Three Siena Saints Return to Dutchmen

By: Rob Lepelstat

2017 PGCBL Pitcher of the Year Matt Pierce delivers a pitch during the 2017 season.
Over the last few weeks, the Dutchmen have been excited to announce their returning coaching staff for the upcoming 2018 season this summer. Building on the most successful season in Dutchmen history with a 33-16 record in 2017, the organization is ecstatic to get started with the official signings of three returning players from Siena College, where the Dutchmen will call home at Siena Field for the second consecutive season: Pitchers Matt Pierce (Siena) and Nick Bruno (Siena) along with outfielder Zach Durfee (Siena). 
Matt Pierce truly needs no introduction. As the reigning 2017 PGCBL Pitcher of the Year, Pierce put on a performance every time he stepped on to the mound for the Dutchmen. He finished the 2017 campaign 8-1, with a 1.71 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 42 innings pitched, leading the league in wins and ERA. Pierce’s eight victories were also a single season record in PGCBL history. 
The impressive stats don’t stop there, as the right hander finished with a 1.17 WHIP, tied for third lowest in the league last season. Pierce was first used exclusively as a reliever and began the month of June with four consecutive relief outings before earning his first start from head coach Nick Davey. 
As a 2017 starter, Pierce finished a perfect 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA in five starts. Pierce also represented the Dutchmen as 2017 PGCBL All-Star.
Before his time with the Dutchmen, Pierce was a two-time First Team Section II selection while at Guilderland High School, located just fifteen minutes from Siena Field. 
A teammate of Pierce at Guilderland, Siena and now the Dutchmen, Nick Bruno returns to the organization for a second season after solidifying himself as a strong part of the Albany pitching staff. Bruno finished the season with a 2.79 ERA and 15 SO in 19.1 IP while playing in nine total games for the Dutchmen. 
In thirteen appearances for Siena in 2017, the right hander struck out 16 batters in 20.2 innings pitched while allowing just one home run all season long.  
Before his time with the Dutchmen, Bruno helped lead Guilderland to the Section II Class AA Semifinals in 2016. He was also selected as a Section II Class AA Large Schools Second Team All Star and an NYSSWA Class AA Seventh Team All-State selection following his senior season. 
Coming back for his third season with the Dutchmen, the Siena outfielder from Malta, NY batted .274 with 9 RBIs in 41 games in 2017. Zach Durfee previously played in Albany back in 2016 directly after graduating as a high school senior. 
Durfee started 37 of 40 games for Siena in 2017, showing his consistency at the plate batting .288 with 32 hits and 14 runs batted in. 
Among his various achievements during his time at Ballston Spa High School, Zach was named a 2016 ABCA/ Rawlings All-Region I First Team selection after hitting .420 with 16 stolen bases as a senior. 
The re-signing of Pierce, Bruno and Durfee will give fans some familiar faces to root for this season and will serve as leaders for the incoming Dutchmen players, some of whom will be getting their first taste of collegiate summer baseball. 


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