The Albany Dutchmen won their third consecutive game, holding on for a 7-6 victory over the Utica Brewers at Donovan Stadium on Sunday evening. The victory pulled Albany within a game of third place in the East Division, behind Glens Falls, who fell to Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon.
Gavin Wallace (Fairfield) tossed eight solid innings for the Dutchmen to pick up his first win of the season.
The Dutchmen never trailed in the victory, and the offensive effort for Albany began in the top of the first inning. Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina) reached on a fielder’s choice that recorded the second out in the inning. Michael Fitzsimmons (Ole Miss) then belted a two-run homer down the left field line to give Albany a 2-0 lead. The home run was Fitzsimmons’ first of the year after several close calls.
Utica gained a run back in the bottom half, as leadoff hitter Ryan Rosas (Corban) reached on an error, and eventually scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the inning after a single and a double play.
Albany’s lead was extended in the third inning with a pair of runs. Sean Aspinall (Azusa Pacific) walked with one out, and moved over to third on a single by Patrick Hisle (Maryland). Aspinall then scored after Hisle broke for second, and the throw trickled away from the Brewer fielders. The lead became 4-1 when Remillard clubbed a single through the infield.
Much like the first inning, Utica answered with two runs in the bottom half of the third inning. Ismael Herrera (Norfolk State) started the inning with a single up the middle, which was followed by a four-pitch walk to Vincent Capone (Concordia College). After a sacrifice bunt, Ryan Cox (Kutztown) plated Herrera on a groundout and Dominick Bregar (Colorado State-Pueblo) doubled to pull the Brewers within a run of the Dutchmen.
The Dutchmen mounted a two-out rally in the fifth inning to score another two runs. Hisle reached on an error by the Utica shortstop. The error proved costly for Utica, as Remillard drove in his second run of the game by doubling down the right field line to score Hisle. The double was Remillard’s 60th in his Dutchmen career, and he then scored when Fitzsimmons recorded a double of his own, giving Albany a 6-3 lead.
The lead was trimmed to 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Utica’s Taylor Olmstead (UConn) tripled, and scored on a ground ball from Mason McClellan (Lake Sumter CC) that was mishandled by the Dutchmen defense. However, Wallace was able to work out of the inning, keeping a two-run lead intact. He also worked scoreless seventh and eighth innings before exiting the game.
An all-important insurance run scored in the top of the ninth inning for the Dutchmen, when Michael Bollmer (Louisville) bashed a solo shot well over the left field wall, his third of the season.
Brandon Nylin (Herkimer CC) came on in the ninth inning, giving up a hit and recording two strikeouts before a throwing error kept the game alive for Cox, who drilled a two-run double to left field, pulling the game within one run. With the winning run at the plate, Nylin induced a groundout to Bollmer, who flipped back to Nylin for a Dutchmen victory.
The inning of earned run-free work gave Nylin his first save of the season. Taking the loss for Utica was Patrick Bellinger (Tiffin).
The Dutchmen return to Albany Tuesday for a Subway Summer Series showdown with the Glens Falls Dragons after a Monday off day. It will be Scout Night at the ballpark, with the team honoring members of both Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. It is also 2 for 2uesday at the ballpark.