Stallions stun Pilots with five-run eighth inning in 6-2 victory

Box score

Cody Wiktorski (10) and Kyle Bartelman (11). Photo credit: Paul Dewa
Cody Wiktorski (10) and Kyle Bartelman (11). Photo credit: Paul Dewa

NEWARK, N.Y. – The Saugerties Stallions piled on five runs in the top of the eighth on three hits and three untimely Newark errors and defeated the Pilots, 6-2, in front of 1,203 fans at Colburn Park on Friday.

After the Pilots (12-17) had taken a 2-1 advantage in the home half of the seventh inning, the Stallions (11-19) rocked Newark starter Charlie Sobieraski (Buffalo) with tree extra-base hits to pull ahead, 4-2.

Joe Venturino (Ramapo) led off the frame with a double and scored when Dylan Sprague (Fairleigh Dickenson) tripled in the next at-bat, tying the game at 2-all. Following a walk to Chris Reynolds (Manhattan), pinch-hitter Nick Russo (New Haven) drove in a two runs with a two-bagger of his own.

Sobieraski (1-1) was pulled after giving up five runs on 10 hits. He walked four and struck out one on 108 pitches. However, after Kevin Berge (St. John Fisher) relieved Sobieraski, Newark committed a trio of errors to, allowing one more unearned to cross the plate, giving the Stallions their four-run cushion.

A.J. Carkner (Fairleigh Dickenson) earned the win with three innings of relief for Saugerties. He improved to 3-1 on the season after giving up just one unearned run on two hits with two strikeouts.

Carkner struggled in his first inning, giving up a one-out single to Willy Yahn (Connecticut). Yahn then reached third on a failed pick-off attempt by the Saugerties reliever and scored on a sac fly, which put the Pilots ahead, 2-1. After a shaky seventh, Carkner allowed only one runner to reach base safely in his final two frames.

The game was a pitcher’s duel prior to the seventh-inning stretch. Stallions starter Anthony Rocco (Pace) surrendered only one run on four hits in six innings, and up until the eighth inning, Sobieraski had only allowed one run despite seven hits and three walks.

Rocco carried a shutout into the sixth inning before Blake Valley (San Francisco) tripled and scored on a sac fly. With two on and two out in the bottom of the sixth, Rocco got out of a jam by starting a 1-4-2 pick-off on a blundered double-steal attempt to catch Cody Wiktorski (St. John Fisher) trying to score from third before giving way to Carkner.

Sprague led the Stallions offensively, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Yahn collected half of Newark’s six hits by also finishing 3-for-4.

The Newark Pilots hit the road Saturday and will take on Mohawk Valley (15-15) at Veterans Memorial Park in Little Falls, N.Y. at 6:35 p.m.