ELMIRA, N.Y. – In a game that featured 35 combined runs and 45 combined hits, the Elmira Pioneers (19-17) prevailed over the visiting Newark Pilots (11-26) at Dunn Field on Friday evening by a score of 18-17 in 10 innings.
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Marshall Gilbert (John A. Logan) RBI single, the Pioneers would see their lead immediately go by the wayside in the second.
Newark rallied for six runs in the top of the second inning which started with a D’Marcus Guillory (Motlow State) RBI groundout. Mark McKenna (Canisius) then roped a two run single to push the lead to two. Will Allocca (Virginia) one-upped McKenna with a two run double one batter later making the score 5-1. Peter Battaglia (Niagara) capped off the inning with an RBI single of his own to left field.
The Pioneers would scrape back two runs in the third inning. With two men on, Conor Grammes (Xavier) stroked a two run double to right field, trimming the deficit to three.
Newark would respond with one run of their own in the top of the fourth inning. Zach Santoro (Notre Dame College) scored Battaglia with an RBI hit to push the lead back to four.
The Pioneers would get within one run thanks to a three run fourth inning. On a sacrifice bunt by Brett Rodriguez (Wofford) a throwing error from Battaglia allowed two runs to score when he threw wild on an attempted force out at third base. Gilbert then brought home Rodriguez with his second RBI single of the game.
Elmira would not be within one for very long as Newark exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth. Graham Hackbarth (Pearl River C.C) ripped an RBI double, before a wild pitch scored Guillory. Batttaglia then picked up another RBI single scoring Hackbarth. Po-Chuan Pan (Fu-Jen Catholic) proceeded to then line an RBI single to right and a subsequent wild pitch brought home the fifth run of the frame.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Pioneers would match the Pilots five runs and then some. A Colton Evans (UC-Davis) plated Brett Vosik (Kansas) to open the inning and Evans would later come around to score on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, with Rodriguez at third base Gilbert grounded out to short scoring Rodriguez. Grammes then followed Gilbert with an RBI single and was then scored on a Brayden combs (Kentucky) double to right. Devon Adams (Old Dominion) then tied the game on a groundball single to right scoring combs from second. The Pioneers would then take the lead on a Brett Vosik (Kansas) double to right-center. Evans then proceeded to get his second hit of the inning, this time an RBI single to left that scored Vosik and gave the Pioneers a 14-12 advantage.
That lead would not hold for very long as the Pilots scored twice in the top of the sixth. McKenna picked up yet another RBI single and then with the bases loaded Colton Carney (Seton Hill) knocked home Guillory to tie the game.
Gilbert then untied the game in the bottom of the sixth for the Pioneers with a moonshot over the wall in left, his fourth homerun of the season, to put Elmira back on top 15-14.
The Pioneers would tack on an insurance run in the eighth inning thanks to a Grammes RBI single through the hole on the left side to give Elmira a two run lead going into the ninth inning.
Newark would rally in the ninth inning to tie the game at 16 runs a piece. A wild pitch scored Pan and then a McKenna single up the middle knotted the score for the Pilots.
The game would go into extra innings, where in the top of the tenth inning, the Pilots would reclaim the lead. With two outs and Battaglia at second base, Christian Orr (Saginaw Valley State) blooped a single to center to give the Pilots a one-run lead.
The Pioneers would have one final push in them however, as they scored two in the bottom of the tenth to win the ballgame. Grammes tied the game with his sixth hit of the game, another RBI single, which set the stage for Anthony Nucerino (UConn). Nucerino singled to centerfield bringing Gilbert around to score and gave the Pioneers the walk-off victory.
TJ Stuart (Manhattan) gets the win after pitching the tenth inning and giving up one run. Kyle Griffen (Louisiana Tech) is dealt the loss after giving up two runs in the bottom half of the tenth.
The Pioneers broke a handful of franchise records in the 18-17 victory including: most team hits in a game (24), most individual team hits in a game (Conor Grammes, 6), most hits allowed in a game (21), most runs allowed in one game (17).
The Pioneers will play a doubleheader tomorrow, Saturday, July 15th, beginning at 5:05 against the Onondaga Flames at Dunn Field.