Elmira, NY — The Elmira Pioneers began the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season with victories over Watertown and Amsterdam. However, the Pioneers faced defeat for the first time in their third contest in a 12-3 defeat at the hands of the Newark Pilots in front of 3,124 fans.
The pitching matchup pitted Colton Gunn (Virginia State) for the Pioneers against Steven Powles (St. Josephs) for Newark, and it was Powles who came out ahead. The 6’6″ right-hander went 6 innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, striking out 1 while walking none. The Pioneers were able to push across runs against him on RBI singles by Taylor Skerpon (Penn State) and Christian Santisteban (Manhattan), but they could draw no closer as Powles did an excellent job working around runners on base.
Gunn, meanwhile, did get a big double play to escape the third inning in his Pioneers debut, but he allowed 5 runs, 3 earned, in 4 innings of work total before departing. Zach Pidgeon (Ithaca) did deliver 2 innings of no-hit, shutout ball in the 6th and 7th, with the former ending on a spectacular defensive play. Pidgeon struck out Wyatt Padgett (BYU) as Tommy Wagner (Cornell) darted for third, and the throw from Jordan Taylor (Radford) was caught on a dive by Taylor Hillson (Mansfield), who tagged out Wagner in the same motion for the out.
The hero of the game for Newark were Wagner, who went 4 for 5 with an RBI, 2 runs scored, and a trio of stolen bases. On the other side, it was Christian Santisteban who impressed in the Pioneers loss, going 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
The win improves the Pilots to 3-1 on the season, a half-game ahead of the 2-1 Pioneers in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League West Division. It will not be long, though, before the Pioneers get a chance for revenge. Elmira will take on Newark once again at 7:05 PM on Tuesday night. Be sure to get your tickets at the Pioneers front office at Dunn Field, or by calling 607-734-2690.