NEWARK, N.Y. – The visiting Victor RailRiders scored once in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and again in the ninth for a little insurance to defeat the Newark Pilots, 4-2, in their first-ever Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) matchup Friday night at Colburn Park.
With the game tied at two runs apiece, Victor (6-4) lead-off hitter Dale Wickham (Cornell) tripled and scored on a Brady Acker (George Mason) double. Acker was thrown out trying to stretch the two-bagger into three bases to keep the deficit at one run.
However, in the top of the ninth, Newark (4-7) reliever Kevin Berge (St. John Fisher) struggled with his command and walked the first batter he faced, Evan Fernandez (Jacksonville). Fernandez was sacrificed to second and then trotted home on a line drive in the gap in left-center field by Brock Daniels (St. Ambrose) to push the lead to two runs at 4-2.
Dylan Swetman (Le Moyne) picked up his first save of the season with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth, which concluded with a called third strike to his college teammate, Mark Martin (Le Moyne), for the final out.
Reliever Matthew Boone (Norfolk State) earned the win, his first, with 1.2 hitless innings. Nick Wegmann (Binghamton) was credited with the loss, dropping his record to 0-2. He gave up one run on two hits in one inning.
The game’s two starting pitchers performed well in their respective no decisions. Victor’s Eoin McAvinchey (Saint Leo) hurled six innings and struck out eight – both season highs – while surrendering only three hits on 82 pitches. Newark starter Logan Harasta (Buffalo) needed 97 pitches to complete seven innings of work. He fanned four with four hits and one walk.
The RailRiders did touch Harasta for a pair of unearned runs in the fourth. With two on and two out, Cody Wiktorski (St. John Fisher) threw away a grounder on what should have been the final out on a fielder’s choice at second base. That allowed Acker (lead-off single) and Fernandez (walk) to score with ease.
That lead was safe until the bottom of the seventh after McAvinchey made his exit. Willy Yahn (Connecticut) was hit by a pitch from Austin Wilson (LSU-Alexandria). He was plated in the next at-bat on a double from Kevin Biondic (Maryland). One out later, Martin doubled in Biondic to tie the game at 2-2.
Acker led all batters offensively, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and the go-ahead RBI. Yahn and Martin each collected a pair of hits for the Pilots.
The two teams will play a twin bill at Victor High School tomorrow, Saturday, June 20. First pitch for Game 1 is scheduled for 1 p.m.