Mohawks Kick It Around, Lose By One

The Mohawks made three errors and surrendered two unearned runs a 4-3 loss to the Newark Pilots on Wednesday night.

Mark Leiter Jr. (NJIT) took his third loss in as many decisions after using 81 pitches to work through five high-stress innings in front of 857 spectators at Shuttleworth Park.

Mike Saunders (Saginaw Valley State) started for Newark and stifled the Mohawks offense to the tune of three runs (two earned) on five hits while working into the eighth inning.

Leiter set down the side in order in the first and then stranded the bases loaded in the second before the Pilots broke through in the third. A one-out double by Ray Delvalle (Ky. Wesleyan) and a Kyle Attl (Cal State Northridge) single put Newark in front 1-0. A wild pitch and a passed ball later Zach Shank (Marist) committed an error at second base and allowed an unearned run to cross the plate and push the Pilots in front 2-0.

Newark tacked on another run in the fourth on a Michael Bolling (Lewis) sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. Leiter came back out for the fifth and stranded another runner on third – he stranded six on the night – and left after five with his team trailing by three.

The Mohawks did not dent the scoreboard until Andrew Green (East Tennessee State) touched the plate in the fourth on a Shank RBI single – Green scored all three Amsterdam runs in the game.

The home team cut the lead to one when Jude Vidrine (Lamar) drove in Green on a fielder’s choice groundout in the sixth.

Keith Griffin trusted both Mike Dodakian (Dartmouth) and Bryce Eisenbart (Paradise Valley C.C.) to freeze the deficit and the duo was nearly perfect. Dodakian struck out seven batters in his three innings of relief but committed what proved to be costly mistake in the top of the eighth.

After striking out the leadoff hitter, Dodakian walked Luke Swenson (UCSB) and was then victimized by a stolen base. The next batter was Matt Vera (San Joaquin Delta) who hit a one-hopper back to the pitcher, with the runner trying to advance to third the righty whirled and fired to Caleb Bryson (Middle Georgia) trying to cover the bag but the throw was wide toward the outfield side of the base and skipped into the Newark bullpen allowing the fourth run to score and widening Newark’s lead to 4-2.

The miscue proved particularly costly after Zach Shank roped a two-out double into the gap in left center to cut the lead back to one in the bottom of the eighth. Saunders was lifted and reliever Matt Frahm got Jude Vidrine (Lamar) to fly out to center and end the home half of the inning.

Mark Scott got the side in order in the ninth and saved it for Saunders (3-1) while Leiter (0-3) was the loser. The Mohawks slide to 6-9 on the year and the Pilots even their record at 7-7. The same teams will tangle tomorrow night in Newark at 7:00. Hear the game right here on by clicking on the blue and white TEAMLINE link on the right side of the homepage.

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