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2013 PGCBL West Division Champs

Pioneers Manager Matt Burch to Step aside

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 | Categories:




Elmira, NY – The 2016 Elmira Pioneers finished their most recent PGCBL campaign with a 33-15 record, a West Division Regular Season Championship, and an appearance in the West Division Championship Series. Over the past four seasons the Pioneers have went 113-79 with one appearance in the PGCBL Championship Series under the tutelage of Burch.


Burch, who will hand over the managerial duties to long-time assistant Brian Hill for the 2017 season will remain with the team as a Special Advisor. The Pioneers have qualified for PGCBL Post-Season play each of the last four seasons under the current coaching staff of Burch, Hill, and Archie McNelis.


“Thank you to ownership for the opportunity for my family over the last 4 years. I am looking forward to following the Pioneers' success and plan on being a part of the best fans in all of summer baseball” stated Burch.


Pioneers Co-Owner Don Lewis was asked about the job that Burch has done for the team and stated, "I can’t thank Matt enough for his hard work and dedication to the Pioneers. I am very happy that he will be staying on board as a Special Advisor with the team."


Hill, who has spent several years working alongside Burch during the summer months, is no stranger to baseball fans in the Twin Tiers. Hill joined the Pioneers staff as an assistant at the start of the 2013 season for his second stint with the team after holding the same position with the club in 2006. When asked about the opportunity to take over the managerial duties Hill stated, “I am very excited about the opportunity to manage the Elmira Pioneers. Elmira has a tremendous baseball tradition and is the best place in the country to coach summer baseball.”


Hill went on to say, “Elmira has the best owners and the best fans (we averaged over 3,300 fans per game this summer). Matt {Burch} and I have spent the last 11 summers together coaching either with the Pioneers or the Gaffer Travel team, he is a close friend, and he will be greatly missed. Archie {McNelis} will be staying as an assistant and will be a great asset. Archie and I look forward to continuing the playoff streak (4 straight summers).”


Pioneers Co-Owner Robbie Nichols said of Hill taking over the managerial duties, “Don and I know that Brian will do a phenomenal job with the team, we all have worked with him over the past four seasons and his dedication to this team is amazing. I know that Brian will bring the same passion along with him that Matt did and put together an exciting team of young men to entertain the greatest fans in all of summer baseball.”


Matt and his staff helped bring the Pioneers back to life by putting a winning baseball team on the field year after year. The Pioneers once averaged 500-1000 fans per game and when the new ownership group took over with Matt's coaching staff in place, the Pioneers quickly averaged over 3,000 fans a game. The Pioneers were third in the country in average attendance after the 2014 season and second in the country in overall attendance numbers.