The Golden Eagles dropped their first game of the season Sunday night in a 5-4 loss to the Elmira Pioneers. Parker Curry (Samford) got the win after heralding two hit-less innings in relief. Zach Merciez got the loss for the Golden Eagles as he allowed a run in the top of the ninth to break a four all tie.
“I just left pitches up and left pitches down the middle and their gonna get the bat on the ball when you do that.” Said reliever Zach Merciez.
The Golden Eagles fell down early when the Pioneers plated a run in the second; however, they came back with a three run second of their own. Andy Cheray (Missouri State) got the start for the Golden Eagles and fired 6.1 innings allowing just two runs on five hits. Cheray did walk five batters.
“I thought Andy did a great job. He hadn't thrown in a couple weeks in a live game situation.” Stated pitching coach Billy Horn.
“I can't complain, three for three, that's the way to go.” Stated Horn about the Golden Eagles getting their third straight quality start. Cheray followed Ryan Davis (LeMoyne) and Zack Hopf (Saint Peter's) in the starting rotation as both worked six innings of work in their respective starts.
“We got a little complacent and once we three runs that one inning we changed our approach.” Said assistant coach Johnston Hobbs. The Golden Eagles fell victim to four late runs by the Pioneers. The Pioneers scored four of their five runs in the seventh inning or later.
Elmira cut the lead to two in the seventh and tied it with a two run eighth. The big blow defensively for the Golden Eagles was the throwing error by catcher JP Rousseau in the eighth inning that allowed a run to score from first, and the eventual tying run to get to third. Elmira took the lead for good on a bloop single in the ninth. Kevin Cowan pitched the eight for Glens Falls and didn't give up an earned run.
“He hung a curve and [I] got a good barrel on it and any time you lead off extra base hit you'd like to score but that's baseball.” Stated Buddy Putnam. Putnam lead off the seventh with a double but was stranded. The Golden Eagles then got a runner to second with two outs in the eight when J.P. Rousseau singled, Manny Forcier pinch ran and was bunted over to second. Forcier was stranded there after center fielder Garrett Degallier (Tacoma C.C.) popped up a bunt to the catcher and DH Bryan Ramirez (UTPA) grounded out to shortstop.
Elmira won the game on a bloop hit over the head of Glens Falls shortstop Raphael Gladu (College LaFletche) off the bat of Elmira left fielder Chris Kalousdian. 480 were in attendance and saw the game last a quick two hours and forty-nine minutes. The Pioneers ended the game with four unanswered runs.