All posts by Pilots Media Consultant

Sen. Mike Nozzolio Secures Funding for Colburn Park

Sen. Mike Nozzolio & Newark Pilot Derick Fera
Sen. Mike Nozzolio presents Newark Pilot Derick Fera with a special New York State Resolution congratulating him upon setting a Section V pitching record for career wins at Lyons High School in 2012.

NEWARK, N.Y. – To say that Colburn Park is a busy place for baseball games would be an understatement.

The field on East Union Street, which the village owns, is home to the Newark Pilots of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. However, team owner Bob Ohmann pointed out the Pilots played only 30 of the 120 games staged at the park in 2016.

“That’s a lot of games,” Ohmann stated.

Newark Mayor Jonathan Taylor agreed. In addition to the Pilots, Taylor noted that Newark High School plays there, and the facility plays host to numerous sectional and college games each year.

The field served as the home of the now-defunct Newark Co-Pilots of the New York-Penn League from 1968-79, and has always been a treat for high school players because of its well-maintained field and professional stadium-feel.

Ohmann credits the village for its dedication to the upkeep of the facility, which opened in 1930.

Still, improvements are always needed, Ohmann continued. And while other baseball facilities in the region have sought state funds for capital improvements, Newark never did, he said.

To read the entire article from the Finger Lakes Times, please click HERE.

PGCBL, NECU Announce Three-Year Deal

The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League has reached a three-year agreement with the New England Collegiate Umpires (NECU) to provide umpires for league games, beginning in the 2017 summer season.

“We had used some NECU umpires last year and thought they did an outstanding job,” PGCBL President Jeff Kunion said.  “When we had an opportunity to lock them up for the next three years, the league jumped on the idea.”

NECU is one of the premier umpire associations in the country. They currently provide umpires for several major NCAA conferences, including the Atlantic Coast, Atlantic 10, Ohio Valley, Sunbelt and Big South, as well as the USCAA Small College World Series. The NECU also provides umpires for other NCAA-sanctioned summer collegiate leagues, and trains umpires with a variety of clinics and sessions out of their home New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Mass.

“We are elated to have the PGCBL under our assigning umbrella,” NECU President Rob Healey said. “When the PGCBL contacted us, there was no doubt of our excitement to have them join us for the next three seasons. We can’t wait for the summer to begin and our relationship to grow from today and the next three years.”

For more information on NECU and its programs, visit their website at www.northeastumpires.com.

About the PGCBL
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is a 14-team summer collegiate baseball league in Upstate New York. Since its inaugural season in 2011, the PGCBL – which annually draws talent from some of the best NCAA, NAIA, and junior college programs – has quickly evolved into the premier wood bat league in the state of New York, while becoming one of the most widely respected summer leagues in the country. The PGCBL is affiliated with Perfect Game, the nation’s largest independent amateur scouting bureau. Last year, there were more than 1,500 players in the pros who either wore the uniform of a PGCBL team or participated in a Perfect Game event.

Newark Pilots Name JC Calderon Head Coach

JC Calderon

NEWARK, N.Y. – Newark Pilots owner Bob Ohmann is pleased to announce the hiring of Juan Carlos “JC” Calderon as the team’s next head coach.

“We are very pleased to welcome JC to Newark as our head coach for the 2017 season,” Ohmann said. “He came to us highly recommended and has a proven background of coaching success. JC fully understands the expectations of the PGCBL and our organization, and because of that, I’m confident that he’ll be an outstanding mentor and leader for our team.”

“I am really excited to start this new journey in my baseball career,” Calderon exclaimed. “I’m honored to be a part of the Pilots family and the PGCBL. I am pretty excited to compete and bring the championship back to Newark.”

In quoting former professional tennis great Jimmy Connors, Calderon added, “I hate to lose more than I love to win. I’m going to bring that winning mentality to the Pilots.”

Calderon comes to Newark having spent the past six years as an assistant coach at the junior college and summer levels. His coaching career began in the PGCBL, first in 2011 as an assistant with the Amsterdam Mohawks, who reached the PGCBL Championship Series, and then with the Cooperstown Hawkeyes in 2012.

“I’m delighted for JC and the Newark Pilots,” Amsterdam head coach Keith Griffin said. “He’s very knowledgeable and has a great work ethic. I look forward to having him in our league once again.”

Said Calderon about his return to the PGCBL, “I’m excited to come back to where everything started. It’s a great league. The PGCBL was pretty young when I started my coaching career, but now it has more teams, which tells you how much the league has grown.”

From 2013-14, he served as an assistant with the La Crosse Loggers in the esteemed Northwoods League. His 2013 Loggers established new franchise records for hits (651) and RBIs (366) in a season, while leading the Northwoods League with 62 home runs.

Most recently, Calderon spent two summers as a hitting coach for the Terre Haute Rex in the Prospect League. Terre Haute led the league with a 43-17 overall record and 521 hits in the 2015 regular season before sweeping its way to the 2015 Prospect League Championship. His work with T.J. Collett helped the catcher from the University of Kentucky earn Baseball America’s honor as the league’s top prospect this past summer.

In his time as a summer collegiate assistant coach, Calderon has seen 41 former players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

At the junior college level, the Caracas, Venezuela, native spent three seasons as the top assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College from 2011-13, where he aided in recruiting and hitting instruction while coaching third base. During the 2014 college season, he served as the assistant head coach at the College of The Albemarle. The Dolphins recorded a .321 batting average under Calderon’s tutelage that spring.

As a student-athlete, Calderon played two seasons at Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, before transferring to Oakland City University, an NCAA Division II institution in Oakland City, Indiana. With the Mighty Oaks, he compiled a career batting average of .345 and an on-base percentage of .480.

Calderon received a B.S. in Business Administration from Oakland City in 2010 before earning a master’s in education from Iowa State University in 2013. He is currently pursuing a master’s in Teaching with a concentration in Spanish at Northern Arizona University in his current residence of Flagstaff, Arizona.

In addition to bringing the PGCBL Championship back to Newark, Calderon stated that his main goals were to help the players “get better so they have better opportunities when they go back to their respective schools,” and to “teach them the right way to play the game of baseball.”

“If they listen and play the right way, I think we are going to have a successful summer,” he stated. “Like I said, I hate to lose, so I’m going to do the most that I can to win a championship.”

Bates, Reynolds Named to PGCBL Top-25 Prospect List

Bates_Reynolds
Solomon Bates (USC) & Luke Reynolds (Southern Miss.) named to PGCBL Top-25 Prospects List.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Perfect Game USA named two members of the 2016 Newark Pilots to its annual list of the top prospects in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, as announced by the organization on Friday.

Right-handed pitcher Solomon Bates and third baseman Luke Reynolds were named the PGCBL’s fifth- and 13th-best professional prospects, respectively.

A rising sophomore for the Trojans of the University of Southern California, Bates was crowned the league’s No. 5-ranked prospect. The hard-throwing righty accumulated a 3.98 ERA in five outings on the mound. After joining the team midway through the summer season, the Victorville, Calif., native made four starts and hurled 20.1 innings with 16 strikeouts. He earned his only victory of the summer with 6.0 innings and seven strikeouts, both season highs, in a 3-1 win over the Utica Blue Sox on July 19.

Reynolds was a mainstay in the Newark lineup throughout the month of June, but had to return home to attend summer classes and was forced to miss the second half of the season. The Forest, Miss., native displayed tremendous pop in his bat, as he finished tied for the team lead in home runs (3) despite appearing in only 21 games.  Reynolds registered 17 hits, 13 runs scored and 12 RBIs in 69 at-bats. Additionally, he showed outstanding patience at the plate, recording more walks (12) than strikeouts (10) and a .373 on-base percentage. After attending Mississippi State University over the past two years, Reynolds, a redshirt junior, is transferring and will attend Southern Mississippi this fall.

Season tickets for the 2017 PGCBL season at historic Colburn Park are on sale now. For more information, please contact team president Leslie Ohmann at 315-576-6710 or newarkpilots@gmail.com. Fans can also like the Newark Pilots on Facebook, and follow @NewarkPilots on Twitter and Instagram for the latest team news.

A Pair Of Pilots Picked For 2016 All-PGCBL Teams

Cullen, Fragale All-PGCBL
Same Fragale (left) & Greg Cullen (right) were honored as All-PGCBL Second Teamers.

2016 All-PGCBL Teams

Newark, N.Y. – The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) honored two members of the Newark Pilots on Monday, as shortstop Greg Cullen and third baseman Sam Fragale were named to the 2016 All-PGCBL Second Team.

It marks the second time this season that Cullen and Fragale have been awarded for their efforts on the field, as both Pilots were also selected to represent the West Division in the 2016 PGCBL All-Star Game.

Cullen, a local product from nearby Penfield, N.Y., had his tremendous summer campaign cut short due to injury. In his time in the lineup, however, the rising sophomore from Niagara University was a major run producer. He led all 2016 Pilots with a .359 batting average and a .431 on-base percentage, while scoring 17 runs in just 18 games. Cullen’s 10-game hit streak from June 16 to July 3 was the third-longest registered by a Pilot this season, and he was one of just two players to post a team-high four hits in a game in 2016.

Coming off of a redshirt-sophomore season where he led Virginia Tech in home runs, Fragale’s powerful bat energized the Newark nine when he joined the club midway through the regular season. The Pittsburgh, Pa., product had a hit in 19 of his 21 starts en route to a .341 batting average, tied for the second-highest on the team. He pieced together an impressive 13-game hit streak from July 3-19, the longest of any Pilot this season. Fragale raked opposing pitchers for 28 hits, including five doubles and one homer, to go along with 12 RBIs and nine runs scored. He was also reliable in the hot corner with a .975 fielding percentage.

The All-Star and All-League duo played a critical role in Newark’s 29-21 campaign, helping the Pilots qualify for postseason for the fifth time in their six seasons of PGCBL competition. Additionally, the 29 wins they helped accumulate mark a new franchise single-season record.

Season tickets for the 2017 PGCBL season at historic Colburn Park are on sale now. For more information, please contact General Manager Leslie Ohmann at 315-576-6710 or newarkpilots@gmail.com. Fans can also like the Newark Pilots on Facebook, and follow @NewarkPilots on Twitter and Instagram for the latest team news.

 

Pilots Take Care of Utica in Regular Season Finale

The Newark Pilots (29-21) finished the regular season on a high note with a 9-5 victory over the Utica Blue Sox on Sunday night at Colburn Park. With the victory the Pilots split the season series with Utica 2-2.

Utica scratched across a run with a sacrifice fly from Taylor Olmstead (Southern New Hampshire) in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead. However, it would be all Pilots after that point, as they put four runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Julian Gallup (Niagara) knotted the score with an RBI single. Bo-Hao Huang (Fu Jen Catholic) would follow with a two-run double to give Newark a 3-1 lead and Chase Cockrell (Ole Miss) would drive the fourth run in with an RBI triple, his second against Utica on the season.

The Pilots would add on in the second with an RBI groundout from Sam Fragale (Virginia Tech) and then Gallup would score on wild pitch later in the inning to make it 6-1. Jordan Swiss would add an RBI groundout in the third to make it 7-1.

Sam Harrington (Itawamba C.C.) made his final start of the regular season and pitched well enough to earn his third win. Harrington wasn’t overpowering with only one strikeout, but he took advantage of the spacious Colburn Park, inducing 11 flyball outs over six innings of two-run ball.

“It was huge,” Harrington said of the win. “It gave us momentum going into the playoffs, which we really needed going in to Elmira tomorrow.”

In the seventh, Gallup would triple and then come around to score on a wild pitch to make it 8-2. Gallup reached four times to extend his on-base streak to 14 games and also scored three runs in the victory.

“I was telling [Coach Edmondson] today, ‘I love how we’re playing right now’,” Gallup said after the win. “I love the vibes, the pitching and how we’re handling ourselves. In all honesty I don’t feel like we’re going to go home tomorrow.”

Utica mounted a small comeback attempt in the ninth with a three-run triple from Olmstead, but Max Ludka (Saginaw Valley State) closed the door with a three-inning save, his third of the year.

“We’re on a little bit of a roll right now,” Asst. coach Cooper Belyea said of the second consecutive win against a playoff team. There’s just a one-game series in the playoffs so hopefully we keep it going. You don’t want to play the Pilots in August.”

The Pilots will begin postseason play with a one-game playoff against the No. 1 seed Elmira Pioneers on Monday at Dunn Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and a broadcast of the game can be heard here.

Pilots Fall in Final Matchup With Elmira

The Newark Pilots (27-21) dropped their final regular season matchup with Elmira, 3-1 at Colburn Park on Friday night. The loss drops the Pilots to fourth place in the West division with two regular season games remaining.

“The guys battled hard tonight,” Pilots head coach Chris Edmondson said. “We just ran into a tough pitcher. We just have to keep moving forward and not dwell on it because we might see them again [in the playoffs].”

Elmira got the scoring started in in the first inning scoring runs on an RBI single from Troy Dixon (Samford) and a groundout from Rob Perteet (Samford) to make it 2-0. Those would be the only runs Newark starter Ryan Wesson (Northeast Miss. C.C.) in his two innings of work.

Wesson was limited to 35 pitches in the outing with the playoffs approaching, but showed a good changeup that led to his two strikeouts. Quinton Logan (Hinds C.C.) would come in after Wesson and struggled with command, but only allowed one hit and one run over four innings of long-relief.

Logan would be followed by Tysen Fischlin (Skagit Valley C.C.) who struck out two in a scoreless inning of work. The Pilots bullpen has worked fifteen innings over the last three games and has only allowed one run.

“Our pitchers have been doing a really good job lately,” Edmondson said. “They’re coming out of the bullpen and throwing strikes, which is exactly what we need them to do. It’s nice two or three reliable guys to come in and keep us in games.”

The Pilots scored their lone run in the fifth, after an error extended the innings Ching-Wei Sen (Vanung) roped a single up the middle to score Dan Vucovich (Holy Cross) making the score 3-1. However, that was the only mistake made by Elmira starter Sean Hjelle (Kentucky) who threw eight innings of one-run ball to earn the win.

Newark will travel to Mohawk Valley on Saturday before hosting the Utica Blue Sox in the final game of the regular season on Sunday.

Pilots Clinch Playoff Spot With Rout of Adirondack

 

The Newark Pilots have officially clinched a spot in the playoffs with an 8-1 victory over Adirondack on Thursday night at Colburn Park. The win also completes a six-game season series sweep over the Trailblazers on the summer.

“It’s to finally know that we’re in the playoffs,” Pilots head coach Chris Edmondson said of the clinching win. “that doesn’t mean were not going to keep fighting, trying to get that No. 2 or No. 3 seed, but it’s nice to know we’re in.”

Adirondack got on the board early as Justin Lebek (Davidson) hit a double to score the lone run of the game for Adirondack. Solomon Bates (USC) worked three innings with just the one blemish and also added five strikeouts.

The bullpen would be incredible behind Bates. Max Ludka (Saginaw Valley State) would follow Bates throwing three scoreless without allowing a single hitter to reach base. Adirondack would not get a hit after the first inning. Newark’s bullpen allowed just one hit in nine of work in the two-game set against the Trailblazers.

The Pilots offense got started in the bottom of the first with an RBI single from Sam Fragale (Virginia Tech) to tie the game at 1. Two batters later Darian Herncane (Binghamton) would blast a double to left center, scoring two give Newark the lead at 3-1.

In the fourth Chris Sharpe (UMass-Lowell) would drive in two runs on a single to left field to stretch the lead to 5-1. Two more would be added on an RBI groundout from Will Allocca (Virginia) and a sacrifice fly from Sharpe to make it 7-1.

Sharpe would add another RBI in the eighth inning to finish the Newark scoring. Sharpe finished the day going 3-for-4 with three RBI’s. Jordan Swiss continued his hot streak as well, going 3-for-4 to give him 10 hits in the last four games.

“I’m swinging at my pitches,” Swiss said of his recent success. “rather than letting the pitcher dictate. I’m not going up there trying to hit a home run, I’m just thinking about getting a pitch to hit.”

With the playoffs secured, Newark is now in a battle for seeding. The Pilots are currently tied for third with Jamestown. Newark would need Utica to lose all of its remaining and win all of its to earn the No. 2 seed.

Newark will be back in action on Friday night with the Elmira Pioneers coming to Colburn Park for the final matchup of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with a fireworks celebration to take place after the game.

Pilots Ride Hot Bats to Victory Over Adirondack

The Newark Pilots (26-20) continue to make a strong bid for a playoff berth with a 7-1 win over Adirondack on Tuesday night at Colburn Park. Newark has won all five contests over the Trailblazers this summer and currently sit in third place in the West division with a one game advantage over the Jamestown Jammers.

“These games are really important at this point,” Pilots head coach Chris Edmondson said after the victory. “Jamestown and Victor are right behind us and we’re trying to keep them at bay. We just need to take it one game at a time from here on out.”

Chris Sharpe (UMass-Lowell) got the scoring started for the Pilots with a two-RBI double in the bottom of the second. Sharpe would then score on a single from Jon Schafer (Santa Clara), one of his two hits on the day, to put Newark up 3-0.

Sam Harrington (Itawamba C.C.) got the start for the Pilots and pitched brilliantly after getting roughed in his last start vs. Saugerties. Harrington’s only blemish was a bloop-single from Justin Lebek (Davidson) that scored a run in the bottom of the third.

Other than that Harrington was flawless, tossing six innings of one-run ball to earn his second victory of the summer.

“He competed pretty well today,” Edmondson said. “He was staying down in the zone and throwing a lot of strikes. He got a lot of swings and misses with off-speed as well.”

Harrington received more run support in the fourth inning after Sharpe led off with a triple into the right field corner. Sharpe would then score on groundball from Schafer for his second RBI of the day to make the score 4-1.

“I was looking for anything around the zone,” Sharpe said of multi-hit day. “Lately I’ve been thinking a lot and trying to guess what pitch to hit, but [tonight] I was thinking if it’s around the zone I might as well swing it.”

Darian Herncane (Binghamton) then drove home two with a double and Chase Cockrell (Ole Miss) would follow that with an RBI single to score the Pilots seventh and final run of the game.

Newark’s bullpen was near-flawless tonight allowing just one hit in the final three innings of the game with Cameron Hoos (DeSales), Jacob Hendricks (Saginaw Valley State) and Xan Reese (Northeast Miss. C.C.) each throwing a scoreless inning.

The Pilots will take on Adirondack again on Thursday at Colburn Park after both teams have an off-day on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

 

Pilots Win Slugfest in Final Game Against Geneva

The Newark Pilots got a victory in a critical divisional matchup with the Geneva Red Wings on Saturday night at Colburn Park, 10-1. With the win the Pilots finished off the season series with Geneva, winning eight of the nine contests.

Newark fell behind early after starter Skyler Defer (Northeast Miss. C.C.) allowed the Red Wings to score four runs in the top of third to make it 5-1. Defer pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed five runs (four earned before being lifted from the game.

The Pilots would get two runs back in the third when Chris Whelan (Iowa) drove a single to left field to score a run and then an error from the left fielder allowed another to score to cut the lead to 5-3. Max Ludka would take over for Defer and he would strand two runners in scoring position as Sam Fragale (Virginia Tech) made a leaping catch at first to prevent the runs from scoring.

Ludka would go on to throw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to bridge the gap after a short outing from the starter.

“We asked him to come out of the bullpen and throw as long as he could,” Pilots head coach Chris Edmondson of Ludka’s performance. “He left the score where it was and gave a chance to comeback. You can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Newark would get its comeback in the fifth inning, highlighted by an RBI single from Will Allocca (Virginia) and safety-squeeze bunt from John Schafer to bring a run across. After the four-run inning the Pilots led 7-5 and Fragale would add a sac fly in the sixth to stretch the lead to 8-5.

Geneva would threaten with two runs in the top of the 8th to cut the lead to one, but a triple from Darian Herncane (Binghamton) would score a run and then Mark Tumosa would bring him home on an RBI single. Tumosa went 3-for-5 on the day with an RBI and two runs scored in the victory.

“I was locked in from the beginning,” Tumosa said of his big day at the plate. “I saw the ball well out the pitchers hand, felt good in batting practice earlier today. Overall, I just felt good out there.”

With six games remaining in the regular season the Pilots find themselves in playoff position, tied with the Jamestown Jammers for third place.

“If you don’t put away the teams you should, the teams from behind you start creeping up,” Tumosa said of the win. “You really need those wins to make a statement in the division and get yourselves to the playoffs because every win counts.”

Newark returns to PGCBL action with a trip to Mohawk Valley to take on the DiamondDawgs on Sunday before returning to Colburn Park on Tuesday for a divisional matchup with Adirondack at 7:05 p.m.