LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. - The Albany Dutchmen swept a doubleheader from the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs at Veteran's Memorial Park by scores of 7-6 and 6-2 on Thursday night.
The Dutchmen moved to within two games of the DiamondDawgs for second place in the East Division after Thursday’s doubleheader sweep. In the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) the two seed hosts the three seed in a one game playoff to advance to the Eastern Division three game championship series, adding to the intensity of Thursday’s contests. The two teams will likely play in the first round of the playoffs, but where that game will be played is still up in the air.
In game one of Thursday’s doubleheader, the Dutchmen got off to a roaring start offensively, but relied heavily on its bullpen to secure the victory. In the top of the first inning, Nick Gallo (Oklahoma State) singled for Albany to score Nick Estrella (Azusa Pacific) for the first run of the ball game. The Dutchmen tacked on another run in the second scoring Justin Childers (Ohio Dominican) on a Griffen Herrera (Azusa Pacific) sacrifice groundout.
Albany would widen its lead in the top of the third when Brandt Holland (North Alabama) blasted a grand slam scoring Gallo, Estrella and Trace Tyre (Ole Miss) to put the Dutchmen up 6-0.
Later in the frame, Herrera reached on an error scoring Colin Kaucher (Ohio Dominican) giving Albany a commanding 7-0 lead over the DiamondDawgs.
All of the Dutchmen’s seven runs came off Crandall Poore (Middle Georgia State) who pitched 4.2 innings while striking out five and walking four. Only five of the seven Dutchmen runs were earned.
Jack Grabek (Bucknell) was on the mound for the Dutchmen and did not hold on to the 7-0 lead for long allowing two runs to score in the bottom of the third with back to back walks to Joe Engel (Columbia) and Dan Deely (Sacramento State) with the bases loaded.
Albany ran into more trouble in the fifth inning when Grabek gave up a hit to Russ Olive (UMass Lowell) that scored two runs and brought Mohawk Valley to within three. Later in the frame, Grabek was replaced by Trace Norkus (North Florida) who went on to allow Lucas Terwilliger (Adelphi) to single in two more DiamondDawg runners trimming the Dutchmen lead to one.
All six Mohawk Valley runs were charged to Grabek. Norkus combined with Justin Bureau (Ave Maria) to secure the 7-6 win for the Dutchmen. Bureau pitched a perfect seventh inning while striking out two batters to notch his seventh save of the season.
In game two of the doubleheader, Sean Boyle (Dallas Baptist) got the nod for Albany and delivered four innings of one run ball while striking out two and walking one. The lone run against Boyle came in the bottom of the third when Olive scored Tim Zeng (Fairfield) on a single to give Mohawk Valley a 1-0 lead.
Douglas Molnar (Wagner) got the start for the DiamondDawgs and pitched three innings of scoreless ball but was replaced by Jonathan Sell (Herkimer) who was hit hard.
In the top of the fourth Holland hit his second home run of the doubleheader off Sell to tie the game at one. Later in the frame Albany tacked on another run off a Chris Villa (Seton Hall) RBI single that scored Justin Decker (Dominican), putting the Dutchmen ahead 2-1.
The bats picked up right where they left off for Albany in the top of the fifth, Estrella ripped a double off Sell to score Adam Elliott (Louisville) and Peyton Sockwell (North Alabama) giving Albany a 4-1 lead. Two batters later, Holland singled to score Estrella. With Thursday’s six RBI performance, Holland now has 31 RBIs on the season, tying him for second among all PGCBL hitters.
The Dutchmen scored one more run in the top of the fifth to take a 6-1 lead.
Mike Pepio (East Stroudsburg) entered the game for Albany and allowed one run to score over two innings while striking out three batters and giving Albany a four run lead heading into the final frame. From there J.D. Mundt (Louisville) came into the game in the seventh and shut down the DiamondDawgs in order to secure the 6-2 win and the doubleheader sweep.
Albany is back in action Friday for a doubleheader at Siena Field as a part of Albany Pump Stating Night against the Utica Blue Sox with game ones first pitch set for 3:00 p.m. and two for one happy hour specials going on from 3-5:00p.m.