Filed by the Albany Dutchmen...
Little Falls, N.Y. – In what can only be described as sheer mind over matter, the Albany Dutchmen fought tooth and nail with the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs in an opening round game in the 2013 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League playoffs and prevailed in 11 innings by the score of 6-5.
With the win, Albany advances to the East Division finals against the #1 seed Amsterdam Mohawks (31-16). Thursday night's win came just under 24 hours after the Dutchmen defeated Glens Falls in a 16-inning marathon game, just after midnight early Thursday morning, to qualify for the playoffs.
A two-out rally in the top of the 11th inning helped Albany break a 5-5 tie. Luke Nethaway (Saint Rose), who spent part of last summer playing for Mohawk Valley, started the rally with a one-out single. Mohawk Valley pitcher Keegan Long (Saint Joseph's, Ind.) forced Nick Morton (Trinity, Texas) to fly out for the second out of the inning however he conceded a two-out single to Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) which kept the inning alive. Tyler Bray (ULM) replaced Long on the mound with runners on first and second and no outs. Bray walked Brad Noland (North Alabama) to load the bases and then a walk to Tyler Orris (Millersville) forced home the go-ahead run.
Mohawk Valley wouldn't go do down without a fight. Jordan Friend (Alabama A&M) worked a lead-off walk against Charles Parslow (Hudson Valley C.C.) to open the bottom of the 11th and then moved to second on a Sam Dexter (Southern Maine) sacrifice bunt. With the potential tying run on second, Albany head coach Nick Davey summoned Andrew Bannon (Skidmore) out of the bullpen. Bannon forced Mike Fischer (Columbia) to ground out for the second out of the inning but Friend advanced to third. A two-out walk to Jordan Serena (Columbia) put the potential winning run on base. Bryan Carr (Saint Rose), normally a starter, came out of the bullpen for the second night in a row. He struck out Willie Shaw (William & Mary) to end the game and give the Dutchmen their first-ever playoff win.
Albany starter Matt Gallup (UAlbany) was sensational for the Dutchmen on the mound, pitching seven strong innings while allowing four runs on five hits and striking out five. The bullpen was nearly unhittable in the final three frames. Thomas Belcher (Indiana) pitched two scoreless innings and conceded one hit. Charles Parslow, Andrew Bannon and Bryan Carr recorded the final four outs for Albany without yieldeding a hit.
Matt Dacey (Richmond) hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to give Albany a 5-4 lead; but Mohawk Valley tagged Dylan Collett (Keene State) with a run in the eighth to tie the game, 5-5.
The Dutchmen out-hit the DiamondDawgs, 12-8. Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina) went 3-for-4 with one one scored to lead four different Albany players with mult-hit games. Matt Dacey finished 2-for-4 with a home run and a walk. Justin Brock (Franklin Pierce) had just one hit but scored two runs and drove in another.
Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice) paced Mohawk Valley's offense with a 3-for-5 performance. He drove in two runs for the Dawgs including the game-tying tally in the eighth on a base hit. Dalton Herrington (ULM) was 2-for-5 with two two runs scored and a third-inning RBI triple.
Losing pitcher Keegan Long pitched 6.2 innings of relief. He struck out six and allowed two runs on seven hits. Long was working on three-days' rest after pitching into the ninth inning at Amsterdam on Monday night. Starter Jared Dye (ULM) allowed four runs on five hits in four innings pitched.
The Dutchmen have played an eye-popping 46 innings of baseball over the last three days: a double header in Watertown consisting of two seven-inning games on Tuesday, 21 innings Wednesday night in a non-traditional double header at Glens Falls, and the 11-inning game Thursday against Mohawk Valley.
The win over the DiamondDawgs is Albany's first playoff victory in its first-ever playoff game. The win means that the Dutchmen will play at least two more games. Game 1 of the East Division finals is Friday, August 2nd at 7:05PM at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam.
The series shifts to Bob Bellizzi Field in Albany on Saturday when the Dutchmen host the Mohawks in the second game of the best-of-three series. The historic first-ever PGCBL playoff game at Bob Bellizzi Field is scheduled to begin at 7:05 PM. A winner-take-all Game 3 in the series would be played on Sunday, August 4, in Amsterdam if necessary.