Tom Moore (Saint Rose) catching against his former team.
AMSTERDAM, NY—Trailing by four runs in the 8th inning, the bottom of the Albany Dutchmen (22-25) batting order ignited the stagnant offense, climbing within a run of the Amsterdam Mohawks (38-10). At the game’s conclusion, the Dutchmen brought the go ahead run to the plate in the 9th, but could do no further, falling at Shuttleworth Park 6-4.
Albany’s loss, combined with a Glens Falls victory, shortens the Dutchmen lead for the final PGCBL East playoff spot to a half game. The Dutchmen can still clinch tomorrow with a victory and a Dragons loss. However, without that happening, a winner-take-all contest Thursday would decide who advances to the post season.
Against the Mohawks, the Dutchmen struck first in their first at-bat. Sean Aspinall (Azusa Pacific) ripped an infield single off the glove of a diving Justin Yurchak (Binghamton), plating Jesse Cooper (Seton Hill), providing the game’s first run.
After the first inning, the Dutchmen would not advance a base runner past the batter’s box until the 8th inning. 20 straight Albany hitters were retired, including eight straight strikeouts spanning from the top of the 4th through the end of the 7th inning.
Following the Dutchmen first, the Mohawks responded by plating four runs of their own in the bottom of the 1st. After a Riley Mahan (Kentucky) single, Yurchak brought him home by pulling a curveball over the right field fence, giving the Mohawks their first lead of the night. After the next four Mohawks reached, the lead ballooned to 4-1 in the first inning.
In the 4th, Mahan pushed the Dutchmen deficit to four by singling home Tyler Kirkpatrick (Marist).
Working in relief of starter Jon Reid (Azusa Pacific), Mitch Stophel (King) was excellent in relief. While the Dutchmen offense whimpered, his three shutout innings kept Albany in the game. He scattered three hits, striking out four in his strong performance.
With an out in the 8th inning, catcher Tom Moore (Saint Rose) broke up the string of retired Dutchmen by booming a solo homerun well beyond the left field wall. It was Moore’s second homerun of the season, including an inside the parker as a member of the Mohawks back in June.
With the deficit 5-2, Albany brought the tying run to the plate in Zach Remillard (Coastal Carolina). With runners at the corners, Remillard roped a single into left centerfield. The topspin groundball eluded Aiden McDermott (St. Johns), and trickled toward the wall. When the play ended, Remillard stood at third and the Dutchmen were within a run.
But Tyler Smith (Canisius) then calmly induced a pop out to end the threat.
After Amsterdam scored a run in the bottom of the 8th to make the score 6-4, again the Dutchmen put two runners aboard in the 9th. With the go ahead run at the plate, Smith caught pinch hitter Hunter Boose (Georgia Regents) looking at a fastball on the outside corner to end the game.
The two teams will return to Bellizzi Field Wednesday for the final Dutchmen home game of the regular season. It will be Fan Appreciation Night at the ballpark, where all youth baseball and softball players will receive free admission while wearing their uniforms. In addition to Web Wednesday, Recognize Awards will honor the Dutchmen Player and Pitcher of the Year.