The Cougars struck first in game one with a single run in the second and third innings. Cody Hiefnar belted a solo homer to left field for the first run of the afternoon in the second while Evan Speicher singled and later scored in the third on a groundout by Jared Davis for a 2-0 lead.
The visitors doubled their lead in the fifth as Hiefnar singled in another run and DeAndre Allen plated one with a sacrifice fly for a 4-0 advantage.
The Pioneers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth. An error, a sacrifice fly, a wild pitch and an RBI single from Janos Briscoe helped cut the lead to only 4-3.
The home team mounted one last rally in their final turn at the plate in the seventh. With two outs, Devin Fish doubled to put the tying run in scoring position. Anthony Dowling singled, but Cougar right fielder Chase Edwards cut Fish down at the plate to end game one in dramatic fashion and preserve the Cougar win.
Brandon Zajac tossed six innings, allowing only one earned run and striking out eight to get the win while Bobby Towne pitched the seventh to get the save. Clint Meadows went the distance for the Pioneers, but took the loss.
Game two was all Pioneers as Josh Macurdy went the distance allowing only four Cougar hits and striking out six en route to tossing a shutout to pick up the win.
Fish doubled in a run for the Pioneers in the first and later scored on an error for a 2-0 lead while Jonathan Allison and Nick Holt each singled in a run in the sixth to push the lead to 4-0.
Thomas Huddleston went the distance for the Cougars (17-13, 7-7) in game two but took the loss. Zach Janes, Dalton Rogers, Edwards and Speicher had the only Cougar hits in game two.
The teams will play the rubber game of the three-game set on Friday.