The six-time Twilight League Champion Albany Athletics (1-0 overall / 1-0) won its Twilight League opener by rallying for six runs in the top of the 7th inning to defeat the Bluehawks 7-2. It was the 9th straight year in which they’ve won an ATL opening game.
Down 2-1, Kyle Baldani stroked a two-run single with the bases loaded to give the A’s a 3-2 lead, then Craig Mastroianni drove in a run on a fielders choice, Cameron Overbaugh tripled in two runs and Mark Teson finished the rally with an RBI single. Teson finished with three singles and three stolen bases while Mastroianni finished with a pair of singles.
Righthander Ryan Harper pitched a scoreless 6th and 7th innings to preserve the victory. Harper was in the mix of the 7th inning rally, laying down a sac bunt with runners on first and second base to aide the attack. Earlier in the game, the A’s went down 1-0 in the 3rd but Dan Barbero singled in a run to tie it 1-1 in the 5th. The Bluehawks then rallied to go ahead 2-1 but could not hold onto the lead as Albany got to their reliever to rally for six runs in the final frame. Athletics pitching, meanwhile, gave up just two earned runs and received outstanding defense (no errors) to help the cause.
With the victory, manager Joe Altieri ties Tim Lane with 277 career ATL victories–the most by any ATL manager since 1931–and can break the record Thursday when the A’s face the Senators.