The Newark Pilots (6-2) earned yet another comeback victory, defeating Victor 4-3 in a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League contest on Friday. Newark evened the season at 1-1 against its Western division rival.
The Pilots got a stellar pitching performance from right-hander Ryan Wesson (Northeast Miss. C.C.)who scattered four softly-hit singles in his first five innings of work. Trailing 1-0 in the fifth, Newark would even the score on an RBI single from Darian Herncane (Binghamton).
Wesson made his only mistake of the game in the sixth, serving up a 2-0 fastball that Nathan Koslowski (Jacksonville) who sent it over the right field fence for a two-run home run putting Victor (4-3) in front 3-1.
The Pilots responded in the bottom of the inning with Matt Zielonko (Parkland J.C.) driving home Chase Cockrell (Hinds C.C.) on a groundout to make it 3-2. Acy Owen (Hinds C.C.) would then plate two with a clutch two-out single to give Newark the lead.
“I was kind of lucky,” Owen said of his go-ahead hit. “I got jammed on it, but I got robbed earlier in the game so this kind of makes up for it.”
Wesson exited after six innings giving up three runs while not issuing a walk and striking out eight hitters to move to 2-0 on the year.
“Tonight, the changeup was really big for me,” Wesson said after the victory. “I kept them off balance, [worked] in and out with the fastball and then right back to changeup. The key was my off-speed.”
Slow-starting offense has been the theme for the Pilots early in the year, but another middle-inning rally put them ahead. This win marks Newark’s fourth come-from-behind out six wins on the year, showing the resiliency of this team.
“We were putting good swings on the ball early and just not getting results,” Pilots head coach Chris Edmondson said. “We finally got some balls to drop later on and ended putting some runs on the board to win the game.”
The Pilots look to continue their two-game winning as they travel to Utica to face the first place Blue Sox tomorrow at 6:35 p.m.