Historic Dunn Field had an air of excitement as the Elmira Pioneers took on the Newark Pilots in a win or go home game to advance to the West Division Championship series.
The Pilots took a 1-0 lead early in the top of the second after a RBI groundout from Will Allocca (U. of Virginia).
After going hitless in six straight innings, the Pioneers rallied with two hits and a key Pilot error to take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth. After Blake Buckman (U. of Louisiana at Monroe) lead off with a walk, Lucas Denney (Seattle U.) hit a single up the middle to put runners on first and second. A throwing error by Chris Whelan (Parkland) would allow Blake to score. Phil Madonna (Siena) would hit a single to bring in two to bring the score 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
After a wild pitch brought in Storm Wilson (Kentucky), the Newark head coach was ejected after arguing the strike zone. Afterwards, a the benches would clear and gather around second base as tensions rose between Rob Perteet (Samford) and the middle infield of the Pilots. After that, Brian Kelly (Siena) hit a RBI double to bring in Perteet and the 5-1 lead.
The Pilots would try to work a rally in the top of the eighth and shorten Elmira’s lead 5-2.
However, Parker Caracci (Ole Miss) would shut down the Pilots one-two-three to notch down the save. Stephen Arnsten (Manhattan) receives the win pitching one inning of work and striking out three batters. Caracci pitched the save striking out two batters. Solomon Bates (USC) receives the loss for the Pilots.
Tonight is the First Round of the West Division Championship Series as Elmira will take on the Utica Blue Sox at 7:05 p.m.
West No. 1 vs. No. 4: Elmira 5 Newark 2
West No. 2 vs. No. 3: Utica 3 Jamestown 1
East: No. 4 Oneonta at No. 1 Amsterdam — The game was postponed.
East: No. 3 Mohawk Valley at No. 2 Albany — The game was postponed.
East: No. 4 Oneonta at No. 1 Amsterdam 6:35 p.m.
East: No. 3 Mohawk Valley at No. 2 Albany 7:05 p.m.
West: No. 2 Utica at No. 1 Elmira 7:05 p.m.