Pilots helps playoff position; Geneva swept by Elmira

The Newark Pilots (24-18) got a convincing win in a divisional matchup against Utica, winning 10-1 at Colburn Park on Tuesday night. The win marks three straight for the Pilots in Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League play.Newark got its bats going right away, scoring five runs in the first inning. The first three came on three-RBI triple from Darian Herncane (Binghamton) to left center field. Herncane would then score on sacrifice fly from Bo-Hao Huang (Fu Jen Catholic) and Will Gorman (RIT) would add an RBI double to make it 5-0 after one inning.“I got down in the count early,” Hercane said of his first inning triple. “I was just trying to put the ball in play and luckily he left the ball up in the zone and I got to drive it to left field.”The Pilots would add two more in the third with Chase Cockrell (Hinds C.C.) picking up an RBI on a groundout and an RBI single from Gorman to make it 7-0. However, Newark wasn’t done scoring, adding two more in the fourth with a sacrifice fly from Herncane and Sam Fragale (Virginia Tech)scoring on wild pitch to bring it 9-1.“It’s nice to score early,” Pilots head coach Chris Edmonson said after the win. “It helps the guys relax a bit. It allowed our pitcher to settle as well and the offense just took off from there.”Newark Starter Solomon Bates (USC) put together his best outing off the season, tossing six innings of one-run ball while allowing just three hits. Command was an issue late in the start as Bates issued five walks, but he countered that with seven strikeouts in his first win of the summer.“He mixed up his pitches really well,” Edmondson said. “That’s something we talked about a lot coming off his last start. They worked some counts on him, but you can’t complain after six solid innings like that.”The Pilots bullpen had a solid performance as well with Louka Bechakas (Niagara County C.C.) throwing two scoreless innings and Xan Reese (Northeast Miss. C.C.) closing the door with a scoreless ninth. Herncane went 2-for-2 with four RBIs and Gorman added a 2-for-4 day with two RBIs of his own in the victory.“It’s very big,” Herncane said of the win over a divisional opponent. “Especially before the all-star break. It was a big ‘W’ that’ll help us carry the momentum into final nine games of the season.”The PGCBL host’s its annual all-star game Wednesday in Albany with the Pilots sending Fragale, Chris Whelan (Parkland J.C.)and Chris Sharpe (UMass-Lowell) as members of the West division team. Herncane will also be participating in the league’s home run derby.Newark will return to action on Thursday with an exhibition contest vs. Syracuse on Thursday at Colburn Park with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.Pioneer’s Sweep Red Wings In Doubleheader For Five Game Win StreakWith playoffs around the corner, the Pioneers faced off in a West Division doubleheader with the Geneva Red Wings.Game One:The Pioneers capitalized on Geneva’s mistakes as Storm Wilson (Kentucky) scored the first run of the game on a Red Wing error.However, the Red Wings would take a run back in the top of the third taking advantage of Elmira’s mistakes. The score would be tied 1-1 headed to the fourth inning.The Pio’s would take the lead in the bottom of the fifth as a sacrifice fly from Wilson would bring in Ty Denzer (Kansas) to bring the score 2-1.Elmira Heights, NY native Josh Cosgrove (Onondaga C.C.) would hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Zeke Lewis (Kentucky) to add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.With the score now 3-1, Elmira handed the ball of to Zack Helsel (Liberty U.) to close out the game. After giving up two hits, Helsel settled down to retire the next three batters to earn the save.Spencer Kulman (Wofford) earns the win in Game One, giving up one hit, one walk, one unearned run and striking out four batters. Joe Polanski (Savannah State U.) took the loss for Geneva giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks.Game Two:The Pioneers would strike first again in Game Two. Troy Dixon (Samford) scored on a wild pitch and Brian Kelly (Siena) hit a RBI single up the middle to give Elmira a 2-0 lead in the first.The Pio’s scored again in the second inning after Zeke Lewis hit a single in the left field gap to bring in Phil Madonna (Siena) to bring the score 3-1.Elmira made it 4-0 in the bottom of the third as Brian Kelly scored on a wild pitch.Game Two starter Andrew Sipowicz (Canisius) would give up his first run of the game in the top of the fourth as Geneva would shorten the lead 4-1.The Pioneers scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to RBI singles from Rob Perteet, Corning, NY native Danny Madden (St. Bonaventure) and a RBI groundout from Lucas Denney (Seattle U.) making the score 7-1.The Red Wings would tack on another run in the seventh off of reliever Cody Thompson (Randolph Macon) but he would settle down and strike out the last two batters in order to secure the double header sweep for the Pioneers.Andrew Sipowicz earns the win, pitching six innings giving up one run on two hits while striking out five. Adam Carafotes (Bard College) takes the loss for Game Two pitching three innings and giving up three runs on five hits and three walks.Pioneers Manager Matt Burch, along with All Stars Taylor Ahearn (Cal State San Marcos), Austin Hansen (Seattle U.), Stephen Arnsten (Manhattan), Parker Carraci (Ole Miss), Troy Dixon, Tyler Plantier (UC San Diego) and Rob Perteet will head to Albany tomorrow to represent Elmira at the All Star Game. Lucas Denney will represent Elmira for the Home Run Derby.

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