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Southern Tier Sports Report
ELMIRA — There were a lot of familiar faces for area baseball fans during Tuesday’s matchup between the Mansfield Destroyers and Elmira Pioneers at Dunn Field. Elmira won the game 8-5.

Both teams were littered with players who went to high school within 45 minutes of Dunn Field.

The host Pioneers started Elmira’s Zack Odum (Wells College) in centerfield and Erik Charnetski of Notre Dame (St. John Fisher) in right field. Corning senior Mason Smith (Wells College) was the DH for the Pioneers.

The Mansfield Destroyers were loaded with even more local players. Edison’s Dylan Swartwood (Onondaga Community College) started on the mound for the Destroyers and his teammate in high school, and college next year, Michael Brown started at second base.

Horseheads’ Ryan Scott (Mansfield) started in right field for the Destroyers and Corning senior Grayson Saltzer (Molloy College) started at third base.

A pair of Sayre standouts started for Mansfield, Brayden Horton, who was recently named the NTL Player of the Year for this season, started at DH. The Liberty-bound Redskins star was joined in the lineup by Kannon VanDuzer (TC3), who was playing in his first game for the Destroyers. VanDuzer started at first base.

Horton leads Mansfield  with a .455 average this year, scoring four runs with a double and a triple on the year. Scott is hitting .333 on the year with three runs scored entering Tuesday’s game.

Brown is hitting .333 this year for Edison with two runs scored and Saltzer had one at-bat on the year entering Tuesday.

Swartwood was making his first start of the year for the Destroyers. Brown had thrown 2 1/3 innings this year. The roster also includes Horseheads’ Dylan Ribble (Niagara County Community College), who has thrown four innings this year with three strikeouts.

The Pioneers roster also includes Frank Wayman of Horseheads (UMass Lowell), Xander Burch of Edison, Troy’s Hunter Kendall (Houghton) and Sayre’s Nic Ficarro are also on the roster for the Pioneers.

Wayman is hitting .231 with a double and a triple and two runs scored for the Pioneers and Odum is hitting .200 on the season.

Charnetski had scored three runs this year entering Tuesday and Mason Smith got his first at-bats of the year on Tuesday.

Kendall has thrown 8 1/3 innings, striking out four for Elmira, and Smith had thrown four innings on the year, striking out four. Ficcaro has thrown one inning with one strikeout and Burch has thrown 3 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.

Locals played a key role in Tuesday’s game. Brown scored the first run of the game for Mansfield and for Elmira Odum and Smith scored runs, while Charnetski had an RBI. VanDuzer got his first hit as a Destroyer in his second at bat on Tuesday.

Both teams are coached by local graduates, with Horsheads grad Jeremy Gulich coaching the Destroyers and Elmira grad Andy Drum coaching the Pioneers.

The Pioneers play in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and the Destroyers play in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
IN TOP PHOTO: Corning’s Grayson Saltzer. . . PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES

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