Score: Elmira College 8, Keuka College 7
Records: Elmira (7-27), Keuka (21-14)
Location: Dunn Field -- Elmira, N.Y.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- For the third time in as many days, the Elmira College baseball team earned a one-run victory, this time in walk-off fashion, as the Soaring Eagles beat Keuka College 8-7 on Tuesday evening at historic Dunn Field.
After giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth to the Wolves, the Soaring Eagles rallied in the bottom of the ninth. Leading off the inning was Tommy Fogarty '20, who injected life into the EC dugout with a towering double over Keuka's centerfielder. Elmira then received a few fortunate bounces, as a pitch in the dirt on strike three allowed Jared Money '22 to reach first safely, while Fogarty advanced to third. In the next at-bat, ball four on a free pass to Jack Donnelly '19 popped out of the catcher's glove and to the backstop, giving Fogarty enough time to score the tying run.
Knotted at 7-all, first-year utility man Angus Adams '22, who got the start in right field, picked the perfect time to come up with his first collegiate RBI. Adams sailed the first pitch he saw from Keuka reliever Dave Verrett into center field, resulting in a game-winning sacrifice fly for the walk-off win.
The exciting finish bookended an equally impressive start on Monday. To end a scoreless top of the first, Sam Plaugher '20 made a sensational diving catch in shallow left. Mason Ryan '22 then led off the home half with a lucky base knock, as no one in the infield called for his sky-high pop up in front of home plate, allowing the ball to fall harmlessly to the grass. Later in the inning, Harrison Zambarano '19 laced a two-run double into the left-center gap, jumpstarting the Purple and Gold with a 2-0 lead.
EC pushed across four more runs in the second. Adams and James Delaney '22 flashed their wheels with a double steal, before scoring on a two-run Jack Thomas '22 hit. Ryan followed up with an RBI single, before scoring on a Fogarty infield single to push the lead to 6-0.
In the middle innings, however, the Wolves slowly chipped away, while the Soaring Eagles took their foot off of the pedal. Keuka plated the next seven runs, highlighted by a two-run game-tying single off the bat of Ulric Petri prior to the seventh-inning stretch.
First-year righty Kyle Tubbs '22 settled in nicely after committing an error that led to Keuka's seventh run. The freshman reliever was able to induce an inning-ending double play in the eighth and struck out one in the ninth to strand an insurance run in scoring position. As a result, Tubbs received the first win of his rookie campaign.
In Their Own Words…
Head Coach Corey Paluga on the excitement of earning a walk-off win…
"We've had so many situations this year where we have come up short in the last two innings. To be able to be resilient and not fold as a team, it's always exciting to win in a walk-off."
Coach Paluga when asked about the boost the team received from Tommy Fogarty's lead-off double in the ninth…
"It obviously gives our team a lot of life, but I think it puts pressure on the other team in that situation because now there's a runner in scoring position with no outs, especially in the middle of our lineup. It sets the tone for an inning. But even for some of the guys who haven't gotten a lot of playing time in our lineup, like Adams, to take advantage of that opportunity, I think that's more exciting to me."
News and Notes
- Elmira won its third one-run game in as many days, after splitting consecutive doubleheaders at SUNY Canton on Sunday and Monday.
- EC is now 2-3 all-time against Keuka, with both wins coming by just one run.
- The Soaring Eagles snapped Keuka's 13-game win streak.
- In a no-decision, Zach Williamson '20 gave up four runs (two earned) with three strikeouts in 6.0 innings.
- Tubbs improved to 1-0 with 2.1 innings, allowing one unearned run with two strikeouts.
- Tubbs has not allowed an earned run in five consecutive appearances out of the bullpen.
- Ryan (3), Fogarty (2) and Thomas (2) each had multiple hits for Elmira.
- Thomas and Zambarano each drove in two runs.
- Adams' RBI on the game-winning sac fly marked the first run he's batted in as a freshman.
- Ryan has reached base safely in 11 consecutive games.
- The walk-off win is the fifth in program history and the first since beating Ithaca College, 3-2, on April 9, 2017.
Elmira heads to the University of Scranton for a non-conference game on Thursday, May 2, with the first pitch against the Royals slated for 5:00 p.m.