Photo courtesy Troy Record
Written by Eric Samulski
As the 2011 summer season inches closer, the Albany Dutchmen continue to add talented young athletes to their roster. Most recently, the Dutchmen have signed veteran talent to increase the maturity and leadership of their bullpen, ensuring a confidence and poise at the end of games this summer. A leading candidate for early saves, Tim Haley (Quincy College) will be joined by power lefty Steven Poche (Southeastern Louisiana) and hometown right-hander, Austin Chase (University of Albany).
A former starter, Austin Chase has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for the University of Albany after missing all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 6'1" 190 pounder started eight games for the Danes as a freshman, posting a 3-4 record. While attending Columbia HS, the East Greenbush, NY native, was a Troy Record All-Area Honorable Mention while going 6-2 with a 2.92 ERA in his senior season. Chase began to find his groove late in the season in 2011, appearing in seven games during America East Conference play, recording one save and holding opposing hitters to a .222 batting average against in 13.2 innings pitched.
Joining Chase as a versatile option out of the bullpen will be 6'5" left-hander Steven Poche from Southeastern Louisiana University. A native of Prairieville, LA, Poche helped his Parkview Baptist HS team to back-to-back Class 3A state titles and was named Academic All-State and All-District. After red-shirting his freshman season, he has become the go-to lefty for the Lions out of the bullpen. Throwing 11.2 innings in nine games, he's recorded a 4.63 ERA while notching eleven strikeouts, including putting four batters down on strikes in four innings of relief against conference power, Sam Houston State.
Rounding out the newly signed trio is closer-in-the-making, Tim Haley, formerly of John Wood CC, but now attending Division Two standout, Quincy College. A two-way player, Tim was forced to play more innings than expected behind the plate this season due to an early injury to the team's starting catcher and hit .290. The successful season at the plate was business as usual for the Quincy, IL native, who also hit .333 splitting time between catcher and right field during his freshman season. When on the mound, the 6'2" righty shows great poise and electric stuff, compiling a 2.92 ERA, while striking out 17 batters in 12.1 innings pitched.
The Dutchmen will be unveiling their final signings in the next week. To stay on top of all info, follow them on Twitter @DutchmenPGCBL