BOONEVILLE, N.Y. – The visiting Newark Pilots were swept in Tuesday’s doubleheader by the Adirondack Trail Blazers, 5-3 and 5-2, at the Robert Smith Sports Complex.
The Trail Blazers quickly erased a 2-0 deficit with a four-run second inning en route to the victory in Game 1. The nightcap was won on a complete-game, eight-strikeout performance by Will Jahn (Northeastern).
The two losses drop the Pilots (15-25) into last place in the West Division, one-and-a-half games behind Adirondack (16-23). Newark, however, is only two games out of the third and final playoff position, currently held by Utica (17-23).
Game 1 (Box score)
Newark jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the second inning, beginning with a one-out solo home run by Corey Lerche (Central Connecticut State), his first homer of the season. Kyle Bartelman (Columbia) followed with a triple and then scored on a Kevin Biondic (Maryland) base hit.
It didn’t take long for the home team to respond. Chris Kwitzer (Buffalo) led off the bottom of the second with a triple of his own and scored on a base hit from Brendan Looby (Chestnut Hill) in the next at bat. Two batters later, Shane Allen (Northeastern) slugged a two-run three-bagger and then touched home on an error, putting the Trail Blazers head 4-2.
Kwitzer doubled and scored an unearned run in the third to make it a three-run lead, 5-2.
The Pilots scored one run in the seventh against relief pitcher Tom Fazzini (La Salle). Fazzini walked Biondic on four pitches. He then moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Blake Valley (San Francisco) RBI single.
Zach Crim (Chestnut Hill) improved to 5-0 on the season with his third consecutive win. He surrendered two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts. Fazzini earned his sixth save of the season.
Clayton Spiker (Saginaw Valley State) took the loss with a complete six-inning outing, dropping his record to 2-5. He gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits despite a season-high seven strikeouts.
Game 2 (Box score)
Jahn used his first complete game of the season to carry the Trail Blazers to a 5-2 win in Game 2 of the doubleheader. The right-hander punched out a season-high eight batters without giving up a walk, and is now 3-1 with his second straight win.
The Adirondack hurler faced only one batter over the minimum through the first four innings, allowing a one-out single to Biondic on the second inning.
With the Pilots trailing 3-0, Charlie Sobieraski (Buffalo) led off the fifth with a double. He scored on a single by Mark Martin (Le Moyne), who came around to score on an RBI fielder’s choice by Ryan Lynch (Marist).
A trio of errors in the home half of the fifth allowed Adirondack to extend its margin to three at 5-2 against Newark reliever Kevin Berge (St. John Fisher). With the bases-loaded, Evan Alderman () touched home after an errant pick-off attempt by Pilots catcher Michael Lanza (Bryant). Brad Jones () later earned his third RBI of the contest when he was plunked by 1-2 pitch with the bases once again full.
Cody Wiktorski (St. John Fisher) and Martin each doubled in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, but couldn’t spark a comeback. Jahn closed the game with three straight strikeouts after giving up the hit to Martin in the final inning.
Newark starter Daniel Imbro (Hendrix) took the loss after giving up three runs (two earned) in four innings of work. He did strike out the side to end the first, finishing with five Ks in his second start of the season.
Biondic reached bases safely in all four plate appearances on the day, going 1-for-1 in each game with a pair of walks in Game 1.
The Newark Pilots return home on Wednesday, July 22 to host the Elmira Pioneers (27-14) at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday is the annual Senator Nozzolio Night at Colburn Park. Senator Mike Nozzolio is giving away a free hot dog and soda to the first 100 fans through the gates, which open at 6 p.m.