The 2015 campaign of the Albany Dutchmen came to an end Friday night in the first round of the PGCBL Playoffs, as the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs topped the Dutchmen 6-3 at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Little Falls. The win was Mohawk Valley’s second in a row over Albany in the first round, after a 3-2 victory in 2014.
Albany trailed early, as the DiamondDawgs scored a run in the opening frame. The bottom of the first began with back to back singles by Matt Pagano (Marist) and Thomas Walraven (New Haven). After a fielder’s choice and a strikeout, Sam Machonis (Florida Southern) clubbed a single to score Pagano and give Mohawk Valley a 1-0 lead.
The Dutchmen offense accounted for their only three runs in the top of the fourth inning, which started with a walk to team Player of the Year Michael Fitzsimmons (Ole Miss). Adam Gauthier (Dartmouth) was then hit by a pitch, and a single from Michael Bollmer (Louisville), one of his three hits, loaded the bases. Albany would take the lead on back to back sacrifice flies from Hunter Boose (Georgia Regents) and Tom Moore (Saint Rose). The lead was extended to 3-1 after singles by Patrick Hisle (Maryland) and Grayson Lewis (Rice) plated Bollmer.
The lead was quickly dismissed, with the DiamondDawgs tying the game in the bottom half of the fourth. A dropped third strike put Machonis on base, and Chris Rave (Herkimer CC) was then hit by a pitch. After the runners moved up on a passed ball, a sacrifice fly from Colin Hawk (Indianapolis) scored Mohawk Valley’s second run of the game. Andrew Turner (LIU-Brooklyn) then tied the game on a single that scored Rave.
Mohawk Valley took the lead for good in the fifth, as a leadoff double from Anthony Herrera (Louisiana-Monroe) turned into a run on a single from Walraven. Another run scored in the next inning on consecutive singles by Machonis, Rave, and Hawk. Scoring concluded in the seventh inning on back-to-back doubles by Troy Scocca (Fairfield) and Ryan Stekl (Canisius).
Despite a solid outing on the mound, Gavin Wallace (Fairfield) took the loss for the Dutchmen. Zak Spivy (Polk State College) recorded the final four outs for Albany without surrendering a run. The win was awarded to Payton Coddou (Louisiana-Monroe), while Herrera tossed the final three innings to pick up the save.
The playoff loss concluded a successful season for the Albany Dutchmen, which saw a third consecutive playoff berth, and the second most wins in franchise history. Mohawk Valley advances to the East Division Championship Series against the Amsterdam Mohawks, which begins Saturday at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam.