ALBANY, NY – With the pressure on in the bottom of the 10th inning, Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) delivered. Marks knocked home the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning for the #3 seed Albany Dutchmen Saturday night against top-seeded Amsterdam. The 9-8 win extends Albany’s season, and forces a decisive Game 3 in the Eastern Division Finals tomorrow night in Amsterdam.
The game consisted of six lead changes and two ties, and was also Albany’s 2nd extra-inning win of the 2013 PGCBL playoffs. It’s also the 6th time the Dutchmen have earned a walk-off victory this summer.
Amsterdam jumped on the board initially in the top of the first with a 2-run HR by Dylan Smith (Auburn). Smith finished with the best stat-line of the night, going 3-4 with 3 RBIs. He was also a triple short of the cycle.
The Dutchmen answered almost immediately, taking their first lead of the game in the bottom of the 2nd. Luke Nethaway (St. Rose) cranked a 3-run HR to left field to give Albany a 3-2 lead. The Dutchmen would make it a 4-2 lead in the next inning with a Matt Dacey (Richmond) RBI single.
The Mohawks quickly responded with three runs in the next half inning to take a 5-4 lead, but the Dutchmen were never down for the count. RBI knocks from Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) and Brad Noland (North Alabama) in the bottom of the 4th gave Albany another lead, this time at 6-5.
Back and forth the pendulum rocked, with Amsterdam adding a pair of runs in the 5th inning. John Nogowski (Florida State) drew a bases loaded walk, and Dylan Smith chipped in with a sacrifice fly. The Mohawks had a 7-6 lead for about 10 minutes, but it soon dissipated. An RBI single from Justin Brock (Franklin Pierce) made it a 7-7 ballgame.
In total, 10 pitchers were used for both teams throughout the course of the 10-inning, three and a half hour duel. Amsterdam used a total of 6 pitchers, with none lasting longer than 3 innings. The Dutchmen used up 4 arms, with Thomas Belcher (Indiana) eventually getting the win. Belcher went 3 innings, allowed no runs, and struck out four.
And RBI double from Dylan Smith briefly gave the Mohawks an 8-7 lead, but Luke Nethaway’s RBI double in the bottom of the 8th tied up the game once more. Belcher worked a perfect 9th for Albany, as did Chris Kalica (SCCC) for Amsterdam.
Belcher got himself in trouble in the 10th, however. After striking out the first two batters, he found himself in a jam with runners on the corners. With Brian Ruby (Binghamton) up and the winning run on 3rd, Belcher induced a ground ball to the shortstop to quash the threat.
The 10th inning was where it all came together for the Dutchmen. Pinch-hitter Brian Ruhm (UC Davis) was up with 1 out and the bases loaded, but grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina) thrown out at home. The bases remained loaded for Anthony Marks, who stayed cool under pressure. He slapped a high chopper over the head of the third basemen to score Justin Brock, and the Albany a 9-8 win.
Game 3 of the three-game series is at Shuttleworth Park on Sunday, August 4th at 7:05PM. The winner goes on to face the Elmira Pioneers, champions of the Western Division, in the PGCBL Championship Series on Monday. Should the Dutchmen win, game one of the Finals would be at Bob Bellizzi Field. Check out @DutchmenPGCBL on twitter for constant updates.