by: Andy Malnoske (mytwintiers.com)
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – It was an instant classic at Dunn Field Monday night.
On the strength of some clutch hitting, the Elmira Pioneers surged past Auburn 4-1 earning the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) West Championship. In front of free fan admission courtesy of Blaze Brockway Contracting, Elmira’s bats came alive when they needed them the most.
Auburn pitcher Devin Macwatters was stellar throughout the game for the Doubledays. Macwatters had a no-hitter heading into the bottom of the sixth inning to go along with 13 strikeouts on the night. But, the D-I pitcher from Charleston Southern ran out of steam in the sixth after Elmira’s Joe Muzio blasted a double to left center.
Minutes later, Chris Bear hit a perfect bounce to first base which vaulted over for an RBI single giving Elmira a 1-0 lead. The Pioneers then broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Muzio hit his second double of the game only this time driving in two runs, one of which included Elmira Notre Dame grad Erik Charnetski who reached base on single. Then, John Schroeder delivered the final blow with an RBI single giving Elmira a 4-0 lead. In all, Elmira’s three-run seventh proved to be too much for Auburn.
The Doubledays did score a run in the top of the eighth inning but it would not be enough. Pioneers pitcher Max Zentil went the distance and threw all nine innings for Elmira. Zentil struck out six batters while giving up six hits and one earned run.
The Pioneers now advance to the best-of-three PGCBL Championship Series this week. Elmira will play the winner of Utica or Amsterdam in the series which will be determined Tuesday. The Pios will have at least one more final home game either Wednesday or Thursday night.
Check out the full highlights and reaction from Pioneers Manager Andy Drum & Joe Muzio from an emotionally charged night at Dunn Field. A night that go down in Elmira Pioneers history.