Skyler Defer Goes the Distance As Pilots Defeat Mohawk Valley

The Newark Pilots(19-10) knocked off Mohawk Valley with a dominant 6-1 win at Colburn Park on Saturday night. The Pilots have won their third straight and now have won seven of their last eight games as the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League passes the midpoint.

Greg Cullen (Niagara) and Julian Gallup (Niagara) started off the bottom of the first with back-to-back bunt singles. Both runners would score on a double from Chris Whelan (Parkland J.C.) that was roped down the left field line to put Newark up 2-0.

The third inning had a similar start with Bo-Hao Huang (Fu Jen Catholic) and Whelan leading off the inning with singles. Russ Olive (UMass-Lowell) would extend his hitting streak eight games with a two-run double that put the Pilots up 4-0. Darian Herncane (Binghamton) would make it 5-0 with solo-home run in the fifth, his second of the year.

“I think the guys are starting to gel more offensively,” Pilots head Coach Chris Edmondson said. “Guys are putting good at bats together back-to-back, which is something we asked of them at the beginning of the year. I think we’re really hitting our stride.”

This run support would be plenty for Newark starter Skyler Defer (Northeast Miss. C.C.) who didn’t allow his first baserunner until issuing a walk in the fourth. Defer carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Drew Arciuolo (Fairfield) hit a single up the middle to break it up.

Defer (5-1) needed only 94 pitches to throw a complete game without a single strikeout, a feat he credits to his defense. The Diamond Dawgs were kept off balance by Defer all game as he induced 17 groundball outs on his way to a league-leading fifth victory of the season.

“It seemed like every infielder had three or four balls hit to them,” Defer said of his pitch-to-contact approach. “I kept [the infielders] busy and they stayed on their toes the whole game.”

Newark equaled a season-high, pounding out 16 hits in an offensive-explosion. Cullen led charge going 4-for-4 before replacing by a pinch-hitter in the eighth and Olive also went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to extend his hitting streak to eight games.

“The hitters are seeing the ball really well in the last week,” Defer said of the run support in the win. “It’s a whole lot easier to pitch when you’ve got a six run lead, so all the credit to them.”

The Pilots look to make it four in a row as they host the Jamestown Jammers a t 7:05 p.m. on Sunday.