By: Jason Palatsky
July 22, 2023
(BOONVILLE, NY)– The Albany Dutchmen (19-19) jolted to a three-run lead in the first inning of their Saturday night doubleheader in Boonville against the Lumberjacks (14-27) that catapulted them to a 10-1 victory in the front end of the DH before they dropped game two 8-5.
Anthony Paskell (Rider) led off for the Dutchmen in game one and quickly reached on an error, and after back-to-back singles from two and three hitters Will Binder (UAlbany) and Brody Keneston (Le Moyne), another Boonville error allowed him to score. A wild pitch from Boonville starter Eli Snelson (Union University) allowed Binder and Keneston to move into scoring position, and Binder crossed home on cleanup hitter JT Vance’s (Mississippi College) groundout to short.
Keneston stayed put at second with the ground ball in front of him, but after moving to third on another Snelson wild pitch, scored on five hitter Korson Hastings’ (Trinity) single to center, and quickly the Dutchmen provided their starter Nick Kolze (Heartland CC) a three-run cushion before he even took the mound. Kolze would walk a pair of batters with one-out in the bottom of the first, but induced a fly out and picked off Marcus Smith (McLennan CC) to end the inning.
Albany threatened to add to their lead in the top of the second with the bases loaded and just one out, but a pair of popouts left the bases full. Boonville responded by loading the bases themselves in the bottom half of the inning with two outs, but Kolze got Giordany Mendoza (Western Oklahoma State) to ground out to keep the lead at three.
A two-out rally in the top of the third saw the Dutchmen tack on a run, as Josh Foglia (St. Rose) drew a walk, and scored all the way from first on Ryan Meyer’s (Fordham) double that was paired with a Boonville error. The Lumberjacks again responded by getting that run right back, as Smith would draw his second walk of the evening, move up to second on a Joshua Lopez (Thomas Jefferson University) groundout, and score on a Santiago Jimenez (William Jewell College) single.
A scoreless fourth kept the Albany lead at 4-1 before they tacked on one more in the fifth. Foglia would reach on a two-out error, and Meyer would pick up an RBI this time with a single driven to center.
Albany used a six-run top of the sixth Friday night in Glens Falls to put the Dragons away, and in game one would use a five-run sixth to shut the door on the Lumberjacks. Paskell led things off with a single, and after Binder took a hit by pitch, a perfectly executed double steal put runners on second and third. Keneston would single to score Paskell and push Binder to third, and Binder would score one pitch later on a wild pitch.
Vance would follow with a single that moved Keneston to third, and a ground ball off the bat of Hastings was thrown away that allowed both runners to score. Joe Karpierz (Xavier) followed with a single of his own that again put runners on the corners, and the fourth single of the inning off the bat of Foglia made it 10-1.
After five strong innings from Kolze in his first start of the summer, the newest Dutchmen arm in Ben Hladun (Herkimer CCC) came on and got the final six outs to close out the victory in the opening half of the doubleheader.
Game two started in a similar way as game one, as Austin Francis (NJIT) crushed his first home run of the summer over the right-center field fence to give the Dutchmen a lead before their starter even took the mound. That would be where the similarities ended however, as the Lumberjacks hastily responded in the bottom of the first.
A trio of walks from the Lumberjacks first three hitters quickly put Dutchmen starter Jackson Smith (Kankakee CC) in a jam, and Jimenez cashed in with a well placed single paired with a Dutchmen error to give the hosts a lead they would not relinquish. Darnell Guerrero (Alliance University) followed with an RBI single of his own, and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Dom Jackson (Xavier) gave Boonville a 4-1 lead.
Boonville added one in the bottom of the second off a tough luck dropped third strike, single, and error, to make it 5-1, but Albany responded in the top of the third.
A trio of singles off the bats of Keneston, Vance, and Nick Plue (Cortland) resulted in Albany’s second run. Meyer would walk two batters later to load the bases, and Mario Cubello (St. John Fisher/Transfer Portal) took a free pass himself to cut the deficit to two.
Boonville got those runs back and then some in the bottom of the fourth. An RBI double from Mike Gorham (UMass-Boston), RBI single from Jake Hatch (Manhattan), and sacrifice fly from Jimenez gave the hosts a 8-3 lead.
The Dutchmen would again attempt to claw back in the top of the fifth, loading the bases off a pair of walks from Plue and Cubello and an error off the bat of Meyer. Binder would take advantage, driving a single into left to score Plue and Meyer and make it a 8-5 game.
That would be the closest Albany would get, as the only baserunner generated in the final two innings would be off a sixth inning walk by Plue.
After a game one victory that saw each starter in the Dutchmen lineup register at least one hit (Meyer was the only one with multiple, picking up three), and four Dutchmen scoring two runs each, Albany was only able to register six hits in game two, with each batter one through six in the order picking up a tally each. Albany did draw nine walks, but 11 men left on base would do the Dutchmen in the back half of the two contests.
Albany has Sunday off before kicking off the final week of the regular season on Monday in Amsterdam. First pitch from Shuttleworth Park is scheduled for 6:35, and the Dutchmen are set for their home finale 24 hours later in a contest with Glens Falls. The home finale will be broadcast live on the Albany Dutchmen Facebook page.