After an 0-5 start to the season, the Elmira Pioneers took a 2-1 victory on the road at Historic Damaschke Field last night, defeating the Oneonta Outlaws in a close game.

After a shaky first two innings, Hunter Kendall (Houghton) completed five innings of one-run ball, while the Outlaws’ Logan Kaufman (Herkimer CC) completed six innings of one run ball. Ryan Myles (Wagner) completed one and two-thirds innings of relief, while Nick Reiser (Suffolk) came in for three innings of relief. Albert Vargas (Hudson Valley CC) came in and recorded the final out of the top of the eighth inning.

Reiser was lights-out in his three innings, retiring two bases-loaded situations, getting a double play in the bottom of the seventh with just one out, and getting out of bases-loaded with no outs jam in the bottom of the eighth.

Cooper Smith (Seton Hill) opened the top of the ninth with a hit, and thanks to a throwing error, got to third and eventually home off a Max Mandler (Seton Hill) sacrifice fly.

Tristan Ciampa (Northern Essex CC) came in and recorded the save in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Pioneers their first victory of the season.

Reiser’s three innings give him his first win, while Vargas takes the loss after surrendering the run, with Ciampa getting the save. 

Max Mandler, the man who had the winning RBI, was relieved after the win, as he said,

“I thought we battled all night, we got through some tough jams. Tip the cap to our pitchers, they really came out there and did their jobs. Glad that I was able to do my job for the team, it just felt great to get that first win.”

Meanwhile, Reiser thanked his defense for the help as he said,

“It was easy, I had good defense behind me. They made every play the whole night, so it wasn’t hard!”

Arguably the happiest person from the win was Coach Andrew Drum, as he said,

“It’s always nice when you come out of a game with, what did we have, two hits, three hits, and get the win out of it.”

When asked if this win could lead to a streak or a positive change in form, Drum said,

“Oh, of course, the coaching staff, we’ve been saying that all along. If we get the monkey off our back and get that first win, we’re going to be rolling. I think we started playing tense there for a couple games, it makes it tough. Once you get that first win, these guys can relax a little bit, and go out and play their style of baseball.”

The players also agreed, Mandler said that the locker room has a “great group of guys” and hopefully this win can spark a win streak as the Pioneers season continues.

The Pioneers improve to 1-5 after this win, as the Outlaws remain above .500 at 3-2. 

The next game for the Pioneers is against the Newark Pilots, which is tonight, June 10th at Dunn Field. The Pioneers have another home game on June 11th, a rematch against the Niagara Power, then they hit the road on June 12th against the Jamestown Tarp Skunks.