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Pioneers Top Mohawks in Championship Rematch

By Doug Page

Box Score

Elmira, NY – The Elmira Pioneers (2-0) opened up their home portion of the 2014 PGCBL schedule on Friday night at Historic Dunn Field. The Amsterdam Mohawks (0-2) made the trip down to the Twin Tiers for the first time since the 2013 PGCBL Championship Series. 4,607 fans packed the ballpark and were entertained to a close ballgame that saw the Pioneers come out on top 3-2 and a mega fireworks display postgame.

Jeremy Soule (Fairfield) made his first start of the season against his former team from a summer ago. Soule suited up for the Mohawks in 2013 after completing his freshman year at Fairfield. Connor Johnstone (Wake Forest) toed the mound for Amsterdam in his first action of the 2014 season. The early innings proved to be a battle between the pitchers as the game remained scoreless heading into the third inning.

Amsterdam would score the first runs of the game in the top half of the third inning. Brendan Tracy (Fairfield) would cross the plate for the Mohawks on a groundout to the right side by Kevin Guthrie (Brown) giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. The Mohawks would tack on another run later in the inning to take a 2-0 lead.

The Pioneers would claw their way back into the game like they did on Thursday night against Watertown, using a three run fourth inning to take their first and only lead of the night. Elmira would start off the inning with back-to-back singles from Nick Walker (Old Dominion) and Christian Santisteban (Manhattan). Johnstone would find himself in a bases loaded jam one batter later as Taylor Skerpon (Penn State) worked a four pitch walk. Derek Deler (Florida International) would give Elmira a 3-2 lead  with his first hit in a Pioneers uniform driving in two runs with a single to right field.

The bullpen for the Pioneers closed the door on the Mohawks the rest of the way as Matt Horton (Cornell), Austin Hill (Ithaca), Austin Von Herbulis (Skagit Valley) and Tucker Rekucki (Bucknell) allowed just one combined hit over five innings. Soule finished his night going four innings while allowing two runs on three hits. Soule also struck out five Amsterdam batters as he would pick up the no decision. Horton moves to 1-0 on the season as he pitched two scoreless innings on the night while Rekucki earned the first save of the season by closing the game out in the ninth inning with the tying runner on base. TJ Dixon (Samford) followed up his 3-for-5 effort against Watertown by going 2-for-4 with two stolen bases. Santisteban and Walker also finished their night with two hit efforts in the win.

The Mohawks welcome the Albany Dutchmen into town on Saturday evening for the first time this season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at historic Shuttleworth Park. There will also be a HUGE post-game fireworks display for fans that will take place immediately following the game courtesy of McDonald's and Rick's Robo Car Wash.

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