Pilots stall Salt Cats in bottom of ninth
Newark, NY — The Newark Pilots (11-16) scored ten runs on nine hits to top the Syracuse Salt Cats (12-12), from the New York Collegiate Baseball League (NYCBL), by a final of 10-9 in Monday nights exhibition game.
Taking the early lead was the Pilots who scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, the newly acquired catcher Sam Wiggins (Houston Baptist) doubled to left field. He advanced to third on a wild pitch before coming home on an error by the Salt Cats third baseman. After Marshall Harden (University of Pennsylvania) walked, Jeff Edwards (Valparaiso) hit a double of his own bringing in two more Newark base runners.
The runs continued as the Pilots added to their lead an inning later. A double by Chad Adams (Saint Rose) would put him on base temporarily as he’d be brought home on a two-run homerun by Steve Laurino (Marist). A 5-0 Pilot lead quickly became 7-0 in the fourth when Syracuse walked four batters enhancing Newark’s lead by two.
The Pilots kept the Salt Cats scoreless until the seventh inning. Starting pitcher James Mills (Young Harris) and reliever Ethan Humbert (RIT) both had strong outings only allowing one hit between the two of them.
Three singles are responsible for the Salt Cats first runs of the night. Ben Sawyer (Alvernia University) singled to right field bringing in the first two runs. Nolan Schultz (U of R) followed with two more RBI scoring Sawyer and Tucker Starkey (Ave Maria University). The last single RBI is accredited to Tyler Kirwan which closed the Pilot lead to two (University of Massachusetts Boston).
Newark quickly responded with two more runs coming off of a failed pickoff attempt by Syracuse pitcher Chris Couchigan (Fort Worth, TX).
The game became tied in the top of the eighth as Syracuse scored four runs on five hits. With two runners in scoring position Sawyer singled earning his third and fourth RBI of the game. Sean Pisik (Ursinus) single to right field scored two more Salt Cats before Pisik was called out at second base.
Steve Laurino scored the winning run for the Newark Pilots. Laurino, who was walked on base, stole second and advanced to third on a Jacob Russell (Kentucky) ground out before coming home on a Taylor Hinshaw (Georgia College) triple to center field. Ryan Gray (Trinity) came to pitch in the ninth earning the save.
The Syracuse Salt Cats’, next game is Thursday, July 11th against the Geneva Red Wings at LeMoyne College. The Pilots stay home to face their PGCBL rivals, the Elmira Pioneers, at Colburn Park Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.