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Pioneers and Mounties Split - Force Game Three on Sunday

Andy Pichardo running home

Alfred State and Mount Aloysius split a doubleheader on Saturday in a first round AMCC Tournament series. The Pioneers took the opener 5-1 and the Mounties won a wild 14-13 game to force a deciding game three.

Andrew Santobuono (Franklin/Unatego) continued his impressive first collegiate season with a complete game victory in the opener. He allowed just one run on eight hits. He struck out six and didn't walk a batter.

Santobuono got all the run support he needed in the 3rd inning. Andy Pichardo (Queens/Academy of American Studies) got the Pioneers on the board with a RBI single to right center, Colin Johnson (Alfred Almond) followed with a RBI single to right, Connor Pingitore (Amsterdam/Broadalbin Perth) hit RBI single to center, and Johnson scored on a error after the Pingitore single to make it 4-0.

Nick Belka hit a sac fly in the 4th to make it 4-1 but Mike Gibson (Schenectady) executed a squeeze bunt in the 6th to bring the lead back to four.

Tim Holler (Brewster) was 3 for 3 to pace the Pioneers 11 hit attack. Doran and Pingitore were each 2 for 3 while Johnson was 2 for 4.

In the nightcap, the Pioneers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st. Johnson hit a RBI single to center, Pingitore drove in a run on grounder, and Dan Woodward (Honeoye) hit a RBI fielder's choice. The Mounties got on the board with a RBI single by Jeremy Iellimo in the bottom of the inning but Pichardo answered right back with a RBI single up the middle in the 2nd. MAC tied it in the bottom of the inning on a RBI single by Patrick Mahon, a fielding error allowed Daniel Singer to score, and Ielimo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 4-4.

The blue & gold answered right back in the 3rd. They loaded the bases and Brody Burdett (Scottsdale, AZ) hit a grand slam to make it 8-4. Pichardo collected another RBI single and Josh Laurie (LeRoy) hit a RBI ground out to run the lead to six.

Mount Aloysius didn't go away as they cut the lead to 10-8 with four in the 4th. Iellimo hit a two-run double, Belka collected a sac fly, and Ryan Leonard hit a RBI single. In the 5th, Matthew McCourt tied it with a two-run homer in the 5th and the Mounties took their first lead on a fielding error and then added another run on a squeeze bunt.

Alfred State took back the lead in the 7th with three runs. Pichardo collected his third RBI single of the game, Laurie hit another RBI fielder's choice, and Pichardo scored on a wild pitch. 

In the 8th, Doug Smith hit a two-out double to center to give the Mounties back the lead 14-13. In the 9th, Samuel Dickerson (Cutchogue/Mattituck) hit a pinch hit double to lead off the inning. A fly ball sent pinch runner Jack Henby (Hornell) to 3rd with one out. After a foul ball fly out, Laurie and Johnson drew walks to load the bases but Dylan Coyle was able to induce to a fly out to end the game.

Alfred State collected 16 hits in the game led by a 4 for 6, 3 RBI performance by Pichardo. Holler was 3 for 4 with three runs scored, Burdett was 2 for 5 with 4 RBI, and Pingitore was 2 for 6 with a RBI.

Smith was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI to lead MAC while Iellimo was 2 for 4 with 4 batted. Coyle allowed just one hit and two walks in 2.1 innings of relief to earn the victory.

The deciding game three of the series will take place on Sunday with a scheduled 11 a.m. first pitch. The winner of the series will take on #1 seed LaRoche on Thursday as the AMCC Final Four starts.

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