Albany, N.Y. – Chris Suseck (Coastal Carolina) belted the game-winning 2 RBI double in the bottom of the 10th Saturday night to give the Albany Dutchmen (24-19) a 4-3 win over the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs (24-17). The hit was Suseck’s first of the night, and the walk-off win was Albany’s 5th of the season. Five walk-off victories leads the entire PGCBL.
With the win, Albany now sits alone in 3rd place in the eastern division. The Dutchmen are just one game behind 2nd place Mohawk Valley, and a game ahead of Glens Falls in 4th place. The top three teams in the division make the playoffs.
The game started off as a pitcher’s duel between Dutchmen starter Matt Gallup (UAlbany) and DiamondDawgs hurler Gavin Culpepper (Southeastern Louisiana). Both pitchers went 7 and 2/3 innings, and only gave up two runs each. With the game tied as both exited, neither was handed the decision.
The game was scoreless through the first three innings, before Mohawk Valley struck first. Dalton Herrington (Louisiana-Monroe) led off the inning with a single, and was followed up with another base hit from Landon Thibodeaux (Delta State). Jordan Friend (Alabama A&M) later drove in Herrington, and Craig LePre (UAlbany) followed up the hit with a sacrifice fly to give Mohawk Valley a 2-0 lead.
Matt Gallup found himself in a jam, but he got the next batter Trey Hunt (Point Loma Nazarene) to pop out, and then Dutchmen shortstop Tyler Orris (Millersville) doubled up the runner Casey Rodrigue (LSU Eunice) to end the inning.
Albany responded right away in the next half inning. Orris led off the inning with a walk, and scored two batters later on an RBI single from Matt Dacey (Richmond). Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina) struck out, and the Dutchmen were faced with two outs in the bottom of the 4th. However, Brad Noland (North Alabama) whacked an RBI triple into deep left to tie up the game 2-2.
The pitcher’s duel continued for the next 5 innings, with Gallup and Culpepper going toe-to-toe in a tie ballgame. Culpepper only allowed four hits and struck out two, while Gallup allowed six hits while striking out four.
Gallup was relieved by Thomas Belcher (Indiana) in the 8th inning, while Tyler Bray (Louisiana Monroe) took over for Culpepper in the 9th for Mohawk Valley. Belcher sat down the DiamondDawgs in the 9th, giving the Dutchmen a chance in the home half. However, Bray stuck out the side and the game headed to extra innings.
Belcher got himself into a jam in the 10th inning, and surrendered an RBI single to Casey Rodrigue to score Herrington. Mohawk Valley took that 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 10th.
Chris Bianchi (Trinity) and Brian Ruhm (UC Davis) led off the 10th with back to back singles for Albany, but Bianchi was thrown out trying to take third on Ruhm’s base knock. Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) grounded out, and with two outs, Tyler Orris drew a walk. Chris Suseck was the last hope for Albany, and staring down a 1-2 count he delivered. The righty drove a breaking ball deep into the Albany night, driving in Ruhm and Orris, and gave the Dutchmen a 4-3 walk-off win in 10 innings.
Belcher (4-1) got the win for the Dutchmen, while Bray (2-3) was handed the loss for the DiamondDawgs.
Albany has an off day Sunday before playing the Cooperstown Hawkeyes at home on Monday night. It is the final regular season home game before the playoffs, and will be fan and host family appreciation night at Bob Bellizzi Field. There will be a huge raffle and kids eat free with paid admission. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM.