In game two of the Western Division Championship Series, the Elmira Pioneers (27-23) were defeated by the Jamestown Jammers (34-15) 7-4 on Thursday evening at Dunn Field.
The win clinched the Western Division crown as the Jammers took the best of three series two games to nothing and thus ended the Pioneers season.
After taking game one 9-3 at Diethrick Park, the Jammers were just one win away from their first trip to the PGCBL Championship Series. Jamestown handed the ball to Michael Ginther (Canisius) to try and get the job done as the Pioneers countered with Allbry Major (Xavier).
The Jammers scored the first run of the game in the second inning. Alex O’Donnell (Mercyhurst) singled with one out and then promptly stole second base. Jimmy Standohar (Mercyhurst) then singled him home to give the Jammers a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, the Pioneers tied the game up at one a piece. Following a leadoff single to Andrew Orzel (Wofford) and a walk to Troy Dixon (Samford), Conor Grammes (Xavier) blasted a ball off the right field fence that scored Orzel and turned into a long single when Dixon held up at second. The Pioneers threat was then extinguished when the next batter, Ayrton Schafer (Samford) lined into an inning ending triple play that kept the score knotted at one.
The Pioneers struck again in the fifth, this time to take the lead. Singles by Brayden Combs (Kentucky) and Brett Vosik (Kansas) opened the inning and the two then advanced to second and third after a groundout from Colton Evans (UC-Davis). Ginther then uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Combs from third, and giving Elmira their first lead of the series.
The lead did not last long as Jamestown responded with two runs in the top of the sixth. Standohar picked up his second RBI hit of the game as he singled home Chris Estrada (UTSA) to tie the game at two. Standohar then advanced two bases on a wild pitch and then scored on a Nick Bernick (Niagara) infield single.
The Jammers extended their lead in the seventh inning. Ben Brookover (UTSA) singled home John Conti (Canisius) to open the scoring in the inning. Brookover then came all the way around to score when, with the bases loaded, Standohar was hit by a pitch, forcing home a run. A wild pitch then plated O’Donnell from third to give the Jammers a 6-2 lead.
Elmira got one of those runs back in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Brett Rodriguez (Wofford) singled home a run to bring the Pioneers to within three.
But it would be one step forward and one step back for the Pioneers as Jamestown scored another run in the top of the eighth, this time on a Skyler Valentine (UTSA) sacrifice fly.
The Pioneers rallied in the ninth to score a run on an Orzel RBI single to make it a 7-4 game, but Dixon struck out looking to end the ball game, representing the tying run.
Ginther is credited with the win after working 5.2 innings and striking out four while allowing two runs. Major is tagged with the loss as he allowed three runs in 5.1 innings and struck out four while walking five.
With the loss, the Elmira Pioneers season comes to a conclusion.
(Courtesy: Elmira Pioneers)