Pilots tame Dragons in Friday night matchup, 6-4

NEWARK, N.Y. – Cody Wiktorski’s three-run double in the fourth inning proved to be the difference as the Newark Pilots defeated the Glens Falls Dragons, 6-4, Friday night at Colburn Park.

With the game tied at 3-3, Dragons (19-20) starter Mike McFerran (Lynn) issued a pair of walks along with a hit batsman to load the bases. Cody Wiktorski (St. John Fisher) sent an 0-1 pitch into left field and cleared the bases with a double, give the Pilots (15-21) a three-run lead at 6-3.

Glens Falls trimmed the margin to two runs in the following inning by way of a towering solo shot from Brennan Price (Felician). It was the first homer for the larger-than-life sized Price, who listed at 6-foot-9 and 275 pounds.

Newark reliever Daniel Imbro (Hendrix) faced one batter over the minimum in three scoreless innings out of the bullpen to preserve the lead. He struck out the side in his first inning of work and finished with five Ks. Vinny Martin (Iona) then hurled a perfect ninth inning to earn his league-leading sixth save.

Martin’s Iona College teammate Patrick Ryan (2-3) started on the bump for the Pilots and earned his second win of the season with five innings of work. He allowed four runs on six hits and struck out four.

McFerran fell to 0-3 on the season after giving up six runs (five earned) in five innings on the mound for Glens Falls. Although the Pilots only taxed him for five hits, McFerran walked a season-high six batters.

Glens Falls pulled ahead 2-0 in the top of the first in an RBI double from Ryan Hooper (UC Davis). Hooper then came around to score on a two-out single from Price.

Although McFerran held the Pilots without a hit in the bottom of the inning, the home squad tied the game at 2-2. Three straight free passes from McFerran filled the bases. Willy Yahn (Connecticut) then chopped a weak roller up the first-base line and Glens Falls catcher Miguel Presno (Flagler) threw the ball away as he attempted to get the out at first, allowing both Kyle Norman (San Francisco) and Wiktorski to score.

The two teams traded runs in their respective halves of the third inning on a pair of RBI doubles; Price slugged the brief go-ahead two-bagger in the top of the frame and Yahn’s double drew the game even again at three apiece.

The Dragons had a chance to regain the lead in the fourth before Wiktorski's game-winning hit. Harrison Bragg (Tacoma C.C.) reached on a fielding error to lead off the inning. With one out, Ryan walked Matthew Flynn (Saint Anselm) and plunked Danny Oliveri (Triton) to fill the bases. Ryan, however, was able to work his way out of the jam, inducing a shallow fly ball to left for the second out. Yahn then threw out Hooper on a grounder to third to end the Dragons' best scoring threat.

Price led all batters with three hits, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and one run scored. Although Presno went 0-for-4, he showed off his arm from behind the plate by gunning out four of the five Newark runners attempting to steal.

Mark Martin (Le Moyne) and Kyle Bartelman (Columbia) each collected two hits for the Pilots. Norman finished 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and two runs scored.

The Newark Pilots hit the road for a pair of weekend games. On Saturday, July 18, they visit the Elmira Pioneers (25-14) at 7:05 p.m. On Sunday, July 19, Newark travels to Victor (20-18) to a 3 p.m. matchup. The Dragons host Saugerties (11-28) at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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