By: Jason Palatsky
The Albany Dutchmen (27-20) swept a doubleheader against the Oneonta Outlaws (24-24) Friday night, further locking their playoff positioning, narrowing the possible playoff seedings for the Dutchmen down to either the second or third.
JJ Shimko (University of South Carolina Upstate) and Bray Curreri (College of Saint Rose) would lead off the bottom of the opening inning with back-to-back singles, and after a Justin Childers (Ohio Dominican University) fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with one out, Kyle Skeels (Coastal Carolina University) would single into left to plate Shimko and give the Dutchmen the 1-0 lead.
The Dutchmen pitching staff combined would be stellar throughout the opening game of the doubleheader, as Dutchmen starter Dylan D’Anna (Siena College) would be impressive in his three innings of scheduled work. The Saint product would allow only one hit in the three innings, striking out four while facing only one more than the minimum, more than enough to gain the victory.
The bullpen of Michael Maul (Trinity University) and Jeff Rivera (University of the Cumberlands) would combine to throw the final four innings, allowing only three hits and one walk while striking out one, and Rivera would face the minimum in his one and two thirds innings of work.
Skeels would get Player of the Game recognition, as his RBI single would end up being the game winner, and he finished 1-for-2 with a walk and a RBI. Shimko would finish 1-for-3 with what would be the game-winning run.
Albany picked up where they left off in Game One, opening the scoring up in the bottom of the second. Anthony Forte (Tulane University) walked with one out, and after moving up on a groundout would score from second on a John Novenche (Canisius College) RBI single.
Oneonta would look to rally, as they came back in the top of the fifth putting up two runs to take a 2-1 lead. After a leadoff walk and a two-out single put runners on the corners, Alex Malsch (Wofford College) would pinch-hit and line a two-run double into right and give the Outlaws the lead.
Albany would quickly respond however, putting up a pair of runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth to regain a lead they would not relinquish. After three straight singles to begin the half would load the bases, Jack Gethings (Fairfield University) would take a four-pitch walk to tie the game. After a Novenche strikeout, Jon Skidmore (Dallas Baptist University) would also strikeout, but the third strike would get by the Oneonta catcher Robbie Nardelli (Keystone College) allowing Skeels to hustle home and give Albany the 3-2 lead.
JD Mundt (University of Louisville) would come on in the top of the seventh for the save, and after allowing a leadoff single would get a pair of strikeouts, including one to end the game and a popout.
Forte would get the nightcap Player of the Game nod, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a run. Gethings would also bring a strong case, as even though he went 0-for-1 he walked twice, had a RBI, and made the defensive play of the game, laying out to rob Cameron Coons (Alvernia University) of a hit down the left field line and made a laser of a throw to first to retire the Oneonta third baseman to begin the second.
Childers and Skeels would each go 1-for-3 with a run of their own, and Novenche would finish 1-for-3 with a RBI. Nate Harris (Louisiana Tech University) would get the win, going an inning and third of no-hit relief, striking out a pair of Outlaws.
Albany returns home for their home regular season finale, when they host the Saugerties Stallions at 7:05 at Bellizzi Field. The Dutchmen will have Fan Appreciation Night, which will include a raffle in thanks to the much deserving fans. All Youth Baseball Softball Players will get in free with their team uniforms, and the team Player & Pitcher of the Year Presented by Recognize Awards will be announced. Host Families will also be recognized, and the final Dutchmen Photo Giveaway will take place, this time of Michael Fitzsimmons (Ole Miss), Justin Childers (Ohio Dominican), and Nate Harris (Louisiana Tech) courtesy of Stannard Photography for the first 200 fans. Also taking place will be a Bud Light Concert Giveaway, as 2 VIP tickets to Counting Crows at SPAC will be given out.
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