NEWARK, N.Y. - The Elmira Pioneers shut down a late Newark Pilots rally to win 14-10 and run their record up to 17-15. The loss drops the Pilots to 9-24.
Elmira got the scoring started, scoring early and often to take an 11-0 lead after 6. The Pilots would out score the Pioneers 10-4 the rest of the way, but the late rally is not enough. Grant Donahue (Virginia) picks up his third win, going 5 innings, 2 hits, 5 walks and striking out 4. Zach Mann (Saginaw Valley) takes the loss in relief, allowing 10 hits, 9 runs, 2 walks, and a strikeout in 2 innings.
Elmira got the scoring started with 5 in the top of the third. After a lead off strikeout from Mann, the next six hitters reached with base hits. Troy Dixon (Samford) drove in Brett Rodriguez (Wofford) for the games first run with a single. Dixon and Marshall Gilbert (John A Logan) came around to score on a double from Conor Grammes (Xavier) to go up 3-0. Ayrton Schafer (Samford) drove in Grammes with an infield single, and Jonathan Crimmin (Siena) drove in Schafer with a sacrifice fly.
The Pioneers got another run on a sacrifice fly from Rodriguez to drive in Blake Shinkle (Kansas) and run their lead up to 6-0.
In the top of the fifth, Kentucky native Brayden Combs (Kentucky) hit a 3-run home run off of the Kentucky right-hander Mann to put Elmira up 9-0.
In the top of the sixth, Mann gave way to Jake Bernardo (Fordham). Grammes drove in the tenth run for the Pioneers with a triple off of Bernardo to drive in Dixon. Schafer drove in Grammes with a ground out to go up 11-0.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Donahue was pulled for Noah Hughes (Mississippi State). He allowed Over Torres (Yavapai CC) to score when Michael O’Connor (Buffalo) grounded into a double play for the Pilots first run.
After a scoreless top of the seventh from Bernardo, the Pilots batted around put up 4 in the bottom half. Hunter Wells (Tyler JC) drove in Christian Orr (Saginaw Valley) with a single. Torres, then drove in Graham Hackbarth (Pearl River CC) with a single. With two outs, O’Connor drove in Torres and Peter Battaglia (Niagara) to cut the lead to 11-5.
Elmira got one in the top of the eighth on a double steal. Dixon stole second, a throw down from Pilots catcher Jonathan Parker (Jones County JC) allowed Rodriguez to steal home to take a 12-5 lead. In the bottom half, Parker slapped a double down the first base line to drive in his future teammates at Louisiana Tech, Hackbarth and Wells, to cut the lead to 12-7.
In the top of the ninth, the Pilots put a position player on the mound to try and hold the league. Jorge Leon (Hendrix) gave up 4 singles in the inning, which included run scoring singles from both Rodriguez and Dixon, to score Crimmin and Colton Evans (UC Davis) respectively.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Pilots would make it interesting off of TJ Stuart (Manhattan). Colton Carney (Seton Hill) lined a triple over the head of Evans in center field for two runs, driving in Josh Loeffler (UConn) and O’Connor to cut the lead to 14-9. Orr would then drive in Carney with a blooper that dropped in between the second basemen and right fielder to get Newark to double digits. That’s as close as they would get, as Stuart retired the next three batters in order.
Grammes and Combs led the way with 3 RBI’s for Elmira, Rodriguez, Dixon, and Schafer all drove in 2. Grammes scored 3 runs, Rodriguez, Dixon, and Schafer all scored 2. Dixon and Grammes led the way with 3 hits. Every Pioneer starter scored a run and recorded a base hit.
Parker, O’Connor, and Carney led the way with 2 RBI’s for the Pilots. Hackbarth and Torres each scored 2 runs, and Hackbarth, Wells, and Parker led the way with 2 hits each.
Newark will travel to Geneva tomorrow at 5:05. Elmira will travel to Amsterdam at 6:35.