Newark Pilots rally in 9th to win season opener

Strong starting pitching wasn’t enough as the Watertown Wizards dropped its season opener against the Newark Pilots, 4-1. The Pilots took advantage of some shaky defense and spotty relief pitching and score three in the 9th for the win.Not to be overshadowed by the loss was the play of Watertown starting pitcher Rene Solis (St. Mary’s (TX)). The sophomore fanned 11 batters and allowed just one hit in seven innings. “I really had my change up going, got some first pitch strikes and we went from there,” Solis said.Watertown capitalized on some poor defense in the second to take an early lead. Riley Norton (Eastern Oklahoma St.) singled in the second, moved up a base on a passed ball by catcher Adam Grace (Erie C.C.) and got to third on a wild pitch by pitcher Alex Wood (University of Indianapolis). He then scored on Brandon Roush’s (UT-Pan American) RBI single.The Wizards held a one-run lead into the seventh, but an error by shortstop Christian Hickman (Alcorn St.) allowed Joe Landi (Rhode Island) to reach third and then score on Kane Sweeney’s (Morehead St.) sacrifice fly.The score was tied going into the ninth, but Newark plated three runs in the inning thanks to a passed ball by catcher Conor Dishman (Wabash Valley C.C.) and an error by centerfielder Devante’ Taylor (Alcorn St.). “That’s just going to be an everyday thing. Errors happen, even at the big lead level. We just need to learn from out mistakes, will be good we’re going to be fine,” said Watertown Head Coach Nathan Kafka.The Pilots return to Colburn Park for their home opener on Thursday night against the Oneonta Outlaws. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. You can watch the game live on FingerLakes1.com with Brendan Harrington and Harold Weber. Look for the links to the live webcast at the FingerLakes1.com homepage or log on to www.FingerLakes1.TV.

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