The Elmira Pioneers nipped the Mohawks 6-5 in the final game of a two game set at Dunn Field on Wednesday night.
Mohawks Head Coach Keith Griffin tossed the ball to Mark Leiter (NJIT) for the right hander’s third start of the season. Leiter walked the first two men he faced in the bottom of the first but stranded the pair in scoring position and tip-toed out of the first inning unscathed after he retired the next three in order.
Jordan Carter (St. Joe’s) made his first start of the summer for the Pioneers and skated through the Mohawks lineup as he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing six hits and a single walk while striking out a pair.
Leiter struck out the side in order in the second and breezed through the third before hitting a road block in the home half of the fourth. It all began when Brad Picha (Paris J.C.) committed an error that allowed the leadoff man to reach, Aaron Hopper (Marietta) followed the miscue with a run-scoring double that broke the stalemate and put Elmira on the board first. After he came around to score on a couple of passed balls charged to Parker Morin (Utah), the Pioneers had a 2-0 lead.
Leiter came back out for the fifth and surrendered a one-out single to Geoff Jiminez (Florida Atlantic University) and a double to Ryan Normoyle that pushed Elmira in front 3-0. One out later Mark issued an RBI single Justin Lacy (Longwood) that sent the righty from New Jersey to an early shower. Brett Houseal (Marist) came out of the bullpen and recorded a three-pitch strikeout to limit the damage.
The home team tacked on another tally when Corey Keller (Florida Atlantic University) launched a two-out homerun off of Derrick Brewer (Radford) to dead centerfield in the bottom of the seventh.
With the Mohawks staring at a 5-0 deficit and just six offensive outs to work with, Jack Fischer (Wake Forest) was hit by a pitch to begin the top of the eighth by new pitcher Joe Sinopoli – he would later score on a wild pitch.
Zach Shank (Marist) then worked a one-out walk before a flurry of hits attacked the Elmira bullpen. Jude Vidrine (Lamar) smacked a double and chased Sinopoli, the next right hander to take the mound for Elmira was Jay Ferri and his luck was no better. Kody Ortman (Auburn) greeted him with a well struck RBI single through the right side of the infield, Morin slashed a run-scoring base hit to right, and Caleb Bryson sent Ferri packing with an RBI single straight through the middle that drew the Hawks to within one, 5-4.
The next reliever was Wes McBride and he lived up to his title when he induced Brad Picha into a 4-3 double-play that ended the threat as the Mohawks stranded runners on first at second.
Elmira tagged on one more against Taylor Stark (Mississippi State) in the eighth and widened their lead to 6-4 headed to the ninth.
Josh Alexander (Utah) ledoff with a double and came around to score on an error by the first baseman Lacy but it was not enough as Shank grounded into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
The Mohawks drop to 4-5 with the loss while the Pioneers improve to 5-5. Leiter (0-2) is pinned with the loss and Wes McBride saved it for Jordan Carter (1-0).
The Mohawks are off on Thursday before they host Glens Falls for a twi-night double-header featuring a pair of seven inning games beginning at 5:00 PM. There will be fireworks after game two. If you cannot make it to Shuttleworth on Friday be sure to tune in for both games right here on amsterdammohawks.com by clicking on the blue and white TEAMLINE link on the right side of the homepage beginning with the pregame show at 4:55.