ELMIRA, NY-After two hours of rain delay following a first inning that was cut short, baseball got underway tonight for the Elmira Pioneers against the Utica Brewers. Prior to the delay, the Pioneers were able to capitalize on some unsteady pitching from Brewers starter Chun-Hao Lao. Lao hit both Will Larue and Tommy Mirabelli with pitches, and then walked Christian Santisteban to load the bases.
As Troy Squires hit, a fielder’s choice allowed Will Larue to run in for the Pioneers’ first run of the night.
Soon after, Lao threw a wild pitch to bring Santisteban home and raise the Pioneers’ lead to 2-0. Unfortunately, the rain took over play at Dunn Field, and it would not resume for two hours.
When play resumed at 9:15 PM, the Brewers had replaced Lao with Patrick Bellinger to complete the first inning. Josh Lovelady came up to bat for the Pioneers, and hit a single to advance Troy Squires, who was on second before the delay, to third. Shortly thereafter, Lovelady stole second, leading to an error from Brewers catcher Dan Vucovich which brought Squires in and extended the Pioneers lead to 3-0.
The Brewers answered in the second, as they managed to load the bases following a walk from Pioneers pitcher Nate Matheson, as well as a single and bunt. Taylor Olmstead, the Brewers right fielder, hit to allow third baseman Zach Piazza to run home on a fielder’s choice, making the score 3-1. Unfortunately, the inning was cut short for the Brewers following an excellent double play from Pioneers third baseman Keegan Maronpot.
The Pioneers lead fell to one in the fourth when Piazza hit a single to right field, and advanced to first base. After one out, Aaron Smith stepped up to hit a triple to deep right field, allowing Piazza to run home and bringing the score to 3-2.
Extending their lead, the Pioneers struck again in the seventh inning when Larue was hit by a pitch from Alec Morrison, who had just stepped onto the mound. A bold Larue chose to steal both second and third base, and then Christian Santisteban stepped up to hit an RBI single to bring Larue home. The Pioneers 4-2 going into the eighth.
The Brewers closed the gap yet again in the eighth, when Piazza hit a double to right field. Following Piazza, the left fielder Kyle Schade stepped and hit a triple to deep center field, bringing Piazza home. Fortunately for the Pioneers, they managed to get out of the inning without any further scoring, as Garrett Schilling struck out a batter to close the inning.
Responding to the Brewers’ run in the 8th, the Pioneers produced one of their own, improving their lead to 5-3. Lovelady, already on base twice in this game, hit a single early on in the inning. He advanced to second on a whiff from Taylor Hillson. Sam Clark then joined the game, taking the place of Keegan Maronpot, and hit a single to right field, advancing Lovelady to third. Justin Hayes then hit a single and brought Lovelady in for the run.
This would be the final score for the game, as the Pioneers take it after a long night. Matheson takes the win for the Pioneers with seven strikeouts. For the Brewers, Lao takes the loss, and The Pioneers improve to 4-4 on the season.
Make sure the check the Pioneers out tomorrow night at Dunn Field as they take on the Victor Railriders. WENY bobbleheads will be handed out at the door, and it’s guaranteed win night!