Pilots walk-off on error in 12th inning over West Division-leading Elmira

NEWARK, N.Y. – The Newark Pilots walked off in the bottom of the 12th inning, 7-6, over Elmira on a mishandled ground ball by Pioneers first baseman Christian Santisteban (Manhattan), allowing Brian Dudek (Buffalo) to score from second base.

With the game knotted at 6-all, Dudek, who came on in the top off the 11th inning as a defensive replacement at shortstop, grounded a base hit in the hole between first and second. Dudek was sacrificed to second by Kevin Biondic (Maryland). He then slid home safely when Santisteban booted a grounder from Anthony Spina (Amherst) at first base.

Vinny Martin (Iona) earned the win with a pair of hitless innings of relief and improved to 1-0 on the season. Michael Scarinci (Manhattan) dropped to 0-1 after surrendering two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks in 2.1 innings.

To force the eventual extra innings, the Pilots (6-9) knotted the game at 6-6 in the seventh. Corey Lerche (Central Connecticut State) supplied a pinch-hit base hit. Speedy outfielder Blake Valley (San Francisco) came on to run for Lerche and was plated on a sacrifice fly from Mark Martin (Le Moyne).

From there, relievers Andrew Mahoney (Mississippi State) and Kevin Berge (St. John Fisher) tossed scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth for their respective clubs.

Will LaRue (Xavier) scored on an RBI base hit from Justin Hayes (Old Dominion) in the top of the 10th to give Elmira (10-7) a 6-5 advantage.

In the home half of the 10th, Scarinci had trouble with his command as he hit Will Gorman (RIT) and walked Spina to load the bases. Ryan Lynch (Marist) worked a full-count, two-out, bases-loaded walk to draw the game even at 6-6.

The Pilots took an early 4-1 lead with four runs in the second inning. Michael Lanza (Bryant) led off the frame with a base hit and scored on an RBI ground out by Biondic. Kyle Norman (San Francisco) drove in Spina with an RBI single and Gabe Levanti (Northeastern) plated the fourth run of the inning with an RBI ground out.

Trailing 4-3, the Pioneers scratched across a pair of runs in the sixth and chased Newark starter Nick Wegmann (Binghamton) from the game. Santisteban doubled and scored on a triple from Tommy Mirabelli (Kansas) to open the frame. Mirabelli scored the go-ahead run on a Taylor Hillson (Mansfield) single.

Wegmann gave up five runs on four hits in 5.1 innings. Berge tossed a season-high 4.2 innings of relief for the Pilots, giving up one run on five hits. Martin led all batters with three hits.

Elmira starter Jared Proctor (Kentucky) threw five innings, allowing four runs (one earned). He fanned a game-high three batters in his no decision.

The Pilots travel to Utica for a 6:35 p.m. game tomorrow, Wednesday, June 24 at Murnane Field. Elmira travels to Victor for a 5 p.m. matchup.

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