LaRue Leads Elmira Over Glens Falls

For the second straight night the Elmira Pioneers (9-5) jumped out to a big early lead, and then held off the Glens Falls Dragons (6-9) for a 5-2 PGCBL win at East Field. Justin Lewis (Kentucky) got the win on the mound, while Matthew Sturchio (Triton) took the loss. Ryan Bellomo (Siena) earned the save, closing out the Dragons in the ninth.


Elmira didn't waste any time scoring the first run of the game. Will LaRue (Xavier) greeted Sturchio, the Glens Falls starter with a triple off of the center field fence on the second pitch of the game. Zach Rutherford (Old Dominion) lined a single to right to plate LaRue with the first run of the game. The Pioneers took a 2-0 lead when Tyler Plantier (UC-San Diego) singled straight up the middle, driving in Rutherford.


Sturchio then settled down for the Dragons, retiring six straight over the course of the third and fourth innings, while striking out six. Meanwhile, Lewis, the Elmira starter, was cruising along, allowing only a pair of singles by Daniel Oliveri (Triton), striking out four, and not yielding a run through four innings.


The Pioneers added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. LaRue led off the stanza with a bunt-single. He then stole second and third. After Rutherford walked, it appeared as though Sturchio may work out of the jam as he recorded back to back strike outs. LaRue however would score on a passed ball, and Plantier again singled up the middle to drive in his second run of the game, chasing Sturchio and giving Elmira a 4-0 lead after four and a half. Elmira scored again in the sixth. Taylor Hillson (Mansfield) singled off of Glens Falls reliever Matthew Stojkov (Saginaw Valley State), stole second and advanced to third on a fielder's choice. Hillson then came across the plate after a passed ball to give the Pioneers a five run lead.


Glens Falls began a rally in the bottom of the seventh. Jake Vieth (Tacoma CC) led off the inning with a sharp double down the right field line. Ryan Hooper (UC-Davis) then reached when he was hit by a pitch, and the runners were bunted over to second and third by Zach McIlroy (Anderson). Pinch-hitter Oscar Rodriguez (St. Thomas) then cut the Elmira lead to 5-2 with a two-run double to right-center field. The Dragons loaded the bases later in the inning, but Lewis got out of the jamby getting Mark Powell (Bucknell) to pop up to end the inning. Glens Falls did not threaten again.


LaRue finished 3 for 5 on the evening, stealing three bases and scoring a pair of runs for Elmira. Christian Santisteban (Manhattan) was 2 for 4, while Plantier also had a pair of safeties for the Pioneers.


Lewis went seven innings for Elmira, scattering five hits, while striking out five and walking no Glens Falls batters.


Glens Falls is back in action on Saturday when they visit the Saugerties Stallions. Game time is 6:35 p.m.

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