Score: Elmira College 21, Alfred State 14
Records: Elmira (10-10), Alfred State (4-26)
Location: Pioneer Park - Alfred, New York
ALFRED, N.Y. -- The Elmira College baseball team overcame erratic pitching and defense with a season-high 21 runs to defeat Alfred State in a non-conference slugfest by a final score 21-14 at Pioneer Park in Alfred, New York, on Tuesday.
The EC offense scored runs in bunches, lighting up the scoreboard with crooked numbers in the second, third, fifth, sixth, and ninth innings. The scoring onslaught began with a six-run second inning, although all of those runs were unearned to Alfred State starter Lucas Cornell. Tommy Fogarty '20, Conor Bawiec '18 and Dylan Bellinger '17 highlighted the inning with back-to-back-to-back RBI base hits, before Bawiec scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-0 Elmira.
In the third, Jansen Crossley '20 continued his recent run of success with a run-scoring double. He then increased EC's lead to 8-1 by scoring the ensuing single off the bat of Eddie O'Donnell IV '18. The Pioneers trimmed the deficit down to just two, 8-6, with five runs of their own in the bottom of the third. The Alfred State offense was accelerated by four walks and two Soaring Eagle errors in the frame.
The Purple and Gold responded with a combined seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings to widen the gap to 15-6. Harrison Zambarano '19 drove in two in the fifth with a single to center, and picked up another RBI in the following frame with an infield single. Matt van Muelken '18 also drove in a run as part of the four-run sixth with a two-bagger to left center.
Once again, the pesky Pioneers fought their way back into the game, this time with four-spots in the sixth and seventh innings. An Austin Baker two-run triple was the big blow in the sixth, but in the seventh, Elmira relievers walked four, hit one, and a costly error extended the inning. Pedro Mora drove in two unearned runs with a key single down the line in left as Alfred State reduced the EC lead to just one, 15-14.
Corey DeMauro '20 and Nick Cottone '19 settled down on the mound to throw perfect innings in the eighth and nine, respectively, to preserve the lead. Meanwhile, the offense provided six more insurance runs in the top of the ninth, thanks in part to doubles from Cameron Heggie '19 and Joey Florio '20.
On the heels of two important Empire 8 Conference series this week, Head Coach Corey Paluga pitched by committee in the non-conference bout, allowing several first- and second-year arms to get valuable innings on the mound. Although both teams struggled in terms of pitching and defense – Tuesday night's contest featured a combined 25 walks and eight errors – the bats came through when needed for Elmira, which scored a season-high 21 runs. Eleven different Soaring Eagles registered at least one hit, and the team posted a season highs with 16 RBIs and six doubles.
In Their Own Words...
Head Coach Corey Paluga on getting young players at-bats and innings in the non-conference game...
"It was encouraging to see several young players contribute today. We emphasize competition within our team and today was a great example of that."
Coach Paluga when asked about the debut of junior transfer Eddie O'Donnell IV...
"He showed us that he was ready to play regardless of being unavailable the first half of the season. He brings a great level of toughness to our team."
Coach Paluga on preparing for a busy week of Empire 8 games following Tuesday's victory...
"We need to compete better if we want to beat conference teams this week."
Inside the Box Score
- Elmira scored 21 runs on 17 hits, while Alfred State tallied 14 runs on just seven hits.
- 11 different Soaring Eagles had a hit, 11 different players scored a run, and 10 had at least one RBI.
- Zambarano and O'Donnell each had a team-high three hits.
- Zambarano finished 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs.
- O'Donnell was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
- Fogarty was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
- Although Heggie officially finished 1-for-2 at the plate, he drew four walks and scored a team-high four runs.
- Blake Phelps '19 earned the win on the mound with 3.2 innings of relief.
- Phelps struck out three and gave up four runs on four hits.
- DeMauro tossed 1.2 scoreless innings with one strikeout.
- Cottone fanned two of the three batters he faced in the ninth inning.
- Mora was 1-for-4 with a game-high five RBIs for the Pioneers.
- Alfred State first baseman David Zuber had two hits, two RBIs and scored four runs.
- Connell was tagged with the loss after giving up eight runs – two earned – on five hits in 2.0 innings.
News and Notes
- The Soaring Eagles leveled their overall record at 10-10.
- Tuesday's win was the first for Elmira against Alfred State in five tries.
- EC posted season highs with 21 runs, 16 RBIs, 12 walks, and six doubles.
- O'Donnell made his collegiate debut at catcher and came up big with three hits.
- Fogarty's three RBIs are a season high for the freshman.
- Zambarano tied his career high with three RBIs.
- Tuesday's relief appearance was the fourth scoreless outing of the season for Cottone.
- Bawiec extended his on-base streak to a team-long 13 consecutive games.
- Heggie scored a career-high four runs and tied a program record for walks in a game with four.
Elmira has a quick turnaround, as the Soaring Eagles return to historic Dunn Field for the first of three games against No. 18 St. John Fisher College on Wednesday, April 19. The Empire 8 tilt is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m.