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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, April 26, 2012
Guilderland baseball pulls rug out from under Shaker
By Jordan J. Michael
GUILDERLAND A sixth inning come-from-behind rally started with a textbook bunt down the third-base line by Eric Golderman, loading the bases for the Dutchmen. He couldn’t have laid the ball down any better.
After the ideal bunt last Friday, Guilderland scored four runs to beat the previously unbeaten Shaker Blue Bison, 6 to 4.
Golderman told The Enterprise that his team practices bunts all the time, but he’s by far the team’s worst bunter. “Whatever we need to do for the team is what we gotta do,” said the senior first baseman. “In that situation, I wanted to be the best bunter, so I laid it down and got the job done. I knew what to do.”
Dutch Head Coach Doug LaValley said Golderman got the job done. “Believe me, that’s the best bunt he’s ever made in his life,” LaValley said. “He was focused because he said he was ready. He caught it with his bat and it rolled down the line.”
With one out in the sixth inning, down 4 to 2, and the bases loaded, Guilderland’s Ryan Ghizzoni ripped a RBI single to third base that couldn’t be handled by Shaker’s Jason Gallacchi. Next, Adam Pitkin tried to take home plate on a double steal, but was thrown out. Golderman was able to tie the game at 4 to 4 after Mike Doynow hit a grounder up the middle that made a nasty bounce off the pitching mound.
This brought senior Devin Fisher to the plate. He was batting ninth in the order for the first time this season after batting lead off in previous games. In the fifth inning on Friday, Fisher was called out on an appeal to third base after tagging up too early on a fly ball. The run could have tied the game at 3 to 3, but the inning ended on Fisher’s blunder.
Fisher got redemption, bringing in the two winning runs on a base-clearing double past third base.
“I did beat myself up a little after costing a run earlier, but Coach talks a lot about not letting those types of things get to your head,” said Fisher. “We’ve been having a little struggle here, but we’re starting to gain more confidence and separate ourselves from mistakes. So, when we make an error, it’s not the end of the game; there’s more to it.”
The Dutchmen made four errors in the field on Friday.
“Baseball is a funny game,” LaValley said. “That’s why we talk so much about separating the offense from the defense. Late in the game, you could be in a big situation, so you have to forget the things that happened before. It’s like a piece of paper crumple it up and move to the next one.”
Guilderland went to 3-3 after beating Shaker last Friday. All its wins (Bethlehem and Shenendehowa) have came against teams that were previously unbeaten. Fisher said his team wasn’t really “there” in losses to Niskayuna, Mohonasen, and Columbia.
“I’m not going to say that our losses aren’t bad losses because we made mistakes,” said Fisher. “We’re learning and trying to not do the same thing twice.”
Senior pitcher Dylan Collett, who retired the first 10 Shaker batters in order before his first pitch strike percentage dropped in the fifth inning, was proud to see his team fight off pitches at the plate. Guilderland hadn’t been hitting too well.
The Suburban Council is a tough league to play in and has been for some time.
“Any team is able to beat any other,” Collett said of the level playing field. “Coach says that the season is a marathon and he’s definitely right about that.”
Last Friday, Collett gave up three runs in the fifth inning and one run in the sixth. He got into a little trouble with one out in the seventh, but was able to close it out. LaValley said that the left-handed Collett is the pitching ace for the Dutch.
However, Guilderland has been giving opponents extra outs this season. “We’re trying to clean that up,” LaValley said. “When Collett is on, and we’re making plays, we’ll be tough to beat. He throws pitches for strikes and has a lot of movement. He’s not easy to hit.”
The Blue Bison got five hits off Collett and the Dutchmen got eight off of Chad Sinko and Tyler Hoffman, who replaced Sinko after he walked the first two batters in the sixth inning.
“I try to get the first batter in every inning,” Collett said. “It’s important.”
As for Fisher, he wouldn’t have had a chance for the game-winning hit if he were still batting first in the order. The batting arrangement only matters the first time through.
“Where you bat is overrated because the seven, eight, and nine hitters can be in a big spot late in the game, just like Fisher was,” LaValley said. “He did the job.”
Fisher had been in the on deck circle watching Doynow get on base with a hit, so he knew it was his turn to add something.
“I just felt like something had to be done,” Fisher said. “All of us have made mistakes this season, but all of us have came through in certain moments, too.”
Guilderland’s road has gone up and down in 2012. On Tuesday, the Dutch got a 4-to-2 win at Ballston Spa behind the pitching of Zach Kronick and hitting of Tim O’Connor.
“There’s no doubt that we’ll get better,” said LaValley. “There’s no way to go but up.”
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