The Newark Pilots took advantage of the windy conditions at Colburn Park on Sunday, defeating Jamestown 6-5. For the first time all season the Pilots hit multiple home runs at their home field en route to their third consecutive win.
“They got into a couple of balls today,” Pilots head coach Chris Edmondson said after the win. “It’s just a lot of work put in batting practice and before game that is finally paying off.”
Jamestown got the scoring going in the first, taking advantage of uncharacteristically shaky control from Newark starter Skyler Defer (Northeast Miss. C.C.) to take a 2-0 lead. Chris Sharpe (UMass-Lowell) would lead-off the bottom of the inning with a triple and would be brought home on a bunt single by Julian Gallup (Niagara). Gallup would later score on an error and Newark would tie the score, 2-2.
After a two-out error extended the third inning for the Pilots, Chris Whelan launched a two-run home run over the fence in left field. The blast was Whelan’s first of the year and gave Newark a 4-2 lead.
“I definitely knew it was out,” Whelan said of his first home run with the Pilots. “I was trying to get him to challenge me inside and he threw me a fastball inside and I put a good swing on it.”
The Pilots got another home run in the fourth off the bat of Sharpe. With the wind blowing out Sharpe launched a ball that kept carrying until it flew over the “402 ft.” sign in straightaway center field. The second home run of the game would put the Pilots up 6-3.
“I’ve been struggling with my timing lately,” Sharpe said after his big day at the plate. “I’m taking after [Pilots shortstop] Greg Cullen he helped me with my timing and it paid off tonight.”
Defer would settle down after the first and allowing just one run until he was lifted after six innings of work. The victory is Defer’s fourth, which ties him for first in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Defer also set a season high with four strikeouts.
Leading 6-5 entering the ninth, Newark would have the game over to closer Brian Dolan (UMass-Lowell) who stranded the go-ahead runs on base to earn his fifth save of the season. With the win Newark is now 4-0 against its western division-rival.
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