The Pioneers entered the game yesterday, July 1st, on a two game losing skid after losses to Batavia and Geneva. 

Nic Ficarro (Mansfield) had a solid inning in relief in the loss to Geneva, keeping their red-hot offense quiet. Ficarro was happy with the performance, but alongside the rest of his team, disappointed about the loss as he said,

“Felt really good, just sucks that we lost. Could’ve had a better game.”

The team was able to have a better game the next night in Newark, when they faced the Pilots and won 13-0 in five innings.

Tristan Ciampa (Northern Essex CC) returned to the mound and scored the first “complete game” for the Pios this season, going the full five innings, and going through four and a third of them hitless. He finished the day with only two hits and walks, and five strikeouts, bringing his season total to 33.

Ciampa thanked his defense for his success, as he said,

“Honestly, give it up to my defense. They were making plays again, and you know, it’s easy to go out there and pitch when I have a defense behind me that’s just going out there and making plays.”

Ciampa added that he's improved his command this season, and when asked if those improvements would translate to success back at Northern Essex, he said,

“One-hundred percent. One-hundred percent.”

Max Mandler (Seton Hill) drove in three runs in the second inning with a near inside-the-park home run that was only scored as a single thanks to an error in picking up the ball in the outfield.

However, Mandler still feels it was a home run, as he said,

“Definitely not an error! Hit a rock in right field, went up, right over the dude’s head. Not an error. But, we got the win, that’s all that matters!”

The Pioneers have an off-day today, July 2nd, before playing some inter-league games on July 3rd and 4th. With the off day, some of the players decided to hit the golf course with their time off.

In the post-game interview, Mandler gave a shout-out to his teammate who’s struggling on the fairway, Mike Sokol (Chipola), as he said,

“I just wanna shout-out Mike Sokol, he’s been dealing with some hard times, can’t seem to figure it out on the golf course. I’m hoping he pulls through and gets the help he needs!”

He may struggle on the links, but on the mound, Sokol had a great outing in his recent start, and will likely be back on the mound when PGCBL play resumes on July 5th, when the Pioneers face the Auburn Doubledays.

- Taylor Stolworthy