For the first time in franchise history, the Albany Dutchmen will take part in an exhibition game against a professional team, as Wednesday morning will see the Dutchmen face the Tri-City ValleyCats, the short-season A affiliate of the Houston Astros. First pitch at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium is scheduled for 10 a.m.
The ValleyCats, who play in the New York Penn League, are hosting their second Education Day, and a capacity crowd is expected in Troy. The game matches two successful baseball teams in the Capital Region, with the Dutchmen qualifying for the PGCBL Playoffs in consecutive years and the ValleyCats winning a league title in 2013 and making the playoffs four out of the last five years. The teams’ ballparks- Tri-City’s Joe Bruno Stadium and Albany’s Bob Bellizzi Field- are separated by less than ten miles.
The exhibition will allow multiple local Dutchmen players the opportunity to take on their local professional baseball franchise. Three Albany players hail from the Capital Region- outfielder Eric Mueller (UAlbany) and pitchers Nick Cioffi (Towson) and Chris Amorosi (Siena).
The game will also feature a battle between two Ole Miss Rebels, as Albany third baseman Mike Fitzsimmons will face collegiate teammate Scott Weathersby, who was drafted in the 10th round of the recent MLB Draft.
Dutchmen mascot Benny will be on hand to interact with the young fans in attendance, as well as his counterpart Southpaw from the ValleyCats. Dutchmen promotional materials will also be available on the concourse of Joe Bruno Stadium.
The Dutchmen are excited for the opportunity to take the field against a professional franchise, and give Albany’s players a chance to experience professional baseball, and allow baseball fans in the Capital District a chance to see top professional and collegiate talent on the same field. The opportunity to see a summer collegiate team face a Minor League franchise is uncommon, and the Dutchmen are eager for the chance to battle the ValleyCats.
For fans that cannot make it to The Joe Wednesday morning, the game will be broadcast live online by Dutchmen broadcasters Ryan Murphy and Jeremy Meyer at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/albany-dutchmen. Dutchmen fans can purchase $5 tickets behind the Albany dugout at http://tv1.glitnirticketing.com/tvticket/web/logingroup1.php?refresh= using the password “Dutchmen”.