Elmira, NY – Thursday night brought a huge birthday party celebration for Pioneers mascot Stitches at Historic Dunn Field, and it was certainly a party atmosphere in the ballpark. The 3397 Pioneers fans in attendance enthusiastically rooted for their team, cheering loudly after every Elmira base runner reached safely and going crazy every time a Pioneers pitcher recorded a strikeout. However, the end result was not what the Pioneers (10-7) hoped for as they lost to the Utica Brewers (3-15) by a 1-0 score.
Taylor Ahearn (Siena) delivered an outstanding outing for Elmira, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits in 6 innings, striking out 5 while walking 2. After retiring 11 in a row to end his outing against Mohawk Valley on June 18th, Ahearn retired 10 in a row after a walk to Cedric Mullins to begin the game. However, Marcos Martinez (Citrus) was just a little bit better for Utica, going 6 innings allowing no runs on 4 hits, striking out 5 while walking only 1. Josh Garran (Pace) threw the final three innings allowing only a walk for the first save of the season for Utica.
Zach Bican (Pitt-Bradford) in relief of Ahearn, threw two shutout innings with the help of a tremendous defensive play by Joe Guaragna (Old Dominion). After Corey Lerche (Gloucester CC) hit a line drive towards the left field corner, Guaragna cut the ball off before delivering a strike to Taylor Skerpon (Penn State) to gun down Lerche trying to stretch his hit into a double. Blake Oyler (Kentucky) finished the game for the Pioneers with a scoreless ninth, using a pickoff of Reno Rankin to face the minimum three in the inning.
Taylor Skerpon also had a big game at the plate for the Pioneers, going 1 for 2 with a walk and a stolen base. The steal was his 8th of the season, tying TJ Dixon (Samford) for most on the team. He has also been caught only one time this season on his way to the highest stolen base success rate (88.9%) among Pioneers minimum five attempts.
The Pioneers will return home to Dunn Field this coming Saturday and Sunday as they take on the Albany Dutchmen and Watertown Rams respectively. Saturday's 7:05 PM game will feature free Elmira Pioneers flags courtesy of Jubilee Foods before Sunday's 5:05 start will feature free party time cowbells. Fans can look forward to more excellent pitching and heroics from players like Skerpon as you take in a Pioneers game at Historic Dunn Field.
Elmira Pioneers Baseball...A Baseball Tradition since 1888
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