(Photo - Koontz / Courtesy of Ball State Athletics)
At least for one night Dave Brust’s Webster Yankees proved good as advertised.
After weeks, even months, of speculation about the strength of the 2009 lineup, the pinstripes christened their new home with a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over the Elmira Pioneers, Tuesday night.
Ryan Chenoweth (Ball State) scored the winning run when Steve Muoio (Georgia College) slapped a two-out ground ball down the first base line. Pioneer first base man, Chris Paul (St. Ambrose College), struggled fielding the ball cleanly and the hustling Muoio kept the inning alive.
Elmira took a two-run lead in the seventh.
After six scoreless innings, the Pios took advantage of a walk and an error to tack a pair on the scoreboard. Nate David (Cornell) earned the free pass and stole two bases before scoring when a ground ball by Michael Hartz (Mansfield) was mishandled. Hartz moved up to second on the error and crossed home plate on a single by Sean Jamieson (Canisius).
But the home nine were not to be denied.
Sean Bailey (Cortland State) started the rally in the eighth when he dropped a one-out bunt single down the third baseline.
Ricky Clark (Central Michigan) followed with a walk before Chenoweth singled home Bailey with the first Webster run at their new home, Basket Road Field. Clark tied the game when Pat Devlin (UMass-Lowell) pushed a ball to right side of the infield.
Muoio finished the scoring when Nate Koontz (Ball State) tripled off the base of the wall in right center field. Koontz went 2-4 on the night.
Michael Craig (St. John Fisher) struck out one over two innings of work for his first win of the season.
Chris Burgess (Central Michigan) came on in the ninth for the save. The right-hander induced a 6-4-3 game-ending double play.
Webster starter, Scott Brothers (Ball State) locked horns with Sean Stewart (College of New Jersey) for six frames. The pair of hurlers surrendered just three base hits a piece before giving way.
Opening night had its share of first. Brothers notched the first strike out at Basket Road when he set down Elmira’s Paul. The Pios’ Ryan Ferguson (Temple) was the first base-runner when he worked a two-out walk in the top of the first. Koontz rapped the first base hit and Elmira’s David scored the first run.