The Newark Pilots have officially clinched a spot in the playoffs with an 8-1 victory over Adirondack on Thursday night at Colburn Park. The win also completes a six-game season series sweep over the Trailblazers on the summer.
“It’s to finally know that we’re in the playoffs,” Pilots head coach Chris Edmondson said of the clinching win. “that doesn’t mean were not going to keep fighting, trying to get that No. 2 or No. 3 seed, but it’s nice to know we’re in.”
Adirondack got on the board early as Justin Lebek (Davidson) hit a double to score the lone run of the game for Adirondack. Solomon Bates (USC) worked three innings with just the one blemish and also added five strikeouts.
The bullpen would be incredible behind Bates. Max Ludka (Saginaw Valley State) would follow Bates throwing three scoreless without allowing a single hitter to reach base. Adirondack would not get a hit after the first inning. Newark’s bullpen allowed just one hit in nine of work in the two-game set against the Trailblazers.
The Pilots offense got started in the bottom of the first with an RBI single from Sam Fragale (Virginia Tech) to tie the game at 1. Two batters later Darian Herncane (Binghamton) would blast a double to left center, scoring two give Newark the lead at 3-1.
In the fourth Chris Sharpe (UMass-Lowell) would drive in two runs on a single to left field to stretch the lead to 5-1. Two more would be added on an RBI groundout from Will Allocca (Virginia) and a sacrifice fly from Sharpe to make it 7-1.
Sharpe would add another RBI in the eighth inning to finish the Newark scoring. Sharpe finished the day going 3-for-4 with three RBI’s. Jordan Swiss continued his hot streak as well, going 3-for-4 to give him 10 hits in the last four games.
“I’m swinging at my pitches,” Swiss said of his recent success. “rather than letting the pitcher dictate. I’m not going up there trying to hit a home run, I’m just thinking about getting a pitch to hit.”
With the playoffs secured, Newark is now in a battle for seeding. The Pilots are currently tied for third with Jamestown. Newark would need Utica to lose all of its remaining and win all of its to earn the No. 2 seed.
Newark will be back in action on Friday night with the Elmira Pioneers coming to Colburn Park for the final matchup of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with a fireworks celebration to take place after the game.