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Dutchmen blank Wizards at Fairgrounds, 2-0

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In a playoff-like game, the Watertown Wizards seemingly had the Albany Dutchmen right where they wanted them by placing runners in scoring position in the late innings.

The Dutchmen persevered and turned back a pair of uprisings to blank the Wizards, 2-0, on Saturday to deal Watertown a blow to its slim postseason chances in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

“All we could ask for in that last inning was a chance to tie it up,” first baseman Jordan Enos. “And we got that chance to hit away, but it just didn’t happen. But if we keep putting ourselves in that position for the rest of the season we’ll have a chance to come out on top.”

The Wizards were shut out for the second time this season, with both games at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

Watertown (16-23) dropped to 4 1/2 games behind fourth-place Newark, which occupies the league’s final playoff spot. The Wizards, who have only eight games left in the regular season, host the Pilots today.

“This would have been a huge win,” said Enos, “and this was a big win for them. But we’ll be facing Newark (today) and they’re one of the teams in the playoffs right now, so if we can take that one, we can get a game closer. That’s all we can really ask for.”

Against Albany, Watertown had the potential tying run in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings, but reliever Trevor Lacosse first got out of trouble in the eighth with two strikeouts.

With one out in the ninth, Cole Gleason singled to right-center field and A.J. Capone followed with a bunt single. Cole and pinch-runner Edgardo Salas moved up on a one-out wild pitch, but Lacosse fanned Dustin Exford for the save.

“This is huge because we’re fighting for a spot,” Albany manager Nick Davey said. “We’ve asked our pitchers to do a better job in stepping up and just competing a little bit more for us and they’ve answered the bell the last couple games.”

Blake Smith (Morehead State), who combined on a six-hit shutout with two relievers, allowed four hits and walked two, while striking out three in 7 1/3 innings for the Dutchmen (18-19), who moved into fifth place in the league and remain 1 1/2 games behind Newark.

Lacosse sports an 0.00 ERA in 14 appearances with a 3-0 record and six saves for the Dutchmen. “Trevor Lacosse in the ninth inning has been phenomenal for us,” Davey said.

Wizards starter Ryan Dunn (1-4) settled down after allowing two runs in the first inning and held Albany scoreless the rest of the way along with reliever Jonathan Perez, who allowed just two hits over two innings.

“He battled and he threw a lot of strikes,” Watertown manager Nathan Kafka said. “He gave up a bunch of base hits, but he really hung in there and gave us every opportunity to win.”

Dunn yielded 12 hits over seven innings, but got out of trouble as the Dutchmen left 14 runners on base.

Albany manufactured two runs in the opening inning as Nolan Gaige reached on a leadoff bunt single, Adam Young singled to right field — then Will Remillard followed with an RBI flyout to center and Ryan Gasporra singled to center to drive in the second and final run.

“That was a rough first inning and honestly, our defense came out a little flat,” Enos said. “But then he (Dunn) settled in and they got some hits against him, but he was able to shut them down and give us a chance to win.”

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