PC: Corey Mansfield/Broken Bat Blog
The Albany Dutchmen lost in their exhibition game to the Tri-City ValleyCats at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium Wednesday afternoon, by a score of 5-4.
The Dutchmen held a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th inning. Dutchmen pitcher Nate Harris (Louisiana Tech University) started the inning by allowing a leadoff single to ValleyCat left fielder Brauly Mejia. He would advance to 2nd base after a Kevin Martir sacrifice bunt. Harris would be pulled from the game after that at bat. He would be relieved by Joe Pokrentowski (College of Saint Rose), who immediately allowed a double to ValleyCat 3rd basemen Kolbey Carpenter, which scored Mejia.
With the score tied at 4-4, Pokrentowski would allow a single to ValleyCat right fielder Luis Payano that allowed Carpenter to score from 2nd base and give Tri-City the lead, 5-4. That is how the game would end as Carlos Sierra and Dylan James combined to strike out the last six Dutchmen hitters in a row. Sierra would get the win and James would be credited with the save. Pokrentowski would receive the loss.
Albany was able to take an early 1-0 in the first frame after Brent Alford (Augusta University) hit an RBI single that scored Justin Childers (Ohio Dominican University) from 2nd base. The ValleyCats would respond quickly in the bottom of the 1st inning, however. Randy Cesar, who started the game at 3rd base before being replaced by Carpenter, would deliver an RBI single that scored Daz Cameron from 2nd base to the tie the score at 1-1. Later that inning, Dutchmen starting pitcher Gabe Kleiman (University of Pennsylvania) would walk Carpenter with the bases loaded, forcing in a run and giving the ValleyCats a 2-1 lead.
The Dutchmen, however, would respond again in the top of the 2nd inning. After Malcolm Nachmanoff (Stony Brook University), Bray Curreri (College of Saint Rose), and JJ Shimko (University of South Carolina Upstate) all walked to load the bases, Jon Skidmore (Dallas Baptist) would step up to the plate. He would ground a ball to the 3rd baseman Cesar who could not throw the ball on target to the 2nd baseman Marcos Almonte. A pair runs would score on that play and give the Dutchmen a 3-2 lead. On the next pitch, Childers would hit a single that scored Shimko to give the Dutchmen a 4-2 lead.
The Dutchmen would not score after that, as they could not figure out the trio of Austin Nicely, Sierra, or James.
“We got some quality innings from Sierra and Nicely,” ValleyCats head coach, Lamarr Rodgers said. “That seemed to settle them down and the players seemed to settle into the ball game and have better quality at-bats late.”
The ValleyCats would get a run back in the bottom of the 5th inning, as Daz Cameron hit a leadoff homerun over the left field wall off new Dutchmen pitcher Nick Silber (Rice University).
The Dutchmen batters were once again relatively quiet, as they only managed five hits off of the four ValleyCat pitchers they faced. Childers would go 2-4 at the plate with an RBI. Shimko went 1-2 with a single, two walks, and a run scored. He would fail to steal a base in this game, as he was caught stealing in the 1st inning and was picked off 1st base in the 4th inning. The other two hits were recorded by Kyle Skeels (Coastal Carolina) and Alford.
The ValleyCats open their season against the Connecticut Tigers on Friday, June 17th at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
The Dutchmen return to Bob Bellizzi Field on Thursday, June 16, as they welcome the Utica Blue Sox to Albany. The Dutchmen are holding Bacon Night specials and All You Can Eat for $10 at the concession stands during Thursday’s game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.