Six-run third inning leads Pilots past Pios, 8-3

NEWARK, N.Y. – The Newark Pilots downed the West Division-leading Elmira Pioneers by a final of 8-3 on Senator Mike Nozzolio Night at Colburn Park on Wednesday.

With the victory, the Pilots (16-25) remain two games out of the third and final playoff spot in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s (PGCBL) West Division. Utica (18-23) sits in third place while Adirondack (16-24) maintains a half-game advantage for fourth.

Newark batted around in the six-run third inning to turn a 1-0 deficit into a lead it would never relinquish. Nick Wegmann (Binghamton) walked to lead off the inning and scored the tying run on a Blake Valley (San Francisco) sac fly. Two batters later, Cody Wiktorski (St. John Fisher) singled to load the bases. Mark Martin (Le Moyne) drove in a run with an RBI single, followed by an RBI groundout by Willy Yahn (Connecticut). Wiktorski and Martin both touched home on an error by Elmira third baseman Keegan Maronpot (Wake Forest). Will Gorman (RIT) plated the sixth run with a double to center field.

The Pilots tacked on runs in the fourth and seventh innings. Their eighth and final run of the night came after Mark Martin slugged a one-out triple to the gap in right center. He scored in the ensuing at-bat on a Yahn base hit.

Despite walking the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Newark starter Jacob Wloczewski (Binghamton) ended the frame unscathed by fanning Dalton Hoiles (Shippensburg) before inducing a fly out by Brian Barefoot (Louisiana-Monroe) for the final out.

Wloczewski (2-2) earned the win after giving up just one run on four hits and six walks in five innings of work. He lowered his team-leading ERA to 1.97 in his seventh start of the season.

Tristan Widra (Samford) was handed the loss after allowing seven runs (four earned) on seven hits in four innings. Widra (3-2) was forced into action as a last-minute substitution when scheduled starter Nate Matheson (Old Dominion) was scratched from the lineup.

Looking for the improbable comeback, Elmira scored twice in the top of the ninth. Josh Lovelady (Mississippi State) plated Maronpot with an RBI single. Hoiles would earn an easy RBI with a bases-loaded walk two batters later.

Vinny Martin (Iona) was called upon to get the final two outs of the game. He did so by fanning both Barefoot and Jordan Bishop (Siena).

Gorman, Mark Martin and Wiktorski each finished with two hits for Newark. Elmira’s Mike Korchak (Bucknell) not only led his club with two hits in three at-bats, but he also tossed a perfect inning of relief in the sixth.

The Newark Pilots and Elmira Pioneers are back on Thursday, July 22 at 7:05 p.m. to conclude the two-game series at Colburn Park.

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