Junior Pioneers eliminate Chicago
August 07, 2012 -
The Junior Pioneers from Zanesville built a solid lead through the first half of their game against Chicago-South Shore and held off the All Stars to stay alive in the national tournament. The Pioneers break their 6-game Johnstown losing streak, while Chicago's increases to 14 games dating back to 1995. Zanesville will play Philadelphia tomorrow at noon at Roxbury Park in another elimination game.
Teams Exchange Runs
The Pioneers opened the scoring with two outs, as Zack Pollock singled and stole second. He then stole third and reached home when the catcher bobbled the pitch. Chicago starter Shaun Johnson struck out Corey Marsh to end the inning down by only one. The Satchel Paige All Stars earned the run back in the bottom of the first. With one out, Orlando Ruiz doubled to left with help from a bobble by left-fielder Dakota Gutridge. Alex Bembenek then doubled to left-center to score Ruiz and tie the game.
In the second, Zanesville regained the lead. Cody Day led off with a single off the pitcher's glove that then got past second baseman Ruis. Luis Mejia singled to right field, and Day scored on an error, with Mejia reaching third. Matthew Connor walked to put men at the corners. Chris Buckley then flew out to center, scoring Mejia. Gutridge popped out to end the inning, stranding one.
Chicago had no answer in the second as Zanesville starter Dylan Davy sent them down in order with 2 strike outs and a pop-out to the catcher. Both teams were scoreless in the third. The All Stars had led off with a single by Jeffrey Faulkner, but Kyndal Pringles grounded into a double play.
"We had no timely hits at all today," said Chicago coach Mario Ollarvia. "We had runners in scoring position, but we just couldn't do anything with it."
Zanesville Extends Lead
Another run from Zanesville came in the fourth. Marsh reached on an error by the shortstop Bembenek and reached third courtesy Day's sacrifice bunt. A sparkling defensive play by Ruis got Mejia out, but Bembenek was able to score. The All Stars stranded two runners in scoring position in the inning, after Marno Williams walked and Gregory Alexander doubled by dropping the ball between the centerfielder and second baseman. Davy got Augustin Guerrero to ground out to end the inning.
Zanesville finished the scoring in the fifth, but stranded two more. With one out, Gutridge walked and Jermie Neff singled. Matt West also walked to load the bases, and Gutridge scored on wild pitch. But after a fly out to left, Johnson struck out Marsh to set the score at 5-1 after 4-1/2. The Pioneers had a great chance to add runs in the eighth, but hurt themselves on the base paths. Pollock doubled off the wall to start the inning, but was thrown out at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Marsh. Marsh himself was then run down while trying to steal second.
"We had just enough offense," said Zanesville manager Doug Pollock. His team scored runs primarily through singles, bunts, and stolen bases. "We don't have twelve guys that are going to knock the ball over there on the Ford dealership, so we try to move people and take advantage if there's a mistake."
Chicago Gets Shut Down
Davy gave Chicago little to work with until the eighth inning. He allowed only 2 base runners between the 5th and 7th innings while striking out three. In the bottom of the eighth, Bembenek's one-out double to right field prompted a pitching change, as designated-hitter Cody Day came in to work relief. He got a ground out from Guerrro and struck out Stephon Edwards to end the inning, stranding one.
In the ninth, Brandon Scott led off with a single to left for the Windy City but was thrown out at second on the next batter. Alexander reached first on that play and advanced to third courtesy a stolen base and pass ball. However, he remained stranded there, as Guerrero and Faulker struck out to end the game.
The loss eliminated Chicago-South Shore from the national tournament. Their franchise falls to 1-14 all time in Johnstown. The Pioneers will face Philadelphia on Wednesday.
ALL TIME SERIES RESULTS
PHILADELPHIA ( 4 ) - ZANESVILLE ( 1 )