The Elmira Pioneers scored two runs in the top of the 13th inning to pull out a 6-4 victory over the Newark Pilots at Colburn Park on Opening Day of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
Despite a strong performance from starter Will Spitzfaden (Southeast Missouri State), who went eight innings and allowed only one earned run, the Pilots bullpen was unable to secure the first win of the season. Newark’s four relievers combined to give up four runs on five hits and five walks.
Elmira’s Matt Pelt (Wofford) doubled to lead off the top of the 13th with the game tied, 4-4. An RBI single from Colby Gee (Ithaca) drove in Pelt for the game-winning run. Gee scored an insurance run on Ryan Plantier’s (Cornell) RBI base hit.
The Pilots (0-1) had runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the 13th trailing 6-4, but Elmira’s Parker Curry (Samford, 1-0) forced Newark’s Taylor Hinshaw (Georgia College) to ground out to win the game.
The Pioneers (1-0) took a 4-2 lead in the 11th inning off a two-run single from Chris Knott (East Stroudsburg). The Pilots responded in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs of their own. Matt McKinnon (University of Pennsylvania), who was hit by a pitch from Curry to lead off the inning, scored on a single from Sam Fox (Pomona-Pitzer). Fox scored the tying run in the next at bat.
Hinshaw scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning to give the Pilots an early 1-0 lead. Steve Laurino (Marist) earned Newark’s first RBI of 2013 with a single to right field, allowing Hinshaw to score the first run of the game. Laurino was gunned down from center field as he tried to score from second on a single from Max Rosing (Cortland) to end the inning.
Elmira scored one run each in its half of the fifth and sixth innings to gain a 2-1 advantage. With the bases loaded in the eighth, Laurino tied the game after being walked by Elmira reliever Jasper Adams (Ithaca), but the Pilots were unable to plate any more runners in the inning.
Austin Barnes (Hartford, 0-1) was tagged with the loss for the Pilots giving up two runs in 1 2/3 innings of work in relief. Rosing finished with a game-high four hits and Josh Ludwig (University of Rochester) followed with three hits.
Elmira starter Tommy Alexander (Old Dominion) allowed one run while striking out three Pilots in six full innings of work. At the plate the Pioneers were led by Knott, who finished with two hits and three RBI.
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The Pilots (@NewarkPilots) continue their homestand Thursday, June 6, against the Glens Falls Golden Eagles while the Pioneers travel to Watertown to face the Rams.