The Albany Dutchmen celebrate a walk-off win over the Amsterdam Mohawks on June 20th at Bob Bellizzi Field. Photo courtesy Corey Mansfield/Broken Bat Blog
The 2013 summer collegiate baseball season was unlike any other for the Albany Dutchmen. The most regular season wins in franchise history, the team’s first ever playoff appearance and winning three extra-inning elimination games over the final week of the season were just some of the year’s highlights.
It was a season of firsts and bests for Albany after the games began all the way back on June 5. In a month that saw eight games either suspended or postponed due to rain, the Dutchmen started the season 6-0 and won nine of their first 10 games. Albany was also ranked as high as #9 in the Perfect Game USA Summer Collegiate Team rankings, where it was ranked twice during the month of June. It was the first time the Dutchmen had ever been ranked, and it was all part of the best start in franchise history.
“They clicked early, right from the get-go they clicked,” said fourth-year head coach Nick Davey of his players. “As new guys came in it was like they just jumped right on board to what we were doing. And I think the hot start helped. Anytime you start as hot as we did, that comradery and that closeness can only help.”
The middle of the season saw awards and accolades for both past and current Albany Dutchmen players, as two former Dutchmen were selected in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. Shortstop Brandon Trinkwon (UC-Santa Barbara) played with Albany in 2011 and was selected in the seventh round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Catcher Will Remillard (Coastal Carolina) played with the Dutchmen in both 2011 and 2012, and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 19th round. Remillard has since signed a contract with the Cubs and was sent to play in Chicago’s farm system.
The Dutchmen also had six players and one coach selected to the 2013 PGCBL All Star festivities. Outfielder Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina), infielders Tyler Orris (Millersville) and Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina), and pitchers Dylan Collett (Keene State) and Sean Spicer (Baylor) were all selected to play in the All Star game along with assistant coach Sean Buchanon. First baseman Matt Dacey (Richmond) was also selected to participate in the Home Run Derby and took home the crown after winning the competition.
Two Dutchmen players were also honored by the PGCBL as the Player and Pitcher of the Week during the season. Jimmy Davitt (Bryant) earned Pitcher of the Week honors in week three of the season, after he went seven innings and gave up just one run on two hits at Glens Falls. In that game, Davitt retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced, and left with a 2-1 lead before recording a no decision. Matt Dacey won Player of the Week honors in the sixth week of the season following a week where he batted .391, hit three home runs and drove in nine runs.
By season’s end, several Dutchmen were near or at the top of the league in many statistical categories. Dylan Collett led the way on the mound for Albany, and led all of the PGCBL with an overall ERA of 1.71. The left-hander accumulated a 3-1 record and had 47 strikeouts in 52.2 innings pitched, while walking only 14.
“What he gave us early on in the year and what he earned, he ended up having a phenomenal year for us and for himself, too, because he really competed,” Davey said of Collett. “I couldn’t expect anything more, and every time out it was tough to take the ball from him.”
Bryan Carr (St. Rose), Sean Spicer and Matt Gallup (Albany) also finished in the top 10 in ERA. Carr finished fifth with a 2.79 ERA, while Spicer and Gallup finished seventh and eighth respectively. Spicer posted an earned run average of 3.42, and Gallup finished with a 3.56 ERA.
Anthony Marks led the Dutchmen in batting average, and finished with the eighth-best average in the league hitting at a .342 clip. Brad Noland (North Alabama) also finished tied for second in the PGCBL with four triples.
Dacey, the 2013 PGCBL Home Run Derby champion, finished the year with six home runs, which was tied for second in the league. He also led Albany with 30 RBI during the regular season.
“Matt Dacey was our RBI guy,” Davey said. “When we needed a big hit or somebody to drive in an RBI it was on Matt Dacey’s shoulders.”
At the end of the regular season the Dutchmen had accumulated a 26-22 record, marking the most wins in franchise history. But the final day of the regular season would decide whether the Dutchmen would make their first-ever postseason appearance or not.
Wednesday, July 31, was the final regular season game of the year between Albany and Glens Falls. The two teams were tied for the final playoff spot in the PGCBL East, and the winner of the game would advance to the postseason while the loser would be sent home. In a marathon battle that went 16 innings and lasted nearly five hours, the Dutchmen finally won on a Chris Suseck (Coastal Carolina) RBI single in the top of the 16th.
The win earned Albany its first ever playoff appearance, and put the Dutchmen in another elimination game the very next night with Mohawk Valley. Once again the Dutchmen came up victorious in extra innings, with an RBI bases-loaded walk from Tyler Orris bringing home the eventual winning run in the top of the 11th.
Albany then entered a three-game series with the defending PGCBL champion Amsterdam Mohawks in the PGCBL East Division Finals. After losing game one, the Dutchmen found themselves in extra innings once again. This time Anthony Marks ended the game in the 10th in walk-off fashion, giving the Dutchmen their league-leading sixth walk-off win of the season.
“It was the closest group of kids I’ve ever coached coming from so many different areas and so many different programs that it was enjoyable,” Davey said. “And in the end, that’s what got us through. When our backs were against the wall the closeness of this team got us through it.”
The Dutchmen would go on to lose to Amsterdam in game three of the PGCBL East Division Finals, but not before capping off a week that featured three extra-inning walk-offs and 83 innings of baseball for Albany over the seven days.
“Best week of baseball of my life, can’t even explain to you what it was like,” Davey said. “From that 16-inning game in Glens Falls to Mohawk Valley the next night, just the energy that these guys brought when you thought they were too tired to win one, the effort that they gave was phenomenal.”
That magical final week of baseball for the Albany Dutchmen will go down, for now, as the finish to the best season in franchise history.
Until next year…