After a pair of tough losses to Watertown and Glens Falls to start the season, the Albany Dutchmen broke into the win column with a 5-3 victory over the Saratoga Phillies in last Saturday's New York Collegiate Baseball League game at Bleecker Stadium.
Three Dutchmen pitchers Ben Klimesh, Jack Dilday and Jon Shepard combined to strike out 15 Phillies, and shortstop Kevin McCall walked four times and scored two runs in Albany's win.
"It's good to get into the win column," said Albany manager Ryan Horning. "The thing that sticks out in my mind is that the team chemistry is strong. In a summer league, it's important to get that team chemistry down pat early, and we've done that."
Neither starting pitcher was sharp in the first inning, as Klimesh and Saratoga's John Shippee " a Shenendehowa High School graduate " each allowed bases-loaded walks. But while Klimesh was able to work his way out of his jam allowing just the one run, Shippee allowed a bloop single by designated hitter Sean Munley that gave Albany a 2-1 lead.
"It was a wild beginning," said Saratoga manager Greg Zackrison. "Both pitchers didn't have their control, but for all of those walks (allowed) and all those miscues, not a lot of runs were scored."
McCall was a thorn in Saratoga's side early on. After walking, stealing a base and scoring a run in the first inning, McCall repeated the feat in the bottom of the second. This time, he came around on centerfielder Jarred Jimenez's two-out RBI double to the left-center field wall, which gave the Dutchmen (1-2) a 3-1 lead.
"The coaching staff has been searching for a No. 2 hitter, and I think we've found one," said Horning of McCall, a freshman infielder from the University at Buffalo. "He's very patient at the plate, and he's very fast on the basepaths."