LONDONVILLE — The Glens Falls Dragons used key hitting and a gutsy relief outing in order to hand the Albany Dutchmen their first loss of the season on Thursday night at Connors Field at Siena College, 5-1.
The Dutchmen held a 1-0 lead for most of the early portions of the game, but the Dragons scratched across two runs in the fifth inning courtesy of an RBI single from Nick Kondo that gave them a 2-1 lead.
After they took the lead, Dragons starter Anthony Ethington was nothing short of dominant in the middle innings as he set down 11 Dutchmen hitters in a row during a stretch that lasted from the fourth inning until the seventh. In total, he went seven-plus innings, allowing the lone first inning run and surrendered just three hits in his first start of the season.
“He’s got a great tempo, he’s got a great rhythm, he keeps the defense in the game. We played a clean defensive game tonight, made some good plays, didn’t make a single error. That’s one thing Anthony brings. He throws strikes, keeps the defense in the game, and we’re right back in the dugout,” Dragons head coach Cameron Curler said.
After he walked the leadoff hitter in the eighth and the Dragons were ahead 4-1 at that point after they tacked on two runs in the top half, relief pitcher Sal Fusco was brought in. He walked the first two hitters he faced to load the bases with no outs, prompting pitching coach Austin Sleek to make a mound visit. The visit worked wonders as Fusco then struck out the next three Dutchmen hitters to end the inning and the threat.
“You could tell he was just missing with a couple pitches, and he started to find his breaking ball when he walked the second guy,” Curler said. “(After the visit) he really just locked right in and showed us he’s a tough kid.”
Dutchmen head coach Nick Davey said of the eighth inning, “We let Fusco settle in. He’s got a very good arm, and when you let somebody settle in like that and get comfortable and gain their composure back, you’re kind of chasing it like we were.”
The Dragons offense had come through in the top half of the eighth inning as they added two more runs on an RBI single from Phoenix Hernandez to score Nate Cobb, and Hernandez later scored on a wild pitch. The Dragons scored a fifth and final run in the ninth inning on a single from Matt Hamel.
The Dragons are up to 3-2 on the season, and the Dutchmen are now 3-1 following their first loss of the young season but still lead the East Division.
Both teams will play again on Friday. The Dragons head home to take on the Saugerties Stallions at 7 p.m., while the Dutchmen go to Amsterdam to face the Mohawks at 6:45 p.m.