The Albany Dutchmen (16-23) were on the losing end of a tough 9-8 battle against the Elmira Pioneers (18-22) at Bob Bellizzi Field on Wednesday night. A late Elmira home run proved to be difference in a back-and-forth contest that ended in elimination for the Dutchmen from the PGCBL playoffs.
The Dutchmen surged onto the board first after a three-run second inning. With the bases loaded, Matt Wehrli (Yavapai) started the scoring ripping an RBI single to right field. A second run was scored off a hit batter followed by an RBI sac-fly by Joey Boney (Loyola Marymount) to give Albany a 3-0 lead.
Elmira added two in the top of the third inning, but a Dutchmen blast to center field by Ryan Welke (Northwest Florida) put the Dutchmen into a comfortable 6-2 lead. The three-run dinger by the Dutchmen catcher was his third of the season.
The Pioneers chipped at the lead after Ty Yesensky (Old Dominion) hit a two-run RBI double to shrink the Dutchmen lead to 6-4 in the fifth. In the sixth inning, Dutchmen starter Steven Poche (Southeastern Louisiana) ran into trouble again allowing three runs to cross the plate. Yesensky came up big for Elmira as he did all night ripping a two-run RBI double to give the Pioneers a 7-6 lead.
The Dutchmen fired right back to regain the lead. In the sixth Paul Bello (Georgetown) hit an RBI single then in the seventh Steve Anderson (Georgetown) lined a single to put the Dutchmen up 8-7. The score would not last however as the back-and-forth lead changes were finally decided. Justin Lamborn (West Chester) hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to ultimately give the Pioneers a 9-8 victory.
Jimmy Reed (Skagit Valley) recorded the victory while Wes McBride (UNC Greensboro) got the save. Tim Haley (John Wood CC) was tagged with the loss in relief. The hard-throwing Poche struck out nine in his 5.2 innings of work. Both Anderson and Wehrli had two hits for Albany.
The Dutchmen will take on the Newark Pilots on the road tomorrow with the first pitch slated for 7 p.m. For all Dutchmen information visit www.dutchmenbaseball.com or follow us @DutchmenPGCBL. The Dutchmen have just two remaining home games this season so be sure to make your way to Bellizzi Field!
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