With a depleted lineup and a short bullpen, the Albany Dutchmen couldn’t hold back the Amsterdam Mohawks.
The playoff-bound Mohawks scored three runs in the third inning to break open a close game and pulled away for a 14-4 victory over the Dutchmen in Saturday’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League contest at Bob Bellizzi Field.
Albany (17-26) had barely enough players to field a team after a rash of injuries over the past two weeks sent several players home including infielders Brandon Trinkwon, Taylor Drake and Dain McNabb, along with outfielders Ryan Van Amburg, and Nikko Echevarria.
“It’s a long season, [and] injuries are a part of it,” said center fielder Andrew Deeds, one of the few remaining regular starters. “It’s a grind the whole summer.”
The players coach Nick Davey fielded Saturday did what they could to keep the Dutchmen in the game. Deeds threw out a pair of Amsterdam base runners at home plate, and catcher Ryan Welke had two hits including a second inning double.
Unfortunately, Albany’s pitchers weren’t up to the task against the Mohawks (28-17). Starter Tanner Barron gave up a two-run homer to first baseman Brad Picha in the second inning and a three-run blast to right fielder Andrew Green in the third inning. Reliever Matt Novak pitched well in his 1.2 innings of work before Amsterdam touched up Chase Tokunaga and Casey Wilson for seven runs over the last three innings.
“It’s difficult, but we need guys to step up,” said assistant coach Manny Vega. “We need pitchers to step up and give us some good innings, and we need our hitters to go up there and get some clutch hits to pick up the team.”
Albany made an early bid to challenge Amsterdam. After the Mohawks scored three runs in the top of the second, the Dutchmen responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Left fielder Paul Bello singled home third baseman Jevonte Osterhout with the first run, and second baseman Joey Boney followed with an RBI single to cut Amsterdam’s lead to 3-2.
Once Picha homered in the third inning, though, Albany couldn’t answer until it was too late. The most the Dutchmen could do between the third and seventh innings was get one batter on base against winning pitcher Jack Fischer.
Picha, Green and catcher Kody Ortman each had three hits to lead Amsterdam’s 19-hit attack. Ortman had two of the Mohawks’ seven doubles, and he also walked three times.
Osterhout – a recent addition from the College of Saint Rose and an Albany High School graduate – had a hit and two runs scored for the Dutchmen.
Things didn’t get better for Albany Sunday, as Mohawk Valley swept the Dutchmen in a doubleheader in Little Falls by scores of 8-5 and 6-2. The sweep moved the DiamondDawgs (17-28) within a game of passing Albany for third place in the PGCBL East Division standings with three games left.
“Wins and losses take care of themselves,” said Vega. “It’s late in the season, and all we want [as coaches] is to see the guys play hard and compete.”
Albany returned to action Monday when it traveled to Amsterdam. The Dutchmen then hosted Mohawk Valley Tuesday in their final home game of the season.