The Newark Pilots defeated the Cooperstown Hawkeyes in Game 3 of the West Division Championship Series with a 4-3 win at Doubleday Field on Sunday.
Newark won the three-game division series 2-1, and the team bus was greeted at home by an escort of ambulances, fire trucks and police cars. In only their first season, and in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s first summer as a league, the Pilots are just two wins away from being crowned league champions.
The Pilots move on the PGCBL Championship Series against the Amsterdam Mohawks. Game 1 of the series will be held on Tuesday in Newark at 7:05 p.m.
Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Cooperstown loaded the bases against Newark closer Mark Scott (San Joaquin Delta). Scott responded by striking out Ben Miller (Shippensburg) for his second postseason save.
A RBI double from Ben Manlove (Chico State) gave the Hawkeyes a 1-0 lead in the second. Starting pitcher Jimmy Hill (Wesleyan) labored through the top of the third as the Pilots took the lead.
Newark scored all four of its runs in the third. With the bases full, a passed ball allowed Adam Grace (Genesee C.C.) to score and tie the game. Randy Villa (San Joaquin Delta) reloaded the bases with a walk. Sean Osterman (St. John Fisher) cleared the bases with a three-run double into right field.
Cooperstown scored runs in the fifth and eighth innings to reduce their deficit to one. Alan Pastyrnak (Northeastern) drove in J.P. Sportman (Central Connecticut State) with a single in the fifth. Danny Nelson (Cal State Monterey Bay) led off the eighth with a solo homerun to left field.
Dominick Ruscitti (Kutztown) was relieved after seven and one-third innings on the mound for Newark, earning the win. Ruscitti struck out a game-high eight batters. Grace led the Pilots with two hits. Osterman went 1-for-4 with three RBI’s.
Hill was tagged with the loss, giving up four runs on four hits and five walks. Manlove and Pastyrnak each finished 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Tickets for Tuesday’s Championship Series Game 1 in Newark can be purchased in advance at the Newark Wegmans. Games 2 and 3 will be held in Amsterdam on Wednesday and Thursday with game times to be announced.
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