The #7 seeded Alfred State baseball team gave #2 Mercyhurst North East all they could handle but the Saints escaped with a 7-6 ten-inning victory in a WNYAC 1st Round contest. MNE advances to the WNYAC Final Four and will take on the winner of the #3 Erie CC/#6 Jamestown CC contest.
The Saints took an early 4-0 lead but the Pioneers clawed back and trailed 6-3 heading into the 9th. In the 9th, Brett Rapan (Bolivar Richburg) drew a bases loaded walk, a run scored on a wild pitch, and Anthony Garcia (Flusing/Bayside) hit a sac fly to tie the game and send it into extra frames.
In the 10th, the Pioneers got a leadoff single by Eric Hicks (Hacock, PA) but stranded him on second as Saints pitchers recorded two strikeouts to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Saints loaded the bases with two outs and scored the winning run on a wild pitch to move on to Saturday's Final Four.
Daiki Iizuka (Chiba, Japan) and Jordan Wheaton (Wayland Cohocton) were each 2 for 5 with a double. Hicks finished 2 for 4 with a RBI, Steven Stapleton (Williamsville/Sweet Home) had a RBI double in the 3rd, and Rapan had a RBI double in the 4th.
Stephen Solomon (Harrisburg, PA) did not figure in the decision but pitched seven effective innings. He allowed ten hits, four earned runs, and walked two while striking out 12. Dylan Steen (Canisteo Greenwood) took the loss allowing just one hit in two innings of work while striking out three.
The Pioneers have a few days off before heading to Penn College on Oct. 7th for a DH with the Wildcats.