Newark, NY — The Newark Pilots scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 stalemate and earn a 4-2 victory over the Utica Brewers Saturday night at Colburn Park.
The Pilots (4-3) loaded the bases against Brewers (3-6) reliever Krystien Johnson-Batillana (Davenport) with no outs in the bottom of the eighth. Anthony Spina (Amherst) hit a bouncing ball up the middle, but the throw home was too late as Kyle Norman (San Francisco), who led off the inning with a double, slide home on the RBI fielder’s choice to go up by one, 3-2. Two batters later, Willy Yahn (Connecticut) added an insurance run on a wild pitch.
Newark reliever Cameron Hoos (DeSales) came on with one down in the top of the eighth and fanned back-to-back Brewers. He stayed on in the top of the ninth and went 1-2-3 through the side to earn his first win of the season.
Johnson-Batillana was handed the loss after giving up two runs, one earned, on a hit and two walks in his lone inning of work.
The Brewers made Newark started Logan Harasta (Buffalo) pay for his lead-off walk in the opening frame. Ryan Rosas (Corban) came around to score on a base hit from Zach Piazza (Wake Forest) to give the visitors an early 1-0 advantage.
The Pilots responded with two runs of their own in the third to jump ahead 2-1. Blake Valley (San Francisco) and Michael Lanza (Bryant) opened the inning with consecutive base hits and Yahn drove them both home with a double off the wall in left center.
Utica tied it in the ensuing inning with an RBI double by Taylor Olmstead (Connecticut). It threatened with runners in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings but was unable to plate another run, leaving eight on bases in the contest.
The two starting pitchers performed well in their respective no decisions. They both surrendered a pair of runs, Harasta completing 6.1 innings on 93 pitches and Utica’s Chase Cleary (Northern Colorado) hurling seven complete on 86 pitches without issuing a walk.
Piazza finished with a game-high three hits for the Brewers. Norman went 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Pilots.
Newark is home again on Sunday, June 14 against the Adirondack Trail Blazers (4-5). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. It took 14 innings for the Pilots to defeat the Trail Blazers, 4-3, on June 11. Utica returns home and will host Elmira (5-4) on Sunday at 5 p.m.