NEWARK, N.Y. – Newark outfielder Will Gorman highlighted the regular-season finale at Colburn Park by setting a franchise record for home runs in a season as the Pilots fell to Victor, 10-4, on Thursday night.
Gorman, a rising junior at the Rochester Institute of Technology, sent a 1-0 ball over the wall in right center to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning for his fifth homer of the season, breaking a six-way tie for the franchise record.
On the night, Gorman led all batters by going 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs, bringing his season average to .305 (29-for-95).
With the Pilots (20-30) eliminated from postseason contention following Wednesday’s loss to Mohawk Valley, interim head coach Chris Edmondson went with a planned by-committee rotation to give several players one more chance to throw from the mound at Colburn Park. Southpaw Nick Wegmann (Binghamton) earned the start and tossed two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Charlie Sobieraski (Buffalo) was handed the loss after giving up four runs (two earned) in two innings out of the bullpen.
RailRiders (27-23) starting pitcher Chris Johnson (Monroe C.C.) earned the win with six innings of one-run ball. Johnson exited with a 6-1 lead, giving way to John Saviano (NJIT), who pitched the seventh and eighth innings.
Saviano ran into trouble in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded and only one out, he issued two straight four-pitch walks, the first to Cody Wiktorski (St. John Fisher) and the latter to Kyle Bartelman (Columbia), to force home a pair of runs. The RBI free passes reduced the Victor lead to 9-3.
Former Pilot Tommy Wagner (Cornell) scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth for the RailRiders and Gorman hit an RBI infield single in the bottom half of the frame to reach the final score.
Wagner, who officially finished 1-for-4 at the plate with two walks, scored a game-high four runs. Dale Wickham (Cornell) and Matt Brooks (Monroe C.C.) each collected two hits for the RailRiders, and Wiktorski matched the feat by going 2-for-3 for Newark.
The RailRiders, the No. 2 seed in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s (PGCBL) West Division, will host the Utica Brewers (21-29) on Friday, July 31 at 5 p.m. at Victor High School in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of the one-game series will then advance to face the top-seeded Elmira Pioneers (33-17) in a best-of-three series for the West Division title, beginning on Saturday, August 1 at Dunn Field.