Opening night jitters plague Albany Dutchmen

Consider it a case of the opening night jitters.

Playing their first Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League home game at Bob Bellizzi Field, the Albany Dutchmen committed eight errors in a 5-3 loss to the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs last Friday.

Our pitchers battled well, said Albany manager Nick Davey. "We gave up five unearned runs, so our pitchers did their job. We just need to do the little things better."

The on-field result was secondary to the off-field effect that moving from Bleecker Stadium " the Dutchmen's home in 2009 and 2010 " to Bellizzi Field had for the club. The stands were full of fans curious to see the new crop of collegiate players on Albany's roster in a new, high-quality facility at the end of Interstate 787.

"It's great. We're excited about the new facility. It's a great field," said Dutchmen general manager Jason Brinkman.

"I feel like we'll get a better crowd just because of the location," added Guilderland native and Siena College pitcher C.J. Sohl, one of four holdovers from last year's team.

What the fans saw was a combination of good and bad. The bad came in the form of a four-error sixth inning that allowed Mohawk Valley to build a 4-0 lead. The good came in the form of a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh that helped the Dutchmen (1-2) close the gap before the DiamondDawgs sealed the victory with a run in the top of the ninth inning.

"They responded [after the sixth inning], but we've got to do the little things," said Davey.

Catcher Dain McNabb had two hits including an RBI single to start the three-run rally in the seventh inning, and designated hitter Ryan Welke added a two-run single for Albany. Jake Saylor drove in two runs with one of Mohawk Valley's five hits.

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