Keuka Wolves rally in game 2 for Empire 8 split

The Chronicle Express

UTICA — The Keuka College Baseball team bounced back after dropping the first game at Utica College to split with the Pioneers in an Empire 8 doubleheader on Saturday.

Utica College took the opening game against Keuka College (3-6, 3-6 Empire 8) 11-3. The Green and Gold rebounded in the nightcap, defeating the host Pioneers 10-5.

Keuka College

Utica College 11 vs. Keuka College 3 – Game one

The Pioneers took the early lead over the Wolves with a run in the bottom of the first. They would add to it with three in the second, one in the third, and five in the fourth to take a 10-0 lead.

Matthew Ciezki (Lancaster, N.Y. / St. Mary’s) had his first collegiate hit in the fifth for Keuka and would come around to score on an RBI single by Nick Kocjan (Canajoharie, N.Y / Canajoharie) to make it 10-1.

Utica answered the run with one of their own in the bottom of the inning. Keuka added runs late on an RBI groundout by Josh Tryon (Elmira, N.Y. / Thomas A. Edison) and a sacrifice fly by Ryan Seales (Saratoga Springs, N.Y. / Saratoga Springs), but the Wolves would fall 11-3 in game one.

Lead Wolves: Both Matthew Ciezki and Nick Kocjan came in off the bench for the Wolves and the reserves both went 2-2 in the game. They accounted for four of Keuka’s seven hits in game one.

Keuka College 10 at Utica College 5 – Game two

The Green and Gold took the lead in game two as Brady Booher (Rochester, N.Y. / Eastridge) drove the ball over the left centerfield fence for his first career home run. The Pioneers answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, but the Wolves took it right back with an RBI single by Ryan Seales.

With the game tied 2-2 in the fourth, Keuka College regained the lead. Dave Verrett (Cicero, N.Y. / Cicero-North Syracuse) doubled to lead off the inning. Booher would walk and with two outs, Dylan Richards (Johnson City, N.Y. / Johnson City) tripled to right for the Wolves to give Keuka the lead. Richards would score on a Nick Brown (Liverpool, N.Y. / Liverpool) single as Keuka led 5-2.

The Wolves tacked on one in the fifth on a Booher sacrifice fly. Utica College drew closer in the bottom of the inning with two runs to make it 6-4, but Ryan Seales responded in the top of the sixth with a two-run double to score Nick Brown and Jimmy Griffin (Syracuse, N.Y. / East Syracuse-Minoa) and extend the Keuka lead to 8-4.

Utica threatened in the bottom of the eighth with two on, but AJ Pankowski (Baldwinsville, N.Y. / Christian Brothers Academy) came out of the bullpen and got the strikeout to end the inning. The Wolves added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Utica got one back on a solo home run but Pankowski shut the door, ending with a strikeout as Keuka won game two 10-5.

Lead Wolves: Keuka College got production from the catching spot in game two. Dylan Richards started and went 2-3 with a triple, two RBI, and two runs scored. RJ Murphy (Syracuse, N.Y. / West Genesee) entered later in the game and hit a double in his only at-bat and scored.

KC Notes:

• Keuka College is now 4-7-1 all-time against Utica College. The Wolves are 3-3 when playing at Utica.

• Utica College accounts for one of the two ties the Keuka College Baseball team ever had. The two teams drew level in 2016

• The 10 runs in game two were the most ever for Keuka College against Utica College

• Ryan Seales had his season-opening six-game hitting streak snapped in the first game. He bounced back, however, with two hits in game two. Seales did work a walk in game one, so he has reached base safely in all eight games this season

• James Fino (Buffalo, N.Y. / Bishop Timon) earned the win in game two, throwing three innings of scoreless relief

Up Next for Keuka College: The Wolves and Pioneers will conclude their weekend series on Sunday with Keuka College playing hosts at Kuhl Field. First pitch of the Empire 8 Conference doubleheader is set for 1pm.