ELMIRA, NY- Coming off of a one hit loss the night before, the Elmira Pioneers (8-5) had something to prove headed into tonight’s game against the Glens Falls Dragons (6-8). If they proved anything, it was that they could hit. It was an absolute slugfest tonight at Dunn Field.
The first run were scored by the Pioneers in the second, after singles from Josh Lovelady and Tommy Mirabelli put runners in scoring position. A walk from Dragons pitcher Cameron Churchill on Keegan Maronpot loaded the bases, as Dalton Hoiles stepped up to hit a deep single and bring Lovelady home. Unfortunately, the Pioneers stranded three on base to end the inning, and were only able to attain a 1-0 lead.
The third inning saw more good play by the Pioneers, as they were able to capitalize on several walks from Churchill. With Hayden Kelly on second, and Lovelady on first, Tyler Plantier stepped up and hit an absolute smash to deep centerfield, earning an RBI double as Kelly ran home. After Mirabelli was hit by a wild pitch from Nick Duthu, who replaced Churchill, the bases were loaded. Dalton Hoiles stepped up to the bag, and hit a grounder to shallow left field for 2 RBIs, as Lovelady and Plantier ran home. This made the Pioneer lead 4-0
With runners still on first on and third, Justin Hayes was also hit by a wild pitch, loading the bases. Taylor Hillson then stepped up and bunted towards first base. The ball was bobbled, allowing Hillson to make it to first, and Mirabelli to run home and bring the lead up to 5-0.
The Dragons fought back in the fifth, after several walks from Pioneer pitcher Nate Matheson left Pat Florence and Oscar Rodriguez at first and second, respectively. Shortly after, Jake Vieth stepped up to the plate and hit a deep triple to right centerfield, bringing Florence and Rodriguez home. Infielder Tyler Phillips hit a single which then brought Vieth home, making the score 5-3.
Christian Santisteban stepped up in the sixth and managed a single, his first hit of the night. Lovelady was walked by Glens Falls pitcher Chris Bradt, and Plantier stepped up to hit a single and load the bases. With bases loaded, Tommy Mirabelli stepped up to the plate and hit a soft ball toward first base, allowing Santisteban to score off and making it to the base himself after a fielding error.
The inning continued to go well for the Pioneers, with right fielder Keegan Maronpot taking the mound to hit a ball deep to centerfield, bringing both Lovelady and Plantier home for an RBI double. This gave the Pioneers back their cushion, with an 8-3 lead.
Just half an inning later, at the top of the seventh, The Dragons would answer after Zach McIlroy hit a single to right centerfield. He was moved to second by a shallow grounder from Oscar Rodriguez. McIlroy was driven home after a deep double from Tyler Phillips. Glens Falls was not done scoring, however, as the bases were loaded after Ryan Hooper was walked by pitcher Mike Korchak.
David Sarniento then hit a ball deep down the first base line, and brought home Phillips and Rodriguez. Miguel Presno stepped up to the plate, and hit an RBI single that was followed by a fielding error. This brought Hooper and Sarniento home, and tied the ball game at 8-8. This was a 5 run inning for the Dragons.
The Pioneers responded immediately after Santisteban was hit by a pitch from JT Whirtner, and was moved to second off a line drive single from Hayden Kelly. Lovelady hit a sacrifice double to advance the runners, and Tyler Plantier then hit a single to bring Santisteban home. The inning was not over, however, as Keegan Maronpot took the plate for his second RBI double of the night. Maronpot’s ball was deep to centerfield, and landed in a puddle left by rain that had passed prior to the game. He brought home Kelly and Plantier, and gave the Pioneers an 11-8 lead headed into the eighth inning.
The Pioneers would strike again in the eighth inning, capitalizing on inconsistent pitching from Gilberto Torres of Glens Falls. After walking Taylor Hillson and Christian Santisteban, and hitting Hayden Kelly with a pitch, Josh Lovelady was able to hit a single on replacement pitcher Drew Brooks to bring Hillson home. Tyler Plantier added to his incredible night at bat, hitting a double to deep center field and allowing both Santisteban and Kelly to score, raising the score to 14-8. A wild pitch that Dragons catcher Presno was unable to reign allowed Lovelady to touch home, extending the Pioneers lead.
15-8 would be the game’s final score, as the Dragons were unable to come up with any runs in the ninth. Despite giving up five in the seventh, Mike Korchak earns the win for Elmira. Gilberto Torres takes the loss for the Glens Falls Dragons.
The Pioneers play the Dragons again tomorrow only at 7:05 p.m. in Glens Falls.