The Saugerties Dutchmen began their 17th season this weekend. After their scheduled opener Saturday with the Jersey City Tigers was scrubbed, they kicked off the 1996 campaign with a doubleheader Sunday. The Wappingers Yankees of the Hudson Valley Rookie League came to Saugerties' Cantine Field. After squandering a substantial lead in the opener to allow the Yanks to pull even at 7, the Dutchies prevailed in the bottom of the seventh and last inning, when Kiko Romaguera drove in the winning run in his first game as player-manager. The nightcap saw Saugerties' star hurler Ray "Black Jack" Mikesh take the hill looking for his 20th win as a Dutchman. In the bottom of the second Romaguera drove in the first of many Dutchmen runs as the home team prevailed 10-2 to improve their opening day record to 17-4-1. Against teams from the Rookie League, of which the Dutchmen were twice a member before going indy, they hold an all-time 105-71-1 record.
The Dutchmen host two more HVRL teams next weekend, with a single game Saturday against the Middletown Explorers, and a doubleheader Sunday with the New Paltz Knights. The Knights, known last year as the Travelling Humm'n'birds, were 1995 Rookie League Champs. We'll bring you all that action next week, along with the opening weekend of the Santa Barbara Foresters. They take on the San Francisco Seals in three games at Cæsar Uyesaka Stadium, a 4:30 Friday afternoon game, then a twinbill at noon Saturday. And they open their defense of their Central Coast Premiere League title Sunday, hosting CCPL newcomers the Southern California Condors in a doubleheader.
With the amateur baseball report, and a special thank you to our Hudson Valley correspondent Babs O'Reilley this is Joe Schlobotnik, Mr. Squishy Sports.