JAMESTOWN, N.Y.–The Newark Pilots (2-0) completed a two-game sweep with a 7-4 victory over Jamestown on Thursday. The Pilots completed the tall-task of winning two straight games on the road to start the season.
Newark fell behind early when Tolly Filotei (Faulkner St.) scored on a sacrifice fly from Hunter Jones (UNC Charlotte). However, this was the only run the Jammers would score off Pilots right-hander Skyler Defer (Northeast Miss. C.C.).
Defer (1-0) pitched six strong innings in his Pilots debut, keeping Jamestown off balance with an effective mix of pitches. Northeast Mississippi C.C. has produced the winning pitcher in Newark’s first two games with Defer joining his college teammate, Xan Reese, who earned the victory in relief on Wednesday.
“He threw his fastball to both sides of the plate,” Pilots pitching coach Kevin Smith said after the win. “He threw the change to keep hitters off and then finished with the slider. Couldn’t ask for more from him out there.”
Newark struck first in the fifth inning with a two-RBI single from Mark Tumosa (UMass-Lowell) that gave the Pilots a lead they wouldn’t surrender. Luke Reynolds (Mississippi State) would follow with a run-scoring single and Bo-Hao Huang (Fu Jen Catholic) added an fielder’s choice that would plate the fourth run of the inning.
The Pilots added on with three more runs in the seventh to take a 7-1lead. Newark took advantage of three consecutive flyballs to left field that Filotei lost in the lights. A native of Taiwan, Huang would add an RBI double to go 2-for4 in his pilots debut.
“It’s hard for him to come into a situation like this,” Pilots coach Chris Edmomdson said of Huang’s assimilation. “He really kept his composure and played well for us tonight.”
Jamestown would add three of its own in the bottom of the inning, stringing together three softly-hit singles off reliever Max Ludka (Saginaw Valley State) to cut the lead to 7-4.
However, Ludka settled in after that, tossing scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth inning to earn the rare three-inning save in the Pilots victory.
“They didn’t the ball hard on him,” Smith said of Ludka’s performance. “Some balls were hit in front of our outfielders and that’s going to happen. It wasn’t like he was getting beat up. I thought he threw really well in the eighth and ninth inning.”
Starting center fielder Travis Cloney was hit by a pitch in the head/neck area to leadoff the game and was taken to local hospital for medical attention. Cloney was later released from the hospital and traveled back to Newark with the team.
The Pilots return to action on Friday night as they host the Geneva Red Wings (1-0) in the home-opener at Colburn Park. First is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with a fireworks celebration to take place postgame.