ELMIRA, NY- Action got underway almost immediately tonight as the Elmira Pioneers took on the Newark Pilots for the fourth time this season. Elmira led the division and the series going into the night, with a 2-1 record against the Pilots. After a quick inning because of three strikeouts from Elmira pitcher Kyano Cummings, Elmira’s batters came out and scored two runs.
Justin Hayes, batting second for the Pioneers, hit a double down the left line deep, and got himself in scoring position. Immediately following was Christian Santisteban, who led the league in RBIs going in to tonight’s game. Santisteban hit a deep double to center field, and allowed Hayes to run in. Hayden Kelly, the designated hitter for the Pioneers, took only one pitch to hit a ball down the right line to hit the fence and bring Santisteban in. Kelly only got into Elmira yesterday, and earned his first RBI on his first at-bat with the team to bring the ballgame to 2-0 at the end of one inning.
Action picked up once again in the second, with Pioneer second baseman Jordan Bishop hitting a single, quickly followed by a double from Tim Delph on an error from the Newark left fielder, Blake Valley, to left field which advanced Bishop to third. Justin Hayes then stepped up once again to hit a single and bring Bishop home, widening the lead to 3-0.
Christian Santisteban stepped up in the third for his second at-bat of the night, and sliced an incredibly deep ball to right center field. The ball flew over the fence for Santisteban’s second RBI of the night, and his second Home Run of the season. This brought the Pioneers to seven hits in 3 innings, and improved their lead to 4-0.
Defense proved to be key in the innings following this lead, as Kyano Cummings managed to throw “” strikeouts on the day, and now leads the league with “” total. Cummings wasn’t alone in his defensive effort, however, as a double play in the third inning kept the inning scoreless, as did remarkable fielding by Cummings himself in the sixth to prevent a runner from scoring.
The Pioneers would score again in the sixth, after Jordan Bishop advanced to first on a fielding error, and then to second off a Tim Delph walk. Will Larue hit a single to load the bases, as Justin Hayes stepped up to bat. Hayes was able to bring Bishop home off of a shallow grounder that would also go for an out. Christian Santisteban then attained his third RBI of the night off of a shallow fly ball that Newark right fielder Anthony Spina had trouble locating, allowing Tim Delph to run home. This brought the score to 6-0.
Hayden Kelly then brought Will Larue off of yet another fielding error for the Newark team. Josh Lovelady stepped up following Kelly, and hit a double to left field, bringing Santisteban home, giving them an 8-0 lead. Taylor Hillson’s single came next, one which brought both Lovelady and Kelly home, and rose the score to 10-0 Pioneers, and raising the hit total for the team to 14. The Pilots would go through three pitchers in the sixth inning alone.
The Pilots would fight back in the eighth inning, scoring two of singles from Gabe Levanti and Kyle Norman. These runners would advance to third and second respectively off a wild pitch from Pioneers pitcher Taylor Folsom, and then run home off of an RBI from Pilot third baseman Willy Yahn, making the score 10-2. The Pioneers were able to get out of the inning without any further scoring, partially because of a stellar play by center fielder Justin Hayes, who made a diving catch for the second out of the inning.
The Pilots would score one more in the ninth off a single from Kyle Norman which brought in pinch hitter Will Gorman, making the final score 10-3. Kyano Cummings would take the win and earn 10 strikeouts on the night, and the loss would go to Newark Pitcher Suyematsu.
The Pioneers play again this Thursday at 7:00, with a mini bat giveaway courtesy of Southern Tier Custom Fabrication. They play the Glens Falls Dragons.