GUILDERLAND: Dutchmen fend off Raiders

It wasn't a perfect game, but it was a perfect result for the Guilderland baseball team.

And as a result, the Dutchmen are still perfect.

Guilderland jumped out to a 3-0 lead and fended off a pair of Colonie rallies to defeat the defending Section II, Class AA champions 7-3 Saturday in a Suburban Council game.

We never lost the lead, said Guilderland coach Doug LaValley. "That shows character. We did what we had to do to get the victory."

The Dutchmen (4-0 league, 5-0 overall) committed two errors and had some baserunning blunders, but pitcher Nick Polsinelli kept Colonie's bats in check to post the victory. The College of Saint Rose-bound senior scattered six hits and allowed one earned run in a complete-game performance.

"We had a lot of mental mistakes, and there were some physical mistakes. But good teams find a way to win, and I think we have a good team," said LaValley.

Ben Henderson got Guilder-land on the scoreboard with a first-inning sacrifice fly to drive in Mike Goldstein. Polsinelli then helped his own cause in the bottom of the third inning by belting a two-run home run.

Colonie (3-1, 5-1) got back in the game in the top of the fourth. Andy Carucci reached on an error with one out, and Derek Zielinski launched a two-run homer to left-center field to pull the Garnet Raiders within a run. But Steve Anderson and Joe Lima smacked back-to-back doubles to open the bottom of the fourth inning and give the Dutchmen a 4-2 lead.

Polsinelli allowed one more Colonie run in the top of the fifth, but he shut the Garnet Raiders down after that to seal the victory.

"That's our philosophy " the most important pitch is the next pitch," said LaValley.

Goldstein contributed a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning for Guilderland, which played back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Dutchmen entered Saturday's contest off a 9-0 victory over Saratoga Friday " their first game in nine days.

"It just proves that hard work pays off," said LaValley.

Guilderland returned to action Monday when it hosted Bethlehem in a Suburban Council Gold Division game.""

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