ELMIRA, N.Y. – In game two of the 2017 PGCBL West Division Championship Series, the third-seeded Elmira Pioneers were defeated by the No. 1 Jamestown Jammers, 7-4, on Thursday evening at Dunn Field.
The win clinched the West Division crown for the Jammers, who took the best-of-three series, 2-0, and thus ended the Pioneers season.
After taking game one by a score of 9-3 at Diethrick Park on Wednesday, the Jammers were just one win away from their first trip to the PGCBL Championship Series. Jamestown handed the ball to Michael Ginther (Canisius) to try and get the job done, as the Pioneers countered with Allbry Major (Xavier).
The Jammers scored the first run of the game in the second inning. Alex O’Donnell (Mercyhurst) singled with one out and then promptly stole second base. Jimmy Standohar (Mercyhurst) then singled him home to give the Jammers a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, the Pioneers tied the game up at one a piece. Following a leadoff single to Andrew Orzel (Wofford) and a walk to Troy Dixon (Samford), Conor Grammes (Xavier) blasted a ball off the right field fence to score Orzel. The Pioneers threat was then extinguished when the next batter, Ayrton Schafer (Samford), lined into an inning-ending triple play that kept the score knotted at 1-1.
The Pioneers struck again in the fifth, this time to take the lead. Singles by Brayden Combs (Kentucky) and Brett Vosik (Kansas) opened the inning and the two then advanced to second and third after a groundout from Colton Evans (UC Davis). Ginther then uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Combs from third and giving Elmira its first lead of the series, 2-1.
The lead did not last long, as Jamestown responded with two runs in the top of the sixth. Standohar picked up his second RBI hit of the game as he singled home Chris Estrada (UTSA) to tie the game at 2-all. Standohar then advanced two bases on a wild pitch and scored on a Nick Bernick (Niagara) infield single.
The Jammers extended their lead in the seventh inning. Ben Brookover (UTSA) singled home John Conti (Canisius) to open the scoring in the inning. Brookover then came all the way around to score when, with the bases loaded, Standohar was hit by a pitch that forced home a run. A wild pitch then plated O’Donnell from third to give the Jammers a 6-2 advantage.
Elmira got one of those runs back in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Brett Rodriguez (Wofford) singled home a run to bring the Pioneers to within three, 6-3. But it would be one step forward and one step back for the Pioneers, as Jamestown scored another run in the top of the eighth, this time on a Skyler Valentine (UTSA) sacrifice fly.
The Pioneers rallied in the ninth to score a run on an Orzel RBI single to make it a 7-4 game, but Dixon, representing the tying run, struck out looking to end the ball game with the bases loaded.
Jamestown's Ginther was credited with the win after working 5.2 innings and striking out four while allowing two runs. Major was tagged with the loss, as he allowed three runs and issued five walks in 5.1 innings while striking out four.
Game one of the 2017 PGCBL Championship Series between Jamestown and Mohawk Valley will be either Saturday, August 5, or Sunday, August 6, at Veteran's Memorial Park in Little Falls, N.Y. More information, including dates and times, will be announced in the near future.