ALBANY, NY—While jostling with the Glens Falls Dragons (21-16) for the final postseason spot in the PGCBL East, the Albany Dutchmen (22-24) delivered the latest haymaker, routing the Dragons at Bellizzi Field 19-4 Monday.
The Dutchmen barrage ties a franchise record for runs scored in a game. More importantly, after winning their fourth consecutive game, Albany now has a game and a half advantage over the Dragons for the 3 seed in the division with three games remaining. A win for Albany and a Glens Falls loss tomorrow clinches the playoff spot for the Dutchmen.
This contest was close for a while, before the Dutchmen broke the game open. Albany scored the first two runs of the game in their half of the 3rd inning. An RBI double to right center by Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina) was followed by a run-scoring single from Michael Fitzsimmons (Ole Miss).
For Fitzsimmons, the single produced his 31st run batted in on the summer, tying him for the franchise record for a single season. Later, a sacrifice fly in the 7th broke the team record in the run-producing category.
After pushing across another run in the 4th, the Dutchmen batted around in the 5th inning, scoring four times and taking a commanding 9-0 lead. After an Adam Gauthier (Dartmouth) RBI single, Michael Bollmer (Louisville) smoked a 2-run triple to dead center. Three batters later, Grayson Lewis (Rice) drove in Bollmer and Tom Moore (Saint Rose) on a 2-run double.
Lewis, the Dutchmen player of the game, was on base an astonishing six times in six plate appearances, scoring three times while driving in four runs. The pair of the leadoff man Lewis and the number 9 man Tom Moore were not retired, combining to reach base 11 times, driving in six runs and crossing the plate six times.
Trailing by 9, the lone Dragons rally of the evening came in the top of the 6th. After Brandon Nylin (Herkimer CC) loaded the bases with walks before departing, RBIs from Richard Gugliemi (Saginaw Valley State), Matt Flynn (Saint Anselm) and Danny Oliveri (Triton) cut into the lead.
But the Albany offense would not be denied. After pushing across a run in the 6th, the Dutchmen scored nine runs in the bottom of the 7th, sending 13 hitters to the dish. Three of the six Dragons’ defensive miscues came in the frame, aiding the carousel of Dutchmen who crossed the plate in the inning. Bollmer added to his RBI total with a 2-run single in the frame, one of the four hits that helped put the game away.
After coming into the game in relief of Nylin in the 6th, Jake Welch (Notre Dame College) went the rest of the way for the Dutchmen, earning a surprising save in the lopsided contest. With his outing going more than three innings, and maintaining the Dutchmen advantage the whole time, it qualified Welch for his first save of the summer.
Albany heads to Amsterdam tomorrow to battle the Mohawks (37-10), once again the PGCBL East Division Champions. The two teams will return to Bellizzi Field Wednesday for the final Dutchmen home game of the regular season. It will be Fan Appreciation Night at the ballpark, where all youth baseball and softball players will receive free admission while wearing their uniforms. In addition to Web Wednesday, Recognize Awards will honor the Dutchmen Player and Pitcher of the Year.