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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 14, 2009

Dutchmen baseball gets big win on the road at Colonie in push for sectionals

By Jordan J. Michael

COLONIE –– The Guilderland baseball team is scoring reams of runs in a push to make the playoffs.

The Dutch went to Colonie on Friday and posted a 9-to-1 victory for its third win in a row in the Suburban Council. This came after a 21-to-1 pounding of Averill Park and a 16-to-1 win over Niskayuna.

“Allowing only three runs over three games is pretty impressive and it makes you feel good,” said Head Coach Doug LaValley after the game. “In the meantime, we’ve scored 46 runs in the same time period. My team is showing how much they want a post-season.”

Guilderland couldn’t afford to drop to 4-7 in the league.

“We could have kissed the sectionals goodbye if we lost today,” LaValley said. “Every game is like game seven of the World Series right now.”

The Dutchmen and the Red Raiders were tied at one after one inning. Both teams scored a run off a fielder’s choice. Colonie had a threat in the second, but Guilderland ended it with a nice play by Sean Geisel at second base. Eric Berusall got caught in a run down to end the inning.

Mike Drislane started Guilderland’s third inning by beating out a ground ball at first. Drislane tried to steal second, but was thrown out. Pat Quinn stepped to the plate and hit a deep double to left field. Geisel brought Quinn in with a single and the score was 2 to 1.

Colonie’s Matt Weinman reached second base in the third with a single and a steal, but Jeff Geraro left the runner stranded. Jeremy Affinito was on the mound for the Dutch and refused to give up any more runs.

“We struggled a little bit in the first inning, but then we were able to adjust,” Affinito said. “Stats aren’t really a big deal. We’re trying to send a message to the other teams in the league by being consistent.”

Matt Zonotta and Kyle LaValley would get on base for the Dutch in the fourth with a single and a walk. Luke Stark flied out to left field and there was two outs. Drislane walked to load the bases.

Paul Nylon got Quinn to hit a fly ball to deep center field and the inning looked to be over. Berusall misjudged the ball and it dropped, clearing the bases for Guilderland. The lead was now 5 to 1.

Affinito pitched his way out of a mini-jam in the fourth and the Dutchmen offense would continue where it left off in the fifth inning by scoring another handful of runs.

Steve Anderson was walked and that was it for Nylon on the mound. Mike Chimelenti came in and immediately gave up a two-run home run to Matt Roth. The ball sailed over the left field wall and Guilderland had a six-run lead.

“That was a big momentum builder for the team,” said Roth. “The pitcher gave me a good pitch to hit and I made contact. Our team doesn’t like to waste any time.”

Chimelenti’s troubles were not over when he walked Jason Sherwood and gave up a single to LaValley. Then, Stark ripped a double to center field, scoring Sherwood. Stark pushed the lead to 9 to 1 after Trevor Wadsworth made an error at third base.

Affinito shut the door on the Red Raiders in the final three innings. The game culminated with a double play by Quinn in the bottom of the seventh. Affinito had no earned runs, three strikeouts, and four hits.

“This was a big win over a good Colonie team,” Anderson said. “But there’s a lot more to be done.”

LaValley had two singles for Guilderland and Quinn had a single, double, and four runs batted in. Giesel and Anderson both drove a run in.

The Dutchmen are 5-6 in the Suburban with five more games to play in the regular season. The team needs to have a .500 record or better to make sectionals.

“Our record doesn’t indicate how good this team really is,” said Coach LaValley. “I’m seeing some real character now and this team will not roll over. Whether we make the playoffs or not, this is one of my favorite groups because they’re playing without an ego.”

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