NEWARK, N.Y. – The Newark Pilots earned an 11-5 victory in their Fourth of July exhibition contest against the Capital City Reds in front of 1,181 fans Saturday night at Colburn Park.
Seven of the Pilots’ 13 hits were of the extra-base variety as they collected two doubles, four triples and a home run. Charlie Sobieraski (Buffalo) led the offensive attack, finishing 2-for-3 with three runs and four RBIs.
Nick Wegmann (Binghamton), Anthony Spina (Amherst), Corey Lerche (Central Connecticut State) and Will Gorman (RIT) each finished with a pair of hits.
Daniel Imbro (Hendrix) earned the win on the mound after hurling five strong innings on 63 pitches. He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and punched out four without issuing a walk.
The Pilots used five relievers to finish the final four innings, beginning with Carlos Garcia (Menlo) and Brian Dudek (Buffalo), who each threw a scoreless frame.
Capital City starter Bigelow (SUNY Canton) was tagged with the loss after giving up six runs on seven hits and three walks in 3.2 innings. He was followed by Thomas Dillon (RIT), who threw 2.1 innings and allowed a pair of runs on two hits.
Asselin, Haubrich, Watt and Jon DuForest (Weatherford C.C.) each had two hits for the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada-based Reds.
Sobieraski put Newark ahead 2-0 in the first inning with a two-run triple. He then scored on a wild pitch by Bigelow to push the lead to three runs.
Newark added a pair of runs in both the third and fourth innings. Back-to-back triples from Frankie Gregoire (Marist) and Kyle Bartelman (Columbia) made it 5-0 Pilots in the bottom of the third.
In the top half of the fourth, Jake Haubrich (Westminster) doubled and touched home on an Imbro wild pitch for the Reds’ first run of the night. However, Sobieraski provided his own Independence Day fireworks with a two-run homer to increase his team’s lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the inning.
The two teams traded runs in the fifth before Ryan Lynch (Marist) legged out a triple to score Gregoire and Gorman in the seventh, giving the Pilots their largest lead of the game, 10-2.
Haubrich hit a three-bagger of his own in the top half of the eighth as part of a two-run frame for the Reds. Alex Asselin (Heritage) provided base hit to lead off the ninth for Capital City. He would score from second base on a single from Duncan Watt (Westminster) two batters later.
Kevin Biondic (Maryland) fanned two of the three batters he faced to close the ninth on the mound for Newark.
The Newark Pilots (10-12) travel to Amsterdam on Sunday, July 5 for a 6:35 p.m. contest against the East Division-leading Mohawks (20-6) at Shuttleworth Park. The Pilots then return to Colburn Park for a nontraditional doubleheader against Mohawk Valley (11-11) on Monday, July 6, beginning at 5:05 p.m. Game 1 will be the completion of the suspended home opener from June 5.