd before a continuing downpour and worsening field conditions called an early end to what was scheduled as a doubleheader then.
Utica doubled their lead in the top of the fifth off a Ryan Rifenberg (Fort Lauderdale) groundout before the Dutchmen tied things up in the “home” half.
The first three Dutchmen batters- Austin Francis (NJIT), Joe Karpierz (Xavier), and Nick Plue (Cortland)- all reached, and Francis would score on a Ryan Deo (St. Rose) groundout while Mario Cubello (St. John Fisher/Transfer Portal) would drive Karpierz with a sacrifice fly.
After a scoreless sixth, Utica would get two in the top of the seventh off a Kyuss Gargett (Kentucky) single and Andre Demetral (NIU) bases-loaded walk. The Dutchmen would immediately kick off a rally in the bottom of the half as Karpierz led off with a double and two batters later scored on Deo’s single. Deo would move to second on Anthony Paskell’s (Rider) walk, but the tying run would be left 180 feet away.
With the teams reverting to their normal home and away sides for the back half of the doubleheader, Gargett would single home Easton Brenner (Lafayette) in the bottom of the second to crack open the scoring in game two, but the Dutchmen would immediately respond in the top of the third.
Vince Venditti (St. Rose) and Will Binder (UAlbany) drew back-to-back one out walks before Venditti took third on a passed ball. That allowed him to score on Tyler Kipp’s (Fairfield) fielder’s choice groundout, and after Francis took another hit by pitch to put runners on first and second, JT Vance (Mississippi College) hit a double deep to center field that brought both runners in and gave the Dutchmen a 3-1 lead. Albany added what would turn out to be a much needed insurance run in the top of the sixth, as Matteo Cubello (Siena) scored on Korson Hastings’ (Trinity) sacrifice fly.
Utica would not go down without a fight however, as leadoff singles from Peter Adams (Limestone) and Ben Partridge (Rockland CC) in the bottom of the sixth would bring the tying run to the plate. A double steal moved the runners into scoring position, and a wild pitch and groundout would allow them both to score.
In the bottom of the seventh, Devin Campbell (Oswego) would get his first two outs on five pitches before walking Gargett, but would respond by striking out Taylor Kaufman (Hamilton) looking to shut the door on his second save of the summer.
Campbell was responsible for getting the final five outs of the victory after Greg Mays got the first sixteen, as the Troy native went 5.1 impressive innings that lead to this second win of the summer.
Albany continues their regular season ending road trip Thursday, continuing to look to solidify their playoff positioning as they take on the Saugerties Stallions. First pitch from Cantine Field is scheduled for 6:35.