The Albany Dutchmen (14-16) were defeated by the Cooperstown Hawkeyes (16-13) at Bob Bellizzi Field on Saturday night. It was an even battle to the last pitch, but an extra inning Hawkeyes home run proved to be the difference as the Dutchmen lost 8-7. In honor of the annual Dutchmen Pink Game every Albany player wore a pink uniform throughout the evening to help promote breast cancer awareness.
The Hawkeyes drew first blood in the second inning when a Justin Brantley (Siena) (1-2) wild pitch gave Cooperstown a 1-0 lead. The early run was answered by the Dutchmen with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Anthony Turgeon (Central Conn. State) drove in the first run with an RBI double and Joey Boney (Cypress) brought in the second with a single to put the Dutchmen up 2-1.
The early scoring continued as Cooperstown took the lead back once again. Nate Izzo (Tufts) hit a two out, two-run triple to bring home two and give the Hawkeyes a 3-2 lead.
Steve Anderson (Georgetown) evened things with an RBI single in bottom of the third, but Danny Nelson's (Cal State Monterey Bay) RBI double gave the Hawkeyes a 4-3 lead through four. The back-and-fourth contest continued as Dutchmen catcher Ryan Welke (Northwest Florida) hit an RBI single to notch things up at four runs through five innings.
Brantley's second wild pitch of the night gave the Hawkeyes a 5-4 lead in the sixth, but in what became a theme all night, the Dutchmen once again answered. After loading the bases, Dain McNabb (Middle Tenn. State) was walked to bring in the tying run at 5-5. Albany looked to take the lead after evening things up, with one out and the bases still loaded. But two Dutchmen strikeouts ended the golden scoring opportunity. After a scoreless ninth the two teams headed to extras.
Tynan Pedretti (Merced College) crushed a three-run homer in the top of the tenth to give the Hawkeyes the decisive lead, however Albany did not go down quietly. The Dutchmen added two in the bottom of the frame highlighted by an RBI triple by Boney. Hoping to have one last surge in them, Albany left a man on first and ended the nail-biter on the losing side of an 8-7 final score.
Brantley went six innings, allowing five runs and fanning five. Zach Robinson (Miami, FL) was tagged with the loss while Parker Ray (Texarkana) recorded the win. Boney went 3-3 with two RBIs for Albany.
There was a scary situation in the eighth inning when Nikko Echevarria (Nova Southeastern) was beamed with a ball in the back of his helmet. Paramedics were called to the scene and Echevarria was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures. He appeared to be ok, giving fans the thumbs up on his way out of the ballpark.
The Dutchmen will host the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs at 7 p.m. tomorrow night inside Bob Bellizzi Field. For all Dutchmen information visit www.dutchmenbaseball.com or follow us @DutchmenPGCBL.