By: Madi Jones
July 18, 2023
(WATERTOWN, NY)– The Albany Dutchmen (16-17) continued their hot streak on Tuesday night to keep their playoff dreams alive, defeating the Watertown Rapids (11-23) by a score of 6-4. Danny Iglesias (St. Thomas University) picked up the win for the Dutchmen, with Parker Lendrum (SNHU) picking up the save and ensuring that chances of a Rapids win slipped out of their reach in the ninth inning.
The Dutchmen bats came out sharp in Watertown, with Vince Venditti (St. Rose) opening the game with a first-pitch double. Venditti then went on to give the Dutchmen a 1-0 lead, using Brody Keneston’s (Le Moyne) single to get home. Keneston then went on to earn a run of his own, stealing second and scoring on Korson Hastings’ (Trinity University) RBI single. The Dutchmen’s offensive outputs were matched by their starter Grant Smeltzer (Fairfield), who pitched a 1-2-3 first to make sure the Dutchmen held on to their two-run lead.
The second inning saw the Dutchmen continue their offensive display with Anderson Moreno (SNHU/Transfer Portal) hitting a triple, followed by Josh Foglia (St. Rose) pinch-running from third and scoring on Austin Francis’ (NJIT) single. Albany extended their lead again, as Mario Cubello (SJFU/Transfer Portal) would single, steal second, and score on a bad throw by the Watertown shortstop on the ground ball off the bat of Venditti.
Watertown responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the second to put the Rapids on the board for the first time in the game, but the Dutchmen got it right back in the top of the third, as Hastings would single in JT Vance (Mississippi College) after his double.
After starting the first three innings with five runs off nine hits, the Dutchmen’s offense was held scoreless for the next four innings. The Rapids’ two-run effort in the bottom of the fourth saw the game remain a close 5-3 until the eighth inning.
With one out in the top of the eighth, Foglia would get hit by a pitch before stealing second and moving to third on Francis’ single. On the next pitch, Francis would be sent in motion, and on the throw down, Foglia would scamper home to make it a 6-3 Dutchmen lead. The Rapids answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the eighth to make it 6-4, but Iglesias made sure that the Dutchmen held on to their two-run lead, leaving two men on base to close out the inning.
Albany put runners on second and third with no one out in the top of the ninth, but a pulled back suicide squeeze and a pair of strikeouts left them with nothing to show for it. Lendrum stepped onto the mound looking to shut the door on the Rapids, and delivered with a 1-2-3 inning to close out a great game, a perfect 4-0 road trip, and send the Dutchmen back to Albany with their fifth-straight win.
Hastings would lead the offense, delivering a 3-for-4 line with a pair of RBIs and registering what would turn out to be the game-winning hit for the second straight game. Francis would pick up a 3-for-4 line with an RBI himself, and Venditti and Cubello would each reach three times and score a run themselves.
Smeltzer would go four solid innings in the start, allowing five hits, three runs (two earned) and one walk to go with two strikeouts. Iglesias would throw four innings in relief of Smeltzer, his longest outing of the season, and would retire the side in order in his first three innings before running into – and getting out of – trouble in his fourth. The Hialeah, FL native would allow just three hits, one run (unearned) and one walk, with one strikeout. Lendrum’s 1-2-3 ninth would include a strikeout, lineout, and groundout.
The Dutchmen will have Wednesday off before they return to Dutchmen Field looking to continue their recent success on Thursday in a doubleheader with the Amsterdam Mohawks. First pitch is set for 5:00 PM, and the doubleheader is set to be broadcast live on the Albany Dutchmen Facebook page.