It was a busy night at Dunn Field as the division leading Elmira Pioneers took on their frequent opponents, the Newark Pilots. Will Larue’s (Xavier) double would start the night off, and it was a deep ball to left field. A fielding error allowed him to come home after Justin Hayes (Old Dominion) hit a shallow grounder which was overthrown to the first baseman, Kevin Biondic (Maryland).
Rob Perteet (Samford) would move to first on the second fielding error of the inning for Newark, and both he and Hayes would move over on a fielder’s choice. Tommy Mirabelli (Kansas) then stepped up for a single off the glove of Biondic which would bring Hayes and Perteet home, making the score 3-0.
A single from Biondic would allow a run to score for Newark. This happened after Willy Yahn (Connecticut) smashed a deep double which split the outfielders on the right side. Biondic would also end the inning, however, after seeing that no one was covering second base and failing to successfully steal it.
Newark would take the lead in the third inning after a three run home run. Blake Valley (San Francisco) singled initially to reach base, as did Kyle Norman (San Francisco), putting runners on first and second. Cody Wiktorski, who already had a double on the day, then stepped up and sliced a ball over the fence in right field for three runs and a one run lead.
The Pioneers were not that easily put down, though, and regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Keegan Maronpot (Wake Forest) started the action with a single, and was moved over by Troy Squires (Kentucky), who also hit a single. Both players would move over on a wild pitch from Nick Wegmann (Binghamton). Maronpot would come home on a ground out, and Will Larue would hit a single to bring Squires home, making the score 5-4.
Newark came roaring back just half an inning later, starting with a single from Valley, who would be moved over by a Kyle Norman single. The bases would be loaded after Wiktorski single, and a wild pitch would bring Valley home, and tie the game. Fortunately for the Pioneers, they were able to mount a double play which ended the inning without sacrificing the lead.
Newark would take the lead in the sixth after Charlie Sobierowski (Buffalo) was hit by a pitch and moved over by a Biondic single. Taylor Hillson (Mansfield) committed two fielding errors for the Pioneers which allowed Sobierowski to come home, and gave Newark the lead with a 6-5 score.
Another run came for Newark in the seventh, after a single by Mark Martin (Le Moyne), and an error which moved him to second. He would come home on yet another bobbled ball, one hit by Newark catcher Michael Lanza (Bryant), extending the Pilots lead.
Tense play followed. Benches cleared after a controversial strikeout call for the Pioneers, but no runs came in until the bottom of the ninth, when the Pioneers proved that they were not done for the night. Hillson hit a single to start the inning off, and would come home on a deep double from Justin Hayes. Hayes would come home soon after when Rob Perteet hit a double that almost cleared the fence, instead bouncing off of it. The winning single came from Tommy Mirabelli after Christian Santisteban (Manhattan) was intentionally walked. Mirabelli’s single brought home Perteet to make the final score 8-7.
Winning the game for Elmira would be Garrett Schilling (Xaver), who pitched one excellent of relief in the top of the ninth. Pitcher Vinny Martin (Iona) took the loss.
Your first place Elmira Pioneers return home Tuesday, July 21st for a game against the Victor Railriders. Join us for a Multimedia trading card giveaway and dollar dog night! All hot dogs are only one dollar all night long. For tickets, visit the Pioneers front office at 546 Luce Street or call at 607-734-2690. For more information about the Pioneers, visit theelmirapioneers.com.