Pioneers Continue To Struggle Against Geneva, Drop Double Header
The Pios entered Sunday looking to rebound from a 16-2 defeat at the hands of division leader Geneva soon Friday evening and had two chances to do so as they made up the June 13th rainout. The Pioneers have struggled with Geneva since winning game one of the regular season and that has given the Red Wings a vault into first place in the division.
Game one began with some issues for starter Ben Terwilliger as he pelted leadoff hitter Brainy Rojas before a number of walks and a couple of ground outs lead to two runs and bases loaded three times in the inning. That marked the end of the day for Terwilliger and brought in Nathan Peng to pitch. Peng recorded the final out of the inning without nay more damage being done.
The Pioneers came up in the bottom half and attacked the ball, but it took a Brody Moore hit by pitch before a Preston Moore double to score their first run and the new pitcher Peng singled to score Preston and tie up the game. The second inning was quiet as both sides were unable to do much of anything in the inning, but in the third Geneva found their bats once again as three runs crossed the plate to give the Red Wings a 5-2 lead.
The bottom of the third saw Brody Moore work a walk and come all the way around again, but it would take until the bottom of the fourth to score Garrett Schultz and Nathan Berg on a Andrew Sexton triple to tie the game at 5 a piece. The Pios went to Tom Cattaneo in the top of the fourth inning and he came out unscathed, but in the fifth Cattaneo was tapped for four runs to give the Red Wings the 9-5 lead.
Despite their best efforts the Pios couldn't find an answer in the fifth or the sixth and as they turned to the bullpen again in the top of the seventh Mason Ruhlman gave up two unearned runs on an error before putting up three straight outs to get the Pioneers to the bottom of the seventh where he would lead things off with a single and eventually come around to score. That was all the offense Elmira could muster and they fell 11-6 in game one.
Game two began with a little fanfare as Johnnie Beecher, the 30th pick in the NHL Draft to the Boston Bruins, threw out the first pitch.Elmira seemed to come in a little more jazzed up and it showed as Brendan Koester took the hill. Despite walking the first two batters Koester settled down and got the next three for a scoreless top of the first. Koester carried that through the second as well for two scoreless innings from both sides.
In the third the script changed a little bit as after two singles and a hit by pitch the Pios saw a rare feat as Brandon Cooper cleared the bases with one swing of the bat, a grand slam in historic Dunn Field. Despite the 4-0 lead Koester got the next three outs in order. Brendan pitched 4 full only giving up the grand slam before Connor Takacs came in and took over. Takacs pitched a perfect fifth, but the sixth saw two runs score before turning to the pen for Steven Rossi, who continued the struggle and two more runs came in to score giving Geneva a 10-0 lead heading for the seventh.
Mason Ruhlman came in for the seventh again and got three quick outs including his first K of the year. The Pioneers were unable to score all game with much of the credit owed to starting pitcher Jacob Land who pitched a four hit shutout for the victory. The Pios tried to attack early, sit back late, and nothing seemed to work as Land controlled the game from start to finish.
The Pios will be back at home Tuesday, July 2nd as Elmira battles the Oneonta Outlaws for the third time this season. The Pioneers have found success against the Outlaws going 2-0 against them so far. Get your tickets now 607-734-2690!