This upcoming season, the Albany Dutchmen will call Siena College home for the first time in franchise history. With the team's move to Siena Field, it is only natural for the Dutchmen to welcome four Saints to the Albany roster for the 2017 season. Returning outfielder Zach Durfee will be joined by pitchers Tommy Miller, Matt Pierce, and Nick Bruno.
Zach Durfee is the fifth Dutchmen that saw time in the 2016 campaign to return for his second stint. The freshman, who is a native of Malta, N.Y., plated in five early season games for the Dutchmen last season, an effort that included two hits on Opening Day, a 6-1 victory over the Amsterdam Mohawks. In his first season with the Saints, Durfee has been a mainstay in the Siena lineup. He has started 24 of Siena's 33 games, posting a .301 batting average and a .417 on base percentage. The Ballston Spa High School product has seven doubles in his first college season, the second highest total for the Saints, who are currently 5-4 in MAAC play. In high school, Durfee was named a ABCA/Rawlings All-Region I First Team selection, as well as accumulating numerous area and state honors.
The most veteran of the Saints that will play for the Dutchmen is lefthanded pitcher Tommy Miller. Miller has been Siena's best starter this season, posting a 4-2 record in nine starts. The sophomore, who hails from nearby Castleton, leads the Saints in wins (4), innings pitched (50), and strikeouts (37). Miller's success this season is a carryover from his freshman campaign, where he went 5-2 in conference play as the team's top weekend starter. Miller came to Siena after a decorated high school career that saw him named First Team All-State by the New York Sportswriters Association. Miller brings a reliable starting presense to the 2017 Dutchmen pitching staff, following a number of Saints starters that have found success in PGCBL play, such as current Siena senior Chris Amorosi.
Bringing a bullpen arm from Siena to the Dutchmen is freshman Matt Pierce. Pierce has been a major contributor in the Saints' bullpen this season, crafting a 1.99 ERA in eight outings. He has allowed just five earned runs in 22.2 innings, and picked up the first save of his college career earlier in the season. Pierce is no stranger to being called a Dutchmen, as the righthander played his high school baseball at Guilderland High School, less than 20 miles from the Siena campus. At Guilderland, Pierce was a two-time First Team All-Section II selection. Pierce follows in the footsteps of fellow Siena relief pitcher Dylan D'Anna, who parlaid his experiences last year with the Dutchmen into a role at the back end of Siena's bullpen.
Rounding out the quartet of Dutchmen Saints is freshman righthander Nick Bruno. Bruno, who played his prep baseball with Pierce at Guilderland, has also seen time out of the bullpen for the Saints. He has made nine appearances, going 1-0 with 13 strikeouts in 15.1 innings. His most recent outing was his most impressive, as the freshman tossed 3.1 scoreless innings to pick up his first career win against Central Connecticut State. Pierce was a Section II All-Star and All-State selection during his time with the Guilderland Flying Dutchmen, who advanced to the Section II Class AA semifinals during his senior season. The addition of Bruno to the 2017 roster gives the Dutchmen another valuable arm to call upon in the later innings of PGCBL contests.
The Dutchmen are pleased to welcome these four Siena Saints to the 2017 roster, as they will surely be a welcoming presence to acclimate their new Dutchmen teammates to the confines of Siena Field.