The 2015 PGCBL season has almost begun and the Elmira Pioneers are pleased to present their 2015 team, a highly competitive and talented group. “The Pioneers coaching staff is incredibly excited about the team we have put together this year,” says manager Matt Burch. “This group has a love of the game and a commitment to our program, and they are ready for an excellent season for both the team and its dedicated fans.” This should be a great year for the Pioneers, and we are pleased to introduce our team to you now.
A right-hander out of Siena College, Bellomo is a rising sophomore who is ready to show the Pioneers what he can do. At 5’10” and 180 lbs., Bellomo has garnered honors as the 2013 MVP of the American Legion, as well as being named 2012 Defensive Player of the Year. During his High School career at Rutland, Bellomo earned First Team All-State and All-Conference honors as a sophomore, junior, and senior. The Pioneers hope to utilize Bellomo’s outstanding breaking pitch, and hope to take advantage of his skills both behind the mound and in the infield.
Coming with Bellomo out of Siena College, Cummings is a left-hander whose skills as a pitcher will be essential to the Pioneers behind the mound. A rising senior, Cummings is 6’1” 190 lb. powerhouse whose 25 appearances during his junior year led to an ERA of 3.94 and an impressive 4-1 record. Before Siena, Cummings racked up an incredible 57 strikeouts in 51 innings as a junior in high school. As a sophomore, Cummings broke records with his high number of appearances and pitched two innings of scoreless relief and three strikeouts during a key win for Siena in the MAAC Tournament. His incredible talents and hard work will be essential to the Pioneers this season.
Hailing from Florida State, and joining Cummings as a left-handed pitcher, Folsom is a rising sophomore. He stands tall at 6’3”, and weighs in at 185 lbs. Proving to be another valuable addition to the Pioneers bullpen, Folsom brings an impressive 1.39 ERA, which he garnered as a senior in high school, to the team. During this incredible season, Folsom also had 80 strike outs and was named to the First Team All-State. The Pioneers are hoping that Folsom will have a similar season with the team this summer, helping them on the road toward an outstanding season.
Towering over the mound is right-handed pitcher Greer, a rising sophomore at Samford University. At 6’8” and 255 lbs., Greer had nine strikeouts in eight games during his freshman season, even as he only pitched nine total innings. This kind of clinical approach despite his limited playing time suggests great promise for Greer, who is capable of contributing his enormous skill as a pitcher in addition to skills as a fielder. Greer could prove to be a clinch player, one which the Pioneers rely heavily on throughout the season.
As a rising sophomore out of Bucknell, left-hander Korchak is ready to bring his versatility to this Pioneers team. Korchak comes in at 6’2” and 175lbs., and the Pioneers hope to make use of his skills as both a pitcher and first baseman. In high school, Korchak was named to the All-State First Team twice, and was further named the New York State Player of the Year in both his junior and senior years. A true athlete, Korchak is a player who will undoubtedly be able to use his skillset as a pitcher in order to bring the team a championship.
A rising sophomore out of the University of Kentucky, the Pioneers are incredibly excited to add Lewis’s right-handed pitching skills to their roster. At a staggering 6’5” and 180 lbs, Lewis is already considered to be one of the most well-rounded athletes on the Kentucky team. His highly projectable pitches and versatility make him an asset to the Pioneers team. In high school, Lewis finished third in school history in career ERA, and had a 7-3 record as a senior in 65 innings. At bat, Lewis hit .345 his senior year, and proved his talents with three home runs. His skills at the mound and at home make him essential to this Pioneers team, one which will benefit from both.
From Mississippi State comes rising sophomore Mahoney, a left-handed pitcher. Mahoney weighs in at 175 lbs. and is a lofty 6’2”. He brings his impressive high school career with him to the team, one in which he averaged an ERA of 2.1 during his junior year. Clocking in with a 94 MPH fast ball, Mahoney hopes to hone his pitches and throw balls of similar speed as he joins this year’s team. Despite his recent injuries, Mahoney is now back in ball playing shape and ready to prove his abilities to his teammates and Pioneers fans. He will prove invaluable to our bullpen.
Rising sophomore Matheson is another talented left-hander coming from Old Dominion University. At 6’3” and 225 lbs., Matheson is a young talent joining the team. During his high school career, Matheson maintained an ERA under 2 for three consecutive seasons, and the Pioneers are planning to capitalize on this incredible consistency. Matheson’s talents also extend to first base, where he has played on and off since his freshman year. Though he is a versatile talent, the Pioneers hope to use his pitching most, bringing out the consistently high level that he has achieved throughout his career.
Transferring from Essex Community College to Mansfield is rising sophomore Pepper, an incredible talent at the mound. At 6’ 1” and 220 lbs., Pepper has pitched 75.1 innings with Essex, and has thrown 75 strikeouts in that time. He averages 8.96 strikeouts per game, and we know that Pepper’s consistent defense and imposing presence will be important factors for the Pioneers. Pepper only allowed two home runs during his time with Essex, and allowed no triples or doubles. He has the ability to keep incredibly powerful hitters in check, and the Pioneers plan to take advantage of this skill as often as we can.
Joining Lewis is rising sophomore Proctor, who also hails from Kentucky. As a right-handed pitcher, Proctor is 5’10” and weighs in a 155lbs. He brings his competitive demeanor to this Pioneers team, one which will also benefit from his three pitch mix and his outstanding athleticism. As a high school student, Proctor was a two time All-State First Team selection and was also had a staggering .64 ERA. Proctor is good at bat too, with a .422 average and 16 RBIs, as well as 61 overall hits. He broke records across the board, for hits, ERA, as well as for his 16 single-game strikeouts. Clearly, Proctor is a player to look out for, one whose staggering abilities at bat are surpassed only by his skills at the mound.
Joining returning infielder Christian Santisteban is fellow Manhattan student Scarinci, who is a right-hander and a redshirted junior. Scarcini comes in at 6’0” and 190 lbs. During his sophomore season with Manhattan, Scarinci earned an impressive win against Iona with two spotless innings. He also appeared in 17 games, and struck out 25 batters in his 31 innings at the mound. The Pioneers are hoping that Scarinci can bring the same type of clutch play that he has been known for at Manhattan, ensuring that the Pioneers excel offensively, especially in tight games.
A rising sophomore at Xavier, Schilling is ready to bring his skills as both a right-handed pitcher and designated hitter to this Pioneers team. Schilling comes in at 6’1” and 160 lbs., and has scored eight strikeouts in 7.1 innings played with Xavier. In high school, Schilling had a combined pitching record of 36-0, and led his team to three state championships. Schilling also batted well, with a .423 average as a senior. Though he was hurt by a line drive during his senior year, Schilling is a determined player who is committed to the game. The Pioneers hope to take advantage of this commitment, as well as his skill as a pitcher and hitter.
Joining fellow Bucknell pitcher Korchak is Stephens, who perfectly balances Korchak’s versatility as a left-handed pitcher and first baseman with his consistent right-hand pitches. Coming in at 6’2” and 185 lbs., the rising sophomore Stephens led his team to an area championship in large part because of his excellent pitching. His experiences in High School and at Bucknell, as well as his play with the Dallas Mets each summer, makes him an incredibly poised threat behind the mound, one which should not be taken lightly.
A right-handed pitcher out of Binghamton University, Wenzel is a rising junior. The 6’1” 170 lb. player threw 5 shutout innings in his first collegiate win over Cornell, and we’re hoping to see similar sparks fly when Wenzel makes his Pioneers debut. In his work with Binghamton this season, Wenzel has recorded 4 strikeouts in 4 appearances. In 2014, Wenzel allowed just one run in the 3.2 innings he pitched during an America East championship game, helping the Binghamton team emerge victorious. The Pioneers hope to see similarly spectacular performances out of Wenzel, especially in pressure-packed situations.
Joining Greer from Samford University is Widra, a rising sophomore who has seen a significant amount of playing time as a freshman for Samford. Seeing 41 innings in 19 games, the 6’0 190 lb. freshman had an impressive 30 strikeouts. Considering this, combined with only fourteen walks in all of these innings, makes Widra a consistent and fierce player on the mound. Coupling this with his 1.92 high school season ERA and allowing just three hits during his team’s state championship, Widra will prove to be a force to be reckoned with for the Pioneers this year.
A redshirt freshman joining Folsom in the bullpen, Zirzow stands tall at 6’5” and 220 lbs. An excellent role model both on the field and off, Zirzow stands out in part because of his impress accolades as a high school player. He helped his team to two state championship appearances, and garnered preseason All-Florida and All-State Team accolades in 2012. Zirzow’s love of the game and hyper-competitive spirit should help the Pioneers work toward a championship in the upcoming season.
A short stop and second baseman, rising sophomore Barefoot is an exciting prospect for the upcoming season. At 5’11” and 185 lbs., Barefoot hails from Louisiana Monroe University. As a senior in high school, Barefoot had a batting average of .358 and had 15 extra base hits, and the Pioneers believe that Barefoot will bring the same extraordinary hitting skills to their program. Earning All State honors as well, Barefoot is a versatile player who has skills both in the infield and at-bat. We know that he will bring all of these skills to the team this year, and help improve the program as a whole.
The third Siena player joining the Pioneers this season, Bishop is a rising sophomore whose work on both sides of the ball will prove valuable. Coming in at 6’1” and 175 lbs., Bishop’s work as a fielder has given him a 96% fielding percentage, outing opponents almost every chance he gets. With a batting average of .268 in a competitive league as a freshman, Bishop also hit a home run during his freshman year and had 17 RBIs. An All-State selection during both his junior and senior years of high school, Bishop’s talents extend to both his defensive and offensive play, and he will be a valuable addition to the Pioneers in every area.
Joining pitchers Stephens and Korchak is third baseman Clark, who also attends Bucknell and is a rising junior. Looming over the base at 6’5” and 215 lbs., Clark has experience as the starting third baseman for Bucknell, playing in 49 games during the 2014 season. Clark was 4-for-7 that year when the bases were loaded, and the Pioneers hope to bring that same kind of clinch play out in him. His 4-for-4 outing, which featured a double and an RBI, suggests great potential for Clark as an outstanding hitter, one which could prove invaluable as Clark utilizes his abilities on third and behind home plate.
Hailing from Penn State, catcher Graham will prove to be essential not just behind home plate but during his at-bats as well. During his high school career, Graham posted a .325 batting average and was named an Under Armour All American. That same season, the 6’1” 180 lb. threw out 60 percent of all runners. He also has experience playing with the Mid-Atlantic Red Sox, and the Pioneers are planning on taking advantage of all of the experience that Graham has attained, both during his at-bats at home, and during his catches behind it.
Returning to the team for his third year, third baseman Hillson is a rising junior out of Mansfield University. Hillson’s career at Mansfield includes a .336 batting average for the team, and .408 on base percentage. Hillson is a well-rounded offensive player, totaling 37 hits, 23 runs, 5 doubles, 8 RBIs, and 10 steals during his 2014 season. He has been an asset for the Pioneers in years past, and will also be excellent on third, with a .923 fielding percentage. We are pleased to welcome back to the team, and know that he will be just as key to the Pioneers success this year as he has been in years past.
A rising senior coming out of Mississippi State, Lovelady brings a wealth of experience as a catcher. At 6’0” and 190 lbs., Lovelady comes off of an impressive Junior College career during which he recorded a .990 fielding percentage. He also had a .360 average, with 25 RBIs and a home run. Lovelady’s talents obviously exist on both defense and offense, and the Pioneers plan to use these skills to their advantage. As Lovelady joins the team, he proves his worth not just through his skills, but through his dedication and love of the game. Lovelady played through a broken jaw during his sophomore year, and still managed 15 RBIs. He’s a committed player, and the Pioneers are very excited to have him.
Though he makes his home on first base, Maronpot carries skills which allow him to play outfield as well. As a rising sophomore at Wake Forest, Maronpot stands tall at 6’4” and 200 lbs. With a powerful flat swing, Maronpot has impressive skills that also include his athleticism and arm strength. During his high school career, he hit for a .410 batting average with 27 RBIs. Clearly, Maronpot is an excellent prospect at home plate, one capable of driving balls deep and with power. We are hopeful that Maronpot will be an offensive player to watch, one whose .432 slugging percentage at Wake Forest makes for a key player.
A rising senior from the University of Kansas, Mirabelli is an outstanding player who was actually drafted to play professionally by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012. Scoring 21 runs in 2012 for Kansas, Mirabelli is an offensive threat whose infielding skills are also noteworthy. His .951 fielding average makes him a problem for the Pioneers opponents on defense, as does his enormous amount of experience with Kansas and in high school. Mirabelli’s skills on offense excite the team, who expect his ability to score, hit, and steal to all be essential for our team. He’s an excellent player, and a smart one.
A rising sophomore out of the UC San Diego, Plantier is a versatile infield player. During his high school career, Plantier hit for a .407 average with 14 doubles, three triples, and four home runs his senior year. Plantier is a power hitter, one whose 6’3” 205 lb. frame supports the kind of swing that makes for big plays. His skills at-bat, coupled with his versatility on defense, makes the Pioneers extremely excited to have him. The prospects for this young player seem limitless, and we hope to utilize them effectively in order to get as much out of Plantier as possible.
Returning to the team for his second season, rising Manhattan College senior is an outstanding first baseman. Standing at 6’2” and weighing in at 215 lbs., Santisteban is a truly outstanding hitter with a .314 batting average and team leading 55 hits with Manhattan. During a game against Santa Clara, Santisteban went 3-for-3 with a double, a run, and a walk. This kind of consistent play, coupled with a .389 on base percentage and a .446 slugging percentage, make Santisteban an essential player for this Pioneers team. He had 17 multi-hit games and 4 multi-RBI games in 2014, and we are expecting to see a similar performance out of Santisteban this season. He is an outstanding player, one we are pleased to welcome back to the team.
The Pioneers’ third player from the University of Kentucky is Spuires, a versatile player who is capable of playing both third base and catcher. The Pioneers are incredibly pleased to welcome Squires, who stands at 5’11” and 180 lbs., to their roster. The red shirted freshmen is capable of filling a variety of roles, and the Pioneers plan to capitalize on his adaptability. During his time at Kentucky, Squires has had a .304 average during 79 at-bats, with 51 percent of those at-bats resulting in quality trips to the plate. Between his abilities at home plate, both as a hitter and catcher, and his skills at third base, Squires is an excellent prospect for the team, one which will make those around him even better.
The third of four Florida State players joining the Pioneers this season, Deplh is a rising sophomore whose skills both in the outfield and at bat prove that he is a well-rounded player. At 5’11” and 175 lbs., Delph’s stellar high school career included three years of All-County selection and a district championship. Delph’s ability to both bat and steal, as evidenced by the way he was able to lead his team in both areas, makes him an asset for the Pioneers offense. Coupled with some of the heavy hitters around him, Delph will be a key part of the run scoring strategy this season.
The third Dominion player joining the Pioneers this season, Hayes is a rising sophomore and outfielder. During his last two years of high school, Hayes was an incredible offensive player. His average was .375, and he clinched 27 steals as well. At 5’8” and 150 lbs., Hayes is a threat on both sides of the ball, capable of positioning himself to score on a regular basis. The Pioneers plan to utilize Hayes’ keen offensive play throughout the season, ensuring that he will both get on base and put himself in scoring positon as frequently as possible.
A versatile player, capable of playing both infield and outfield positions, Hoiles is a rising sophomore out of Shippensburg College. Batting a .327 average for Shippensburg, Hoiles has seen 156 at-bats during only his freshman year. This experience alone gives Hoiles an edge in the PGCBL. With 20 RBIs, 5 doubles, and 25 runs scored, Hoiles is clearly an offensive threat. Add to this is .986 fielding percentage, and Hoiles is an incredibly exciting prospect for this Pioneers team. He’s versatile, and a consistently excellent batter. He’s also a defensive threat, and the Pioneers are going to use his abilities every chance we get.
As a rising senior at Florida State, Kelly is expected to be a key part of the Pioneers outfield, and is an even more important part of the team’s batting lineup. At 5’10” and 210 lbs., Kelly played for the Utica Brewers, batting a .294 average. During his time with the Brewers, Kelly hit four home runs, nine doubles, three triples, and had 27 RBIs. He ranked in the Top 10 in the league in slugging percentage, RBIs, triples, home runs, and many more. During his time with the Pioneers, we are hoping Kelly will top his performance with the Brewers, not only in his at bats, but in his fielding as well
A rising sophomore joining Schilling out of Xavier, Larue will bring his excellent offensive and defensive skills to the team this season. At 5’11” and 170 lbs., Larue brings his .952 fielding percentage to the team, one which the tea hopes he continues to impress with. At-bat, Larue has 11 RBIs in 31 games, and an impressive .468 slugging percentage. His on base percentage is .348, and is excellent at stealing bases. He stole 30 as a junior in high school, and 45 more his senior year. With Larue’s offensive prowess, as well as his impressive control on defense, he will be an invaluable as the team moves toward a championship. His base stealing will be an added bonus, and an exciting one for fans.
With a powerhouse team, the Pioneers are ready to bring in packed crowds at Dunn Field all summer long after finishing second nationwide in attendance last season. The Pioneers Opening Weekend starts Friday June 5th with our home opener against the Adirondack Trail which features an EBI batting helmets give away. The fun is followed on June 6th with another game against the Newark Pilots sponsored by Hilliard and featuring a WENYHD T-Shirt giveaway. Be sure to stick around after both games to see free fireworks! To learn more about ticket prices and events for the upcoming PGCBL season at Dunn Field, call the Pioneers front office at 607-734-2690. Also be sure to stay up to date with player signings and news about the team and the 2015 season at www.elmirapioneers.com.
The Elmira Pioneers…2013 PGCBL West Division Champions