One run came home in the top of the first as the Elmira Pioneers took on their frequent opponents the Newark Pilots. Kyle Norman (San Francisco) would hit a single to shallow centerfield, and would manage to steal second. He would then come home on a single from Will Gorman (RIT).
The Pioneers responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first, after a Justin Hayes (Old Dominion) double went deep to right field. He would be moved over by a Rob Perteet (Samford) single. Christian Santisteban (Manhattan) would step up for a deep double that hit the Dunn Field wall and brought home both Hayes and Perteet, making the score 2-1.
Newark tied the game up in the top of the fourth after Michael Lanza (Bryant) walked and stole second. A fielding error from third baseman Keegan Maronpot (Wake Forest) would allow Lanza to come home and tie the game at 2-2.
Newark regained its lead in the top of the sixth after a Willy Yahn (Connecticut) single flew to right field. Yahn would move over on a sacrifice bunt, and then came home on a Charlie Sobieraski (Buffalo) single to left field. The Pioneers managed to get out of the inning without allowing another run to score, despite having the bases loaded on two separate occasions.
The Pioneers pushed back half an inning later with a grand slam, their second in three days. Action began with a Justin Hayes single, and two walks from Newark pitcher Blake Brailsford which loaded the bases. Hayden Kelly (Florida State), who already had seven RBIs on two home runs this weekend, stepped up and took only one pitch. He smashed a ball over the wall in right field for his second grand slam in three games. This gave the Pioneers a 6-3 lead.
Tommy Mirabelli (Kansas) would come home and score one more run for the Pioneers in the inning after he was walked, and moved over on several wild pitches from Brailsford which put him at third. Mirabelli came home after Keegan Maronpot hit a ball which was fielded poorly and led to Newark’s first error of the night.
Newark would score one more in the seventh after a Chirs Wiktorski (St. John Fisher) triple split the outfield on the right side and rubbed up against the wall. He came home on a wild pitch from Elmira pitcher Andrew Mahoney (Mississippi), making the score 7-4.
The Pilots would inch closer again in the eighth, scoring yet another run. Blake Valley (San Francisco) would reach on a fielding error from the Pioneers, their third of the day. Norman would single to move him over, and another single from Gorman would load the bases. When Will Yahn was hit by a pitch from Garrett Schilling (Xavier), and this allowed Valley to come home.
Kevin Biondic (Maryland) would score in the ninth inning after being hit by a pitch to reach base. He would come home on a deep double for Kyle Norman, making the score 7-6. Norman would come home after another double from Wiktorski. This tied the game up.
The game would move into extra innings, and would remain tense but quiet until the bottom of the eleventh. Keegan Maronpot would walk and move over on a sacrifice bunt. He would come home on a walk off RBI from Rob Perteet (Samford). This would be the Pioneers 16th consecutive home win this season, taking the game with a score of 8-7.
Winning the game for the Pioneers would be Tristan Widra (Samford), and the loss goes to Nick Wegmann (Binghamton).
Elmira returns home this Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday’s game is against the Victor Railriders, and Thursday’s game will be against the Saugerties Stallions. Wednesday night features a thunderstick giveaway courtesy of Hilliard, and be sure to come out Thursday for free CMS mini-bats. For tickets to either game, visit the Pioneers front office at 546 Luce St. or call us at 607-734-2690. For more information, visit theelmirapioneers.com.