The Albany Dutchmen (24-19) made an incredible comeback Monday night to defeat the Oneonta Outlaws (23-20) at Damaschke Field in Oneonta and lock in a spot in the 2016 PGCBL Playoffs.
Down 7-0 after the bottom of the third, the Dutchmen would rally to score eight unanswered, four in back-to-back innings, and the bullpen from there on out would shut the Outlaw offense down to preserve the victory.
Oneonta would open up the scoring in the bottom of the first, as Jimmy Hand (Northeastern University) would single home Kyle Ruedisili (Washington and Lee University) after he led off with a single, and moved up to third on a error from Dutchmen starter Jack Grabek (Bucknell University) on a pickoff throw and a Chandler Engel (Wofford University) flyout.
Oneonta would take advantage of another Dutchmen error in the bottom of the second, as Derek Kasperzyk (Quinnipiac University) would ground to Jack Gethings (Fairfield University) at third with a runner on second and two outs. Gethings would however make a bad throw, and Carter Austin (University of Massachusetts Amherst) would come around to score and make it 2-0.
That lead would continue to open up in the bottom of the third, as Oneonta would more than triple their lead, putting up five runs on five hits and the third Dutchmen error in the third consecutive inning to open the ballgame, giving the Outlaws a early 7-0 advantage.
Albany would cut deeply into that lead the next half inning, scoring four to cut the lead to three. Albany would load the bases with one out, and Kyle Skeels (Coastal Carolina University) would single home Gethings for the first run. Jon Skidmore (Dallas Baptist University) would follow grounding into a fielder’s choice to score John Novenche (Canisius College), and after stealing second, would come around to score along with Mychael Goudreau (Azusa Pacific University) on a two-RBI single from Bray Curreri (College of Saint Rose) to finish the scoring in the half.
The Dutchmen would continue to complete their comeback in the top of the fifth, putting up four runs for the second straight inning to take a 8-7 lead. JJ Shimko (University of South Carolina- Upstate) would lead off with a single and Gethings would follow with a walk. The Dutchmen would then throw in a double steal, and a bad throw from the catcher would allow Shimko to score and Gethings to go to third. Justin Childers (Ohio Dominican University) would follow with a single to score Gethings, and after a fielder’s choice he would come around to score on a Goudreau RBI single. Goudreau would quickly steal second and with two outs go to third on a balk, and a passed ball would allow him to score and give the Dutchmen the lead.
After that, the offenses for each side were shut down. The final four Dutchmen pitchers on the evening combined to allow only one hit and one walk in five and a third innings while striking out three, led by Nate Harris (Louisiana Tech University), who threw two and a third perfect innings striking out one and facing only one more than the minimum, allowing the only two baserunners that reached to get on by way of a fielder’s choice and an error to garner Player of the Game recognition.
One of the recent Dutchmen newcomers in Ryan Steffens (Southern New Hampshire University) would provide quiet the lift in the victory, as he would get credited with the win, going one and two third solid innings, allowing only one hit and striking out one. Harris and JD Mundt (University of Louisville), who went a third of an inning and walked one, would each get a hold, and Dutchmen closer and All-Big 12 First Teamer and PGCBL All-Star Troy Montemayor (Baylor University) would get the save, setting the Outlaws down in order in the bottom of the ninth, including a strikeout to end the ballgame to register his team-leading sixth save of the season.
Goudreau would also gain a Player of the Game nod, going 2-for-3 with a walk, RBI and two runs to take his hot bat into a off day tomorrow. Shimko would finish 2-for-5 with a run on the night, and Curreri would wrap with a 1-for-4 line with his two RBI single.
Oneonta also takes a day off tomorrow before they return to action Wednesday when they host the Saugerties Stallions at 7:00.
The victory locks the Dutchmen into a playoff spot in the PGCBL Playoffs for the fourth year in a row, as the Dutchmen will head into the final stretch of the regular season after the day off Tuesday with the possibility of hosting the opening round one game playoff scheduled for Monday.
Albany will return home to Bellizzi Field Wednesday, as the Dutchmen will celebrate the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics and have Social Media Promotions as part of Web Wednesday when they host the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs at 7:05, in what will be another important matchup in the race for home field advantage in round one of the playoffs.