Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League
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2013 PGCBL West Division Champs

Pioneers Take Twin Bill against Brewers

By: Doug Page

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 | Categories:




Utica, NY – The Elmira Pioneers entered play Saturday looking to turn things around after falling short in their last three games. The Pioneers would use their first doubleheader of the season to jump back on the momentum train by picking up two shutout victories against the Utica Brewers 8-0 & 1-0. Elmira used the combination of both timely hitting as well as timely pitching to put them back in the hunt for first place in the PGCBL West Division.

Roberto Suppa (Cornell) would be called upon by Pioneers Manager Matt Burch to silence the Brewers bats in game one. Suppa, who came into the game with a 1-0 record through two starts, showed early that putting zeros up on the scoreboard would be his number one priority. The Utica batters did plenty of searching for hits against Suppa as he scattered two hits over six innings of work.

In a scoreless battle the Elmira offense would strike first in the third inning against Utica starter Robert Hardy (Herkimer County C.C.) to take 1-0 lead. Taylor Skerpon (Penn State) would score from third base after a one out double on a Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan) sacrifice fly to deep centerfield. Zac Bellinger (Saint Rose) would use the long ball to give the Pioneers a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning as he sent a fastball over the right field fence for his second home run of the season.

With Suppa weaving his way through the Utica lineup it would allow the Pioneers to make a final offensive push in the fifth inning as five runs would cross the plate to make it an 8-0 ballgame. The inning was highlighted by Kalousdian’s second home run of the season as he drove a ball out to left field with a runner on base. The two home run effort by Kalousdian and Bellinger marks the second time this season that the Pioneers have done so in a game. Suppa moved to 2-0 on the season with the win as he struck out four batters while walking two. Matt Horton (Cornell) worked a clean bottom of the seventh inning for the Pioneers to close things out.

Game two of the doubleheader would showcase more pitching as compared to offense as the Pioneers sent Bryson Hough (Bucknell) to the mound making his third start of the season. Hough would mirror what Roberto Suppa did in game one as he kept the Brewers batters off balance throughout the game. Hough would use a good combination of pitches while changing speeds to induce seven groundball outs through his five innings of work. Hough would exit the game in the fifth inning with both teams still searching for their first runs of the night. Blake Oyler (Kentucky) would come out of the Elmira bullpen in the sixth inning and sit down the Brewers in order.

Searching for the big hit, Elmira would wait until the top of the seventh inning to make their one rally of the night. Christian Santisteban (Manhattan) kicked off the inning with a single up the middle to give the Pioneers the potential go ahead run. A sacrifice bunt by Bellinger would move Santisteban over to second base and then would score on a clutch RBI double by Taylor Hillson down the left field line to make it 1-0. Manager Matt Burch quickly made the move to his bullpen once again in the bottom half of the inning turning to Tucker Rekucki (Bucknell) to close things out. Rekucki, with some help from his defense would strand the potential tying run on base as he recorded a strikeout to end the game and give the Pioneers a doubleheader sweep of the Brewers.

The Pioneers return home on Sunday afternoon as the Niagara Power come into town for a 5:05 p.m. first pitch. This will be the only trip to Dunn Field for the Power as the Pioneers take a break from their PGCBL schedule. The first 500 kids in attendance will receive a FREE batting helmet courtesy of The Elmira Business Institute. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. and fans can get tickets at the Pioneers front office, which is located at Dunn Field. For more information call the Pioneers at 607-734-2690.

 The Elmira Pioneers…A Baseball Tradition since 1888!!