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Pioneers Fall in AMCC Opener

Danny Doran looking for his pitch

The Alfred State baseball team opened up AMCC play by battling defending champion LaRoche in a doubleheader played at Houghton College's Kerr Pegula Complex. The Redhawks used a huge 5th inning en route to a 17-8 victory in the opener and got the offense going early in a 10-6 win in the nightcap. 

The early part of the opener was dominated by the pitchers. The Pioneers got on the board first when Danny Doran (Irondequoit) connected on a solo homer to left in the 3rd. The Redhawks first hit came in the 4th when Shane Roebuck hit a two-run homer to give LaRoche their first lead. Andy Pichardo (Queens/Academy of American Studies) doubled down the left field line to score Jack Henby (Hornell) who had doubled to center moments earlier to tie the game in the 4th.

The offenses got cranking in the 5th. The Redhawks sent 16 batters to the plate in the top half of the inning and scored 11 runs on 10 hits. Jay Novak hit a three-run homer to left and Brandon Nania followed with a two-run shot two batters later. In the bottom half of the inning, the Pioneers answered with six runs of their own. Doran collected his second round tripper, a two-run shot, of the game to start the rally. Dan Woodward (Honoeye) and Mike Gibson (Schenectady) followed with RBI singles, Tim Holler (Brewster) drew a bases loaded walk, and Doran was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The Pioneers had the bases loaded when the final out was recorded.

The blue & gold loaded the bases in the 6th after holding LaRoche scoreless but could not get a run across the plate. The Redhawks added four insurance runs in the top of the 7th to seal the game. 

Doran finished the game 4 for 4 with 4 RBI. His two homers give him three on the season with all three coming at the Kerr Pegula Complex at Houghton College. Pichardo finished 2 for 3 with a RBI and Josh Laurie (LeRoy) was 2 for 5.

Roebuck was 3 for 5 with 4 RBI to pace the Redhawks 14 hit attack (six extra base hits). Jonathan Spina was 2 for 5 with 4 RBI and Nania was 2 for 3 with 3 RBI. Tristin Tinney threw the first five innings to earn the victory.

The Redhawks bats stayed hot in the nigthcap. Joe Professori hit a two-run homer in the top of the 1st but the Pioneers answered back with a pair in the bottom of the inning. Connor Pingitore (Amsterdam/Broadalbin Perth) singled to start the two-out rally and scored on a wild pitch and Colin Johnson (Alfred Almond) followed with a RBI single up the middle.

LaRoche plated three in the 2nd on four hits and two more on a pair of hits in the 3rd to build a 7-2 lead. They added another run in the 6th before Pingitore made it 8-3 with a RBI single in the 7th. Back to back to back extra base hits by the Redhawks plated two in the 8th.

The Pioneers put pressure on in the 9th and had the tying run on deck but could only plate three. Doran capped his big day with a RBI double in the 9th, Pingitore followed with a RBI single up the middle, and Johnson collected a RBI double down the left field line. 

Pingitore finished the nightcap 4 for 5 with 2 RBI. Johnson was 3 for 5 with a pair of RBI, Doran was 2 for 5 with a RBI, and Laurie was 2 for 5.

Professori led the Redhawks 15-hit attack with a 3 for 5, 2 RBI day. Tinney was 2 for 3 with 3 RBI while Travis Holman allowed three earned runs in 6.2 innings to earn the victory.

The Pioneers hit the road for their first AMCC contest on Wednesday when they travel to Pitt Bradford for a 1 p.m. doubleheader with the Panthers.

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