ALBANY, N.Y – Led by Brad Gneiting’s (Rice) 3-for-4 day at the plate in which he drove in three runs, the Albany Dutchmen (26-15) ran away from the Saugerties Stallions (18-21), winning by a final score of 9-2, and helping Albany to move into second place in the East Division.
The Dutchmen scored early and often to put away the Stallions early. Nick Gallo (Oklahoma State) got the offense rolling for the Dutchmen with an RBI double down the third base line off of starter Mark Meyer (Marshall), to score Nick Estrella (Azusa Pacific) and give Albany the early lead.
Albany kept rolling in the second inning. With a man on first and two outs, Peyton Sockwell (North Alabama) singled to keep the inning alive for Gneiting, who delivered his second deep double to left center field of the ballgame, this one driving in two runs to bring the lead to 3-0.
Brandt Holland (North Alabama) continued his prolific week at plate. Holland came through with a sacrifice fly in the third inning and had his biggest hit of the ballgame in the fourth, with a two run double to give him three on the day and 34 on the season, a total which currently ranks second in the PGCBL. The other runs came on a Gneiting single leading up to Holland’s at bat, which scored Justin Childers (Ohio Dominican) and a two run single by Trace Tyre (Ole Miss). The inning totaled five runs, and put the Dutchmen in command of the game with a 9-1 lead.
Matt Pierce (Siena) pitched his way to his league leading seventh win of the season. Those seven wins are a new Dutchmen record as well. Pierce went five innings, scattering four hits and three walks. He gave up two runs, one on a solo homer by Matt Forlow (Manhattan) that landed directly on top of the left field fence and bounced over for a home run, and one on a Luke Petterson (Minnesota) sacrifice fly. Pierce is now 7-1 with an ERA of 1.75. Pierce’s ERA also leads the league among qualified pitchers.
For Saugerties, Meyer only lasted 3.1 innings, as he allowed eight hits and eight runs, three of which were inherited runners that scored after Jack Kelley (Nyack) had taken the mound. Meyer dropped to 0-2 on the season, and his ERA is currently 9.00.
The Dutchmen bullpen dazzled again. Adam Elliot (Louisville) tossed a scoreless inning, striking out one, and Nick Bruno (Siena) pitched the final three innings of the ballgame to record the save while striking out two batters.
Overlooked in the losing effort for the Stallions was a rare positive outing from their bullpen. Combined, they pitched 4.2 innings, only giving up one run and at one point retiring 12 Albany batters in a row.
With the win, and a 10-9 loss by the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs against the Utica Blue Sox, Albany moved into second place in the east. Mohawk Valley has lost six in a row, including two against the Dutchmen. Being in second place in the division is a key going into the playoffs, as the team with the second seed hosts the third seed in a single elimination playoff game.
Albany hits the road Monday and Tuesday, with a doubleheader against the Adirondack Trail Blazers starting at 5 p.m. on Monday and a game against Glens Falls at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday. The Dutchmen return home on Wednesday for bonus baseball against Mohawk Valley. The two teams resume a game from June 15th, which was suspended due to darkness in a tie during the tenth inning. The suspended game starts at 3:30 with the regularly scheduled game occurring at 5:05 p.m.