Pioneers thwart Mohawks comeback; three other games PPD

Photo courtesy Elmira Pioneers
Photo: An Elmira Pioneers conference on the mound during Tuesday night's game between the Pioneers and the Amsterdam Mohawks at Dunn Field.

ELMIRA, N.Y. - Sal Pezzino (High Point) ripped a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning and Wes McBride (UNC-Greensboro) induced two inning-ending double plays as the Elmira Pioneers outlasted the Amsterdam Mohawks, 6-5, on Wednesday night at Dunn Field. With its' third-straight victory and second in a row over the Mohawks (4-5), Elmira (5-5) moved into sole possesion of first place in the West Division of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

Elmira starter Jordan Carter (Saint Joseph's, Pa.) fired a six-hit shutout over seven innings and the Pioneers cruised out to a 5-0 lead through seven for the second night in a row. The Amsterdam bats ended a 16-inning scoreless drought at Dunn Field in the eighth and exploded for four runs. Elmira reliever Wes McBride entered the game after an RBI single by Caleb Bryson (Middle Georgia) had pulled the Mohawks to within one and put the potential tying run on second base. McBride forced Brad Picha (Paris, Texas) to ground into an double play to end the threat.

In the home half of the eighth, a walk, a stolen base and a single by Ty Yesensky (Old Dominion) gave Elmira runners on the corners with one out. Amsterdam reliver Taylor Stark (Miss. State) struck out John Rolewicz (Washington, Md.) for the second out. The next batter, Sal Pezzino, singled and brought home David Bishop (Miss. State) from third with an insurance run to hand the home side a 6-4 lead.

The visiting Mohawks rallied again in the ninth. Josh Alexander (Utah) belted a lead-off double and advanced to third on a ground out by Jack Fischer (Wake Forest). Andrew Green (ETSU) cut the Elmira edge back to one with an RBI single that scored Alexander. With the potential tying run on base for the second frame in a row, Wes McBride hunkered down and induced a double play ground out, this time to end the game.

McBride held the Tribe to a run on two hits over one and two-thirds innings to garner his second save. Joe Sinopoli (Cornell) and Jay Ferri (URI) also pitched for the Pioneers. Ty Yesensky went 2-for-4 to lead seven different Elmira batters with at least one hit. Ryan Normoyle (Washington, Md.), Corey Keller (FAU), Justin Lacy (Longwood) and Aaron Hopper (Marietta) each had one hit, one run and one RBI.

Despite the loss, Amsterdam outhit Elmira 12-8. Andrew Green, Jude Vidrine (Lamar) and Parker Morin (So. Idaho) all had two hits apiece for the Mohawks. Kody Ortman (NW Shoals CC) went 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Starter Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) suffered the loss. He struck out seven batters in four and two-thirds innings but allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits. Brett Houseal (Marist) and Derrick Brewer (Radford) each pitched out of the Amsterdam bullpen.

The game began as a pitchers' duel between the two Mid-Atlantic region pitchers; Carter from Collegeville, Pa. and Leiter from Lanoka Harbor, N.J. Elmira broke a scoreless deadlock in the fourth inning. Justin Lacy reached on an error to start the stanza and then was doubled home by Aaron Hopper. Hopper advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a second wild pitch with two outs to shoot the Pios up 2-0. After the Mohawks stranded a runner on third in the top of the fifth, Elmira added two more scores. Ryan Normoyle belted a one-out RBI double to score Geoff Jimenez (FAU) and with two outs, Justin Lacy singled home Normoyle to increase Elmira's lead to four. Corey Keller lofted a solo home run in the seventh to spot the Pios a 5-0 advantage.

All four of Amsterdam's eighth-inning tallies came with one out. Jack Fischer was hit by a pitch, stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch with one away. Fischer scored the first run for the Mohawks on a wild pitch as Zach Shank (Marist) drew a base on balls. Jude Vidrine laced a double to move Shank over to third. A pitching change by the Pioneers was greeted by three-straight RBI singles from Kody Ortman, Parker Morin and Caleb Bryson.

Wednesday night's Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League contests in Newark, Cooperstown and Watertown were all postponed because of rain. The Newark Pilots and Albany Dutchmen will play a doubleheader on July 12 beginning at 5:05 p.m. at Newark's Colburn Park to make up for their rain out. The Watertown Wizards and Glens Falls Golden Eagles will play a doubleheader on Tues., July 19, beginning at 4:00 p.m. at Watertown's Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. No make-up date has been announced for the Cooperstown-Mohawk Valley tilt at Cooperstown's Doubleday Field.

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