ELMIRA, NY-The night got started with some outstanding small ball as the first place Elmira Pioneers took on the Utica Brewers Friday night. Jared Baldinelli (St. Bonaventure) would single for the only hit of the inning, and would be moved over by a wild pitch which got past Elmira catcher Troy Squires (Kentucky). He would come home on two sacrifice flies, giving the Brewers an early lead.
After a Tadarias Hawkins (Henderson) walk from Justin Lewis (Kentucky) in the top of the third inning, an error from Pioneers third baseman Brian Barefoot (Louisiana Monroe) would bring him home and allow Baldinelli to move to third. Baldinelli would come home on a sacrifice fly, and the score would be 3-0 in favor of the Brewers.
The Pioneers would not let the third pass without responding to Utica, which they did with two runs of their own. Taylor Hillson (Mansfield) stepped up for a single and was moved over by Will Larue (Xavier), who singled as well. Both would come home on an RBI double from Chrisitan Santisteban (Manhattan), a ball that grazed the wall in the center of Dunn Field.
The Pioneers would take the lead in the sixth, after the bases were loaded with Pioneers. Hayden Kelly (Florida State) would bunt for a single, and would be moved over by Tommy Mirabelli (Kansas). Brian Barefoot would load the bases before runs came home on a Troy Squires RBI which would ultimately end in a tag out. This out would occur after the Pioneers scored two runs to make the score 4-3.
The Brewers tied the game in the top of the seventh, bringing in a run on a Dan Vucovich (Holy Cross) double. Though Vucovich had doubled previously in the game, he finally came home in the top of the seventh. An error from Mirabelli moved him to third, and he was brought home on a Jared Baldinelli single.
Hillson would reach on a bunt in the bottom of the seventh as the Pioneers responded to Utica’s run. He would make his way to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch, and the bases would be loaded after Santisteban was intentionally walked and Kelly was hit by a pitch. Mirabelli worked a walk, forcing Hillson home for a run and the lead.
The final score would be 5-4 as the Pioneers took their 21st straight home game win. Winning the game for the Pioneers would be Justin Lewis, who went seven innings and moves to 5-0 on the season. Losing for the Brewers would be Tyler Palm (Oakland) taking his fourth loss of the season. Andrew Mahoney (Mississippi State) earned three strikeouts in one inning of play in the eighth inning on three batters. Ryan Bellomo (Siena) would retire three batters in the ninth to earn the save.
The Elmira Pioneers return home tomorrow night to take on the Newark Pilots. Tomorrow night is Pink in the Park night, please join us in honoring and remembering those affected by breast cancer. It is also the third night of Multimedia trading card giveaways. For more information on the game, visit the Pioneers front office at 546 Luce Street or call 607-734-2690. For more information on the Pioneers, visit theelmirapioneers.com.