The Newark Pilots (23-21) won a close battle with the Watertown Wizards (16-26) on Saturday night by a final score of 3-2 at in front 1,248 fans at Colburn Park.
Newark scored the difference maker in the home half of the seventh. Tied 2-2, the Pilots started off the frame with a double by Michael Bolling (Lewis). Bolling stole third base and then crossed home plate on a wild pitch from Watertown reliever Adam Krebs (Keystone).
Each team scored two runs in the first inning for the early tie. A sacrifice fly from Kevin Whitehead (Canisius) drove in Erick Gaylord (Campbell) for the first run. Angel Rosa (Alcorn State) gave the Wizards a two-run lead with a RBI double, but the second base runner, Larry Balkwill (Siena), was thrown out at home 8-4-2.
The Pilots responded with two of their own in the bottom half of the first. Luke Swenson (UC Santa Barbara) scored from second on an error, the first of three by Watertown’s infield in the inning, which allowed Ray Delvale (Kentucky Wesleyan) to reach base. Delvalle would eventually score on a throwing error from Balkwill, who was trying to throw out him at third after a wild pitch.
The Newark and Watertown pitching staffs combined for five consecutive scoreless innings after the first. Zach Weaver (St. John Fisher) was tagged with the loss after giving up the double to Bolling in the seventh before being pulled from the mound. Weaver finished with one earned run in six innings pitched.
Carson Beauchaine (Saginaw Valley State) pitched five full innings, surrendering just three hits and striking out five. Matt Frahm (Lewis) came out of the bullpen in the sixth, earning with win with five strikeouts in three scoreless innings.
Mark Scott (San Joaquin Delta) earned his ninth save of the year after blanking the Wizards in the ninth. Bolling, Delvalle and Swenson each had one run on one hit and one stolen base for the Pilots.
Rosa and Pat Talbut (St. John’s) were the only two Watertown batters to record a hit. They each finished 2-for-4. Rosa also drove in one run and Talbut finished with one stolen bag.
The Newark Pilots travel to Cooperstown on Sunday for a 1 p.m. game against the Hawkeyes, who hold a slight lead over the Pilots for first place in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s West Division. The Watertown Wizards host the Elmira Pioneers at 7:05 p.m.
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