Anthony Cittadino, Assistant Copy Editor
Despite bad weather the Utica College baseball team added another win to its Empire 8 record in walk-off fashion against Elmira College.
Sophomore Jake Ryan started the Pioneers off with a second inning double to send home Freshman Matt Fitzgerald to take a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Elmira caught fire scoring four quick to take a three run lead. In the bottom half of the inning, UC loaded the bases and after two walks they climbed back into the game to only be down 4-3.Freshman Tim Quinlan stepped to the plate and ripped a double into right field clearing the bases to regain the 6-4 lead.
Quinlan, only a freshman believed he played well throughout the game even though he was dealing with injury.
“I feel like I played pretty well. Hurting my hamstring early in the game really put a damper on it. Thankfully I was able to continue playing and help the team win because in the end. That’s all that matters,” he said. “I obviously could’ve played better, all of us could’ve but we won so I could’ve gone 0-4 and still be happy with the win.”
As the fifth inning opened up the Soaring Eagles wasted no time as they capitalized on three defensive errors to once again regain the lead, 7-6. Senior Josh Webb was on the mound and pitched through five innings striking out five and only giving up three earned runs.
“My performance was good until the cold got to my arm and I had to come out of the game, but overall pretty good,” Webb said.
The bottom of the seventh started with the Pioneers down 10-6 with potentially three outs left in the game. The inning started with a couple of walks and an error to juice the bases. Freshman Jacob Gaboriault started the come back with a sacrifice pop-up to bring in Kolbie Glionna and make it a 10-7 game.
Senior Adam Pexton came up next and worked a walk to load the bases once again. Senior Bryce Patterson grounded into a fielder’s choice and brought in Paul Joyce to make it a 10-8 game. Junior JT Ross reached first on another Elmira infield error and Christian Tiffin scored to bring the game within one.
Ross stole second to put the winning run in scoring position. Senior Vincent Burillo stepped to the plate and crushed a walk-off double for the 11-10 win. Utica handed Elmira their sixth loss of the season and improved their record to 2-12.
The extra-inning win over Elmira really gave the team the confidence they needed going forward for the remainder of the season.
“It definitely gets the whole team a huge confidence booster, showing we can come back from anything if we play the game right,” Webb said.
The day was scheduled for a double header, but the second game was cut short in the fifth inning due to weather conditions. The conditions were so intense the Pioneers postponed their next two games against Elmira and Stevens.
“With the weather being like this, it’s pretty tough to stay on track and stay focused on the goal of making Empire 8s,” Quinlan said. “Being a freshman, I’ve noticed that a lot of the upper classmen have really stepped up along with the coaches to keep everyone on track on our goal.”
The Pioneers will face off against Empire 8 powerhouse St. John Fisher College this coming weekend for a double-header on Saturday. it is a three game series taking place Saturday and ending Sunday. Quinlan is confident his team is ready for this conference challenge.
“Fisher is a very good team, they will be a tough opponent but I feel that if we bring our stuff and play our best that we can beat any team,” Quinlan said.
Featured image; Senior Vincent Burillo ripped a walkoff RBI double in UC’s 11-10 win over Elmira on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Pexton.