NEWARK, N.Y. – University of San Francisco teammates Blake Valley and Kyle Norman led Newark to a win in Game 1 as the Pilots split a Thursday doubleheader with the Albany Dutchmen at Colburn Park.
The Pilots (14-21) earned a 6-3 victory in the early game as Valley and Norman combined for seven hits, four RBIs and three runs scored batting one-two in the order.
The Dutchmen (17-20) took the nightcap, 4-2, on the arm of Jon Reid (Azusa Pacific).
Albany struck for a pair of unearned runs in the opening inning on RBI singles from Sean Aspinall (Azusa Pacific) and Slayton Vaughn (Oral Roberts).
Newark responded with a three-spot in the bottom of the frame. Valley led off with a triple and scored on a Norman base hit. Norman touched home on a Cody Wiktorski (St. John Fisher) double. Mark Martin (Le Moyne) drove in the third run of the inning on an RBI groundout.
Nice two-out hitting by the Pilots allowed them to tack two more runs on in the fourth. Valley singled to put runners on the corners and Norman drove in both runners with a two-run single to right field.
Aspinall plated another Albany run in the fifth on a double to right but Norman got that run back in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single.
Valley, the leadoff hitter, went a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored. Norman, batting second in the lineup, went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and one run scored.
Pilots starting pitcher Charlie Sobieraski (Buffalo) earned the win, hurling six innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on eight hits. The righty fanned six on 96 pitches to improve to 2-1. Vinny Martin (Iona) earned his fifth save with a perfect seventh inning to preserve his 0.00 ERA.
Mike Reitcheck (Pennsylvania) as handed the loss after giving up six runs (five earned) on 14 hits. He struck out four in 5.2 innings of work and evened his record to 3-3.
Reid (4-2) tossed his second straight seven-inning complete game and earned his third consecutive win on the mound. He limited the Pilots to two runs on nine hits with four punchouts.
With the game tied 2-2 in the sixth, Adam Gauthier (Dartmouth) drove in the game-winning runs on a triple that landed just fair down the right-field line.
Each team scored once in the first inning. With two outs and runners on the corners, Albany’s Patrick Hisle (Maryland) purposely got himself caught in a rundown, allowing Aspinall to score on a delayed double steal attempt. The Pilots tied the game at 1-1 on a Witorski base hit, plating Valley from third.
Aspinall drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the third, but Valley tied it back up in the fifth on an RBI single from Mark Martin.
In the two games combined, Aspinall finished 5-for-8 with three RBIs and two runs scored for the Dutchmen.
Jacob Wloczewski (Binghamton) surrendered four runs (three earned) on eight hits in 5.1 innings of work as he fell to 1-2 on the season.
The Newark Pilots are back for a 7:05 p.m. game on Friday, July 17 against the Glens Falls Dragons (19-19) with a postgame fireworks show, sponsored by the Ohmann Theatre. The Dutchmen return to Albany to host the Victor Railriders (19-18) at 7:05 p.m.