Pioneers Pitchers Retire 21 Straight Batters in Loss to DiamondDawgs
Robbie KnopfThursday, September 6, 2012 | Categories:
The Elmira Pioneers have seen some excellent pitching performances so far in the 2014 season, with starting pitchers Bryson Hough (Bucknell) and Sam Sinnen (Old Dominion) impressing in recent games. On Wednesday, however, even in a loss to the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs (7-4), the Pioneers (7-4) saw their pitchers shine brighter than ever.
After the Pioneers scored in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Zac Bellinger (St. Rose), the game took a turn for the worst in the bottom of the inning. Taylor Ahearn (Siena) allowed four runs, none of which were earned, as the Pioneers defense made three errors behind him. In the following frame, though, Elmira fielders rebounded in a huge way, with Nick Walker (Old Dominion) delivering an outfield assist. The turnaround was underway, and the Pioneers pitching staff was unstoppable from there.
Ahearn retired the final 11 batters he faced to get the Pioneers through five innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5. He remained composed even after the rough first frame, and gave the Pioneers every opportunity to come back. That is exactly what they did in the sixth inning as Taylor Skerpon (Penn State) drilled a game-tying home run to knot the game at four runs apiece. Then Zach Pidgeon (Ithaca) and Austin Von Herbulis (Skagit Valley) retired all nine batters they faced to bring the consecutive batters retired streak to 20. In the bottom of the 9th, Zach Bican (Pitt-Bradford) made it 21 consecutive–seven full innings without a single runner reaching base.
Bican did allow a double and an intentional walk in that inning, but a double play groundball started a streak of eight more consecutive batters sent down to get the Pioneers through 11 innings. Finally in the 12th inning, though, Trey Stover hit a three-run home run to give the DiamondDawgs a 7-4 victory in the game. Despite the loss, the Pioneers have plenty to be excited about between Skerpon's heroics and the tremendous pitching, and they remain in first place in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League West Division by a half-game.
Pioneers fans, come see your hometown team at Dunn Field as they take on the Newark Pilots on Thursday night and the Watertown Rams on Friday, both at 7:05 PM. Thursday night will be Red Solo Cup Night, with canned beer on sale for just $2 each. Friday's game, meanwhile, will feature a rally towel giveaway courtesy of MetLife as fans enter the ballpark and postgame fireworks sponsored by CMS. For tickets, visit the Dunn Field Front Office or call 607-734-2690 for information.
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