Dragons beat Dutchmen to snap losing streak

Dragons outfielder Dalton Ney hits the ball during Thursday's game. Photo: Aidan Joly/518 Sports

A strong all-around performance led to a Glens Falls Dragons victory on Thursday night at East Field as they grabbed a 7-3 win over the Albany Dutchmen.

The Dragons started the game off in exciting fashion with Brandon Torres stealing home in the first inning to give Glens Falls the early lead.

The game would stay this way until the fifth inning, and that was when Albany catcher Chris Villa connected on a ball that would almost leave the yard. A run scored to tie the game as Villa had to settle for a triple on the play. Two batters later, it was Albany leadoff hitter Brad Gneiting coming up big as he doubled to score Villa and give Albany their first lead of the night at 2-1.

However, the Dragons came up even bigger in the bottom half of the inning. Shortstop Phoenix Hernandez led the inning off with a double into the gap and was swiftly moved over to third after a sacrifice bunt. Torres, the next batter, walked. This put runners on first and third with one out with Jared Morello up to the plate. He sent a rocket deep into the outfield for a triple of his own and scored both runners in the process to allow the Dragons to re-take the lead, this time by a score of 3-2. Anthony Vaglica, who had been selected to the PGCBL All-Star team earlier in the day then hit a sacrifice fly to complete the three-run rally.

“I was just looking to get a base hit, put something up the middle somewhere,” Morello said. “They were definitely key runs that helped out the pitching staff.”

The pitching staff was one to be reckoned with Thursday, as Glens Falls starter Brandon Budlong came up with one of his better starts of the season, tossing six innings while only giving up two runs and striking out seven Dutchmen hitters. Later on, it was Robert Paccione coming in for the last two innings and slamming the door, squashing a possible Dutchmen comeback.

“(Budlong) got into a little bit of a jam and did a great job of getting out of it in the sixth inning. He had a big start and he delivered for us, so it was really big for us and for him,” Dragons manager Cameron Curler said.

Glens Falls tacked on a run in each inning from the sixth until the eighth to secure a 7-2 lead before a late Dutchmen push in which they got one run with two outs in the ninth, but it was too little too late.

The Dragons improve to 11-23 on the season following the win. They will play again on Friday as they host the Saugerties Stallions at East Field in Glens Falls. That game will begin at 7 p.m.

The Dutchmen fall to 20-12, holding onto third place in the Eastern Division. They will also be back in action on Friday as they hit the road again to play the Amsterdam Mohawks at Shuttleworth Park. That one is set to start at 6:35 p.m.