(SAUGERTIES)-- The Albany Dutchmen traveled down I-87 to Saugerties Friday night and returned home with one more win than they left with, knocking off the defending PGCBL champion Stallions by a score of 4-1.
It was a big win in a number of ways for the Dutchmen, who had lost four in a row, including the last three by one run apiece, and the last four against the Stallions dating back to mid-June.
Head Coach Nick Davey turned to Hofstra righty Danny Kelleher for the start Friday night, and who better than the man responsible for picking up the victory in the last Dutchmen win last Friday in Oneonta that broke a six game skid at that time. And Kelleher came through. throwing seven dominant innings in his best start of the year, allowing just four hits and one run while walking two and striking out five. The Rockville Centre faced just four more than the minimum en route to his third consecutive win.
Saugerties would get their lone run of the game on a solo home run off the bat of Garrison Berkley (TCU) in the bottom of the fourth.
It wouldn’t take long for the Dutchmen to respond however, as they quickly placed runners on first and second with one out in their next at bats in the top of the fifth. Nick Plue (Manhattan) would effectively swing the game in the Dutchmen’s favor, powering a ground rule double over the right fielder’s head that scored Tyler Young (Lehigh) and tied the game. Later in the inning, David Silva Jr. (Ohio Dominican) hustled out a check swing infield single, allowing Max Gebauer (Franklin Pierce) to score, and give the Dutchmen the lead.
Albany would add two in the top of the seventh, as Plue would register his second RBI double of the night, this time down the left field line, scoring a hustling Gebauer all the way from first. After Plue took third on a smart baserunning play and Silva Jr. walked to put runners on the corners, Coach Davey put the wheels in motion. Silva Jr. stole second, his second of the night and league-leading 37th of the summer, and the throw down allowed Plue to scamper home and push the lead to three.
Kelleher would go back out after the seventh inning stretch and set the Stallions down in order in his final inning of work, retiring the last 10 Saugerties hitters he faced. Quinnipiac righty Andrew Cubberly would come on for the final two innings, allowing just one walk in what was an otherwise quiet final six outs, picking up his first save of the summer and sending the Dutchmen home victorious.
The two teams will meet again Saturday night, as Saugerties will take their turn and hit the road, making the drive up to Albany for a 6:35 first pitch at Dutchmen Field.