By: Christian De Guzman
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – The Albany Dutchmen (28-16-1) swept a doubleheader on Tuesday against the Glens Falls Dragons (13-34), winning game one 9-6 and game two 6-5.
With the two victories, Albany moved to a half game behind the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs for second place in the PGCBL East Division. The top two teams in each division host the first round of the PGCBL playoffs. Albany moves into second place with a win at Saguerties and a Mohawk Valley loss on Wednesday.
History was made in game one when Chris Seng (Louisville) recorded his 38th stolen base of the summer. That set a new single-season PGCBL record, breaking the number set by Ross Kivett in 2012 with the Glens Falls Golden Eagles.
“To achieve the goal I set for myself is unbelievable,” said Seng. “I told myself to step it up because I really wanted it.”
The Dutchmen took the lead early in game one and didn’t look back. Albany scored two runs in the second, third, and fourth innings off Dragons starter Alex Henderson (Fordham). Two runs came from a Ben Metzinger (Louisville) single in the third and fourth inning.
The Dragons made things interesting, scoring two runs in the third, a run in the fourth, and two runs in the sixth to pull within one run. However, Albany added to its lead in the bottom of the sixth with three runs, two of them coming from Justin Bench (Ole Miss) and Luke Franzoni (Xavier) singles.
Glens Falls got one run in the seventh, but Joe Kruszka (UAlbany) shut down the Dragons with one pitch to secure the game one victory.
“He just competes,” said Dutchmen Head Coach Nick Davey. “He wants the baseball is key situations.”
A number of errors pushed across the first runs of game two. After a double from Shamus Connolly (Wagner), two errors on pickoff moves by Dragons starter Brandt Sundean (Florida Gulf Coast) played a part in two runs scoring for Albany. The team traded runs in the following innings with six combined errors in the first three innings. The game was tied at 5-5 after three innings.
Jacob Steinberg (State College of Florida) settled down after the first three innings and held the Dragons scoreless in innings four, five, and six. Kruszka took the ball once again in the seventh and held Glens Falls scoreless to lower his season ERA to 0.82.
Bench extended the game in the bottom of the seventh with a walk on a full count with two outs. The next batter up, Tommy Pellis (Seton Hill) hit a ball over the left fielder’s head for a double. Bench, who was running on the pitch, came around from first to score as Pellis delivered his second-straight late-inning go-ahead hit. His double gave the Dutchmen the 6-5 victory in walk-off fashion in game two.
“I was just trying to put something in the gap,” said Pellis. “I felt he was gonna come back with a slider and he did and I put the barrel on it.”
The Dutchmen play the Saugerties Stallions on Wednesday for a chance for the second seed in the PGCBL East Division and a possible home playoff game in the one-game first round of the PGCBL Playoffs.
“These guys have grinded it out,” said Davey “I think they want to try and win this thing.”
The Albany at Saugerties on Wednesday is set for 7:05 p.m. The Dutchmen will play the DiamondDawgs in round one of the PGCBL Playoffs, with the site to be determined on Wednesday.
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