David Zuber (Honeoye Falls Lima) collected six hits as the Alfred State baseball team opened up the 2018 season in Virginia Beach, VA. The Pioneers fell in both ends of the split doubleheader, 16-2 to Brockport and 10-7 to the hosts Virginia Wesleyan.
Brockport jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning and then added three more in the 3rd. They put the game out of reach with a single run in the 3th, three in the 5th, and six in the 7th. The Eagles collected 12 hits, drew eight walks and capitalized on four Pioneer errors. Tom Kretzler was 3 for 3 with a solo homer while Nik Malachowski was 2 for 5 with 4 RBI.
The Pioneers scored on a RBI double by Zuber in the 5th and then picked up another run when Lucas Cornell (Alfred Almond) doubled home Zuber in the bottom of the 7th. Zuber finished the opener 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and a RBI while Cornell was 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles and a RBI.
The afternoon contest was a back and forth affair between the Pioneers and the Marlins. VWU struck first with two runs in the 1st but the Pioneers answered right back in the 2nd when Cornell and Colin Johnson (Alfred Almond) hit back-to-back homers to centerfield to tie it up. Zuber gave the blue & gold their first lead of the season in the 3rd when he collected a RBI single.
The Marlins regained the lead with three runs in the 3rd and added a single run in the 6th to make it 6-3. In the 6th, Brody Burdett (Scottsdale, AZ) hit a sac fly to cut the lead to two but VWU answered with a run in the bottom half. In the 7th, the Pioneers rallied back and tied the game. Zuber and Josh Laurie (LeRoy) collected back-to-back RBI singles and Cornell hit a RBI double in the inning. The blue & gold threatened for more but Glen Pizzanelo came out of the pen and struck out two to end the threat.
In the 8th, Deon Hammond connected on a one-out two-run homer to give VWU the lead for good. The Marlins added an insurance run in the 8th and Pizzanelo retired the Pioneers in order in the 9th to close the contest.
Zuber finished 3 for 5 with 2 RBI while Cornell was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI. The top of the VWU order collected eight of the team's 10 hits and was led by Brandon Kussmaul and Hammond who both finished 2 for 5 with 3 RBI.
Zuber finished 6 for 9 (two doubles) with 3 RBI while Cornell was 4 for 7 (three doubles and a homer) and 3 RBI.
The Pioneers are right back on the field tomorrow morning when they play another split doubleheader. They have a rematch with Brockport at 8:30 a.m. and then take on Ithaca at 2:30 p.m.