Pioneers Battle Back, Overcome Outlaws 7-6
Elmira came into Tuesday nights game at historic Dunn Field with a three game losing streak in tow. The good news was they were set to play Oneonta who they have beaten in both matchups this season. They were looking to make it three as the Pios took to the field with Kevin Teschko on the mound.
The first inning saw the Outlaws threaten as they would load the bases with two outs, but the Pioneers were able to tightrope out of danger as they found the final out. The Pioneers came up to the plate with two hits of their own, but with two outs Brody Moore attempted to go from first to third on a squeaker of a ground ball by Preston Moore and was tagged out at third base to retire the side.
Oneonta came up with a vengeance in the second inning as a walk, three singles, and a double gave the Outlaws a four run second inning. The Pioneers had now given up four run innings in back to back games. Teschko stayed in the game through three complete innings before Alex Bardo, the SUNY Cortland student, took over and pitched three more innings to keep the score close.
After Bardo pitched his half of the sixth the Pios came to the plate and finally found the solution to Oneonta starter Anthony Van Fossen. Andrew Sexton, Brody Moore, and Preston Moore all singled to load the bases for Nathan Peng. Peng singled scoring Sexton and Brody cutting the lead to 4-2 before Trae Harmon made the first out of the inning on a sac fly to score Preston. Nathan Berg and Kyle Richardson both singled to drive in Peng and tie the ball game at four a piece. Jonathan Sylvester came in for the Outlaws, but his first batter, Garrett Schultz, singled before a Jeff Mejia sac fly gave the Pios the lead, 5-4. Sylvester would get the final out, but Elmira had the lead for the first time in the game.
Matt Busher came in and put up a zero in the top of the seventh, while Rick Burroni did the same thing in the bottom half. Busher found the eighth inning a little tougher to deal with as he surrendered two singles and a double to tie the game at 5 a piece. Busher was lifted for Nathan Berg who got the Pios out of the eighth, but not before surrendering the go-ahead run on a passed ball. The Pios could not even up the game in the bottom half and we went to the ninth.
Berg continued to pitch as well as he has all year with a perfect 1-2-3 top half of the ninth inning. As the Pioneers came into the bottom half of the ninth there was a renewed hope coming from the bench. Everyone seemed charged and ready to go. Unwilling to accept defeat as has happened so often this season. Garrett Schultz lead things off with a single and advanced to second on a past ball before Mason Ruhlman popped out to first. Andrew Sexton struck out swinging so with Schultz on second it all came down to Brody Moore. Moore worked a long 0-2 count before doubling off the outfield wall scoring the tying run as Schultz came around to score. Preston Moore hit a single by the third baseman to put runners at the corners with Nathan Peng coming up to the dish. Peng worked a 1-1 count before hitting a ground ball right past the third basemen to drive in Brody Moore and with that the Pioneers claimed victory.
Elmira will be back in action tonight as they take on the Watertown Rapids in a one game road trip before returning home for the second half of a home and home against Watertown here at historic Dunn Field on July 4th at 7:05 pm. Get your tickets now 607-734-2690!