Nick Polsinelli pitches for the Amsterdam Mohawks during a July 24 exhibition game against the USA Military All-Stars at Shuttleworth Park.
It’s been a different summer for the Polsinelli family of Guilderland.
While Denise Polsinelli continued her role as Host Family Coordinator for the Albany Dutchmen, her son Nick decided to pitch for the Dutchmen’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League rival, the Amsterdam Mohawks.
For Nick, who pitched for Albany last season, the decision to move down the Thruway and play for Amsterdam was an easy one.
“They treat you good here,” said Nick. “They treat you good in Albany, too, but this is a better atmosphere.”
“He’s having a blast,” said Denise. “He loves the coach [Keith Griffin]. He’s a real baseball guy.”
Denise admitted there was some awkwardness about Nick’s decision to play for a league rival, especially when he had to pitch against Albany earlier this season.
“The first time, he did really well against them,” said Denise. “The second time, he didn’t have all of his stuff and he struggled.”
Nick said he tried not to get caught up in the thought that he was pitching against the team that he played for last year and the team that his mother still works with.
“It’s more of a baseball thing for me now,” said Nick.
Polsinelli has been struggling on the mound for Amsterdam. Entering the final 10 days of the PGCBL season, the College of Saint Rose pitcher owned a 1-2 record and a 6.66 earned run average in six starts.
Fortunately for Polsinelli, his supporting cast has been bailing him out. Amsterdam leads the PGCBL in team batting average (.282), is tied for first in home runs (26) and has committed the second-fewest errors in the league (55).
“We have a great group of guys, and it helps me big time,” said Nick. “It makes it easier on yourself.”
Polsinelli showed some good form of his own in Sunday’s exhibition game against the USA Military All-Stars – a traveling baseball team consisting of current military personnel. He allowed three hits and struck out seven in five shutout innings of work.
“It’s a great opportunity and a great experience playing against members of the US Military All-Stars,” said Nick.
Because he pitched Sunday, Polsinelli didn’t get a chance to play against Albany in Monday’s scheduled PGCBL game. But he could be on the mound when the Mohawks visit the Dutchmen Saturday – something his mother could do without.
“I hope he doesn’t have to pitch against them again. I don’t like rooting against Albany, but if he does, I’ll be rooting for him,” said Denise.
If he gets another shot at Albany, Polsinelli would likely pitch against former Guilderland teammate Steve Anderson and former LaSalle foe Will Remillard. Both players have been among the Dutchmen’s top hitters as of late.
“There is a bit of a rivalry going on, so you don’t want to let up a hit … especially when you’re facing guys who were once your rivals,” said Nick.
Another thing that Polsinelli gets to look forward to is pitching in a playoff run. Amsterdam entered this week with a one-game lead over Glens Falls for first place in the PGCBL East Division. The top two teams in each division qualify for the playoffs.
“It’s always fun pitching when you have a playoff race going on,” said Nick. “It makes you a little more competitive out there.”