The Pioneers came in riding a three game winning streak as they continued a four game road trip.As a trip the three hour jaunt to Watertown did nothing to unsettle the Pioneers who came off the bus jovial and loose as they name into the game seeking their fourth straight win and fifth win in the last six games.
Noah Rubino got the start for the Pioneers on Thursday night, and that also seems to provide a sense of relief for the Pios as Rubino has pitched stellar ball throughout the first month of the season. On Thursday Rubino had some trouble settling into the first inning as after getting out number one on a fly out to center, Noah walked the second batter Derek Kasperzyk who would steal second and third and score on a past ball. After the past ball James Krick would pop out before Vinny DeRubeis hit a solo home to put Watertown up 2-0 after the bottom of the first.
Elmira's offense would be held until the third inning when after Brennen Dorighi struck out, Jeff Mejia singled and then as Garrett Schultz hit a double to right center Mejia came around to close the gap to 2-1. It would take another couple innings until the Pios could close the gap completely, but they did it with style as Schultz hit a single to begin the fifth and the next batter, Nathan Peng, drove a deep shot over the wall for his first dinger as a Pio and giving Elmira their first lead of the night, 3-2.
The Pios continued to show off their power as Mason Ruhlman came up in the seventh and led it off with a no doubt solo shot to give Elmira some insurance, but they weren't done there. Nathan Berg reached on a throwing error and would come around to score on a Bryce Moskiewicz double to increase the lead to 5-2 and then a Mejia single drove in Moskiewicz as the top of the seventh closed with a 6-2 Pioneers lead.
Watertown was not going to go quietly away however as in the bottom of the eighth as reliever Connor Takacs walked Kasperzyk before giving up a 2 run shot to DeRubeis, his second long ball of the night to bring Watertown back to within 2 heading into the ninth, 6-4.
Nathan Berg would be called from the shortstop position to close out the game, something he has done twice already on the season. After a quick first out getting George Rosales followed by a Brandon Taylor ground out to leave the Pioneers one out from victory things began to unravel. Berg walked Danny DiMarzo before a Nate Chase single put the tying run on base. Emil Matti single to put runners back on the corners and DiMarzo scored to close the gap to just one. Kasperzyk would work a walk to load the bases and with 2 outs the tying and winning runs were scoring position. James Krick worked a full count out of Berg before flying out to left field to give the Pioneers the victory 6-5.