Elmira Overcomes Ninth-Inning Deficit to Defeat Alfred State, 14-10

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Score: Elmira College 14, Alfred State College 10
Records: Elmira (7-26), Alfred State (12-26)
Location: Alfred State Baseball Field -- Alfred, N.Y.
 The Elmira College baseball team pulled off an exciting comeback against non-conference foe Alfred State College today, erasing a three-run ninth-inning deficit to defeat the Pioneers by a 14-10 final score in Alfred, New York.

Seven different Soaring Eagles logged RBIs in the contest, led by Matt van Muelken '18, who posted a game-high four, all coming in critical moments of the tilt. Dennis Rudolph '18 and Cameron Heggie '18 rounded out EC's players with two-plus RBIs. Conor Bawiec '18 went 3-for-3 from the plate with a walk and four runs scored. On the mound, Alex Crysler '21 earned the win by pitching 2.0 innings and allowing just one earned run.

The action in the game began in the ninth inning, with the Soaring Eagles trailing 10-7 entering the frame. With one out and the bases loaded, van Muelken stepped to the bag and reached base on an RBI groundout that was mishandled by the opposing third baseman that allowed Sam Plaugher '20 to score. The next run was plated by Rudolph, who drove Bawiec home from third. Heggie then tied the score at 10-10 with a sacrifice fly to center.  

A clean bottom of the ninth set up a prime opportunity for the Purple and Gold in the 10th. Two walks and a hit-by-pitch to begin the frame loaded bases for EC. For the second time in the tilt, van Muelken stepped up in a big situation, as he cleared the bases with a double to give Elmira a 13-10 advantage. A Heggie single two batters later gave EC its eventual winning score of 14-10. Joe Kidd '18 entered in relief and maintained Elmira's lead by not allowing a run in 1.0 innings pitched.

Elmira opened the bout's scoring in the first inning with RBI singles by both Tommy Fogarty '20 and Nick Sampogna '18. The early offensive pop gave the Soaring Eagles a 2-0 advantage to begin the contest.

After a four-run third for the Pioneers, which was highlighted by a two-run blast from David Zuber, Elmira faced a two-run deficit heading into the fifth. EC was up for the challenge, as it scored three runs in the frame to retake the lead, 5-4.

Alfred State took the lead back in the sixth with three runs in the inning. Three more runs over the seventh and eight frames gave the Pioneers the aforementioned 10-7 lead in the ninth. EC's lone runs in the stretch came off the bat of Fogarty, who tripled to right field to score Bawiec, before getting home himself on a throwing error by the right fielder.
In Their Own Words…
Head Coach Corey Paluga shares his thoughts following tonight's comeback victory…
"It was very reassuring to see several different guys step up when they got an opportunity. That is something that we have tried to instill throughout the season that if your name is called you have to be ready. Several guys were ready to play tonight."
Coach Paluga on talks about the team's resiliency tonight after facing a deficit in the ninth inning…
"We didn't give up. When the season isn't going the way that you are expecting it to, it is easy for the team to be more flat. The fact that we were able to continue to compete and continue to show the energy is always exciting as a coach."
Coach Paluga on taking today's momentum into the final two games of the season…
"It's great for the seniors, they are able to finish on a higher note.it shows to the younger players in the program that when we are able to execute in all facets of the game, we are capable of good things. I hope that motivates them going into the last week and into the offseason."
News and Notes

  • Today's win is Elmira's third consecutive victory, and it improves their overall record to 7-26.
  • Today's contest marks EC's first extra-inning tilt of the year.
  • The 14 runs scored by the Soaring Eagles is the team's second-highest total of 2018.
  • EC's 16 hits are tied for the most the team has logged this season.
  • van Muelken's four RBIs today are a career high for the senior.
  • Bawiec has tallied multiple hits in three straight tilts.
  • After a strong day at the plate, Bawiec's batting average rose to .314, which is second on the team.
  • Bawiec's four runs scored are a career high for the senior
  • Fogarty's three-hit day is his third of the season.
  • Bryce Plante '18 has reached base safely in each of the last six games.
  • Crysler went a season-high 2.0 innings today to earn his first career win.

Up Next
The Soaring Eagles return to the field tomorrow evening, as they welcome Penn College to historic Dunn Field for a non-conference showdown. The first pitch for the tilt is slated for 6:00 p.m.