The Newark Pilots (8-4) dropped a PGCBL contest to their Western-division rival Elmira, 3-0 on Monday night. Newark falls to 3-3 at Colburn Park so far this summer.
Jacob Hendricks (Saginaw Valley State) made his first start of the season for the Pilots. Hendricks retired the first seven batters he faced before he hit Elmira’s Nick Graham (Penn State) with a pitch in the third. Graham would score later in the inning after a close 3-2 pitch was ruled a ball to put Elmira up 1-0.
Chris Sharpe (UMass-Lowell) was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the inning and would advance to second. Sharpe would attempt to steal third, but he would be picked off Elmira pitcher Elliot Lance. Pilots head coach Chris Edmondson would be ejected from the game, arguing that Lance did not step off the rubber before picking off Sharpe.
“Sharpe’s fast guy trying to steal a bag,” Pilots Asst. coach Cooper Belyea said of the controversial call. “It looked to us like a pretty big balk, but you know the umpire’s aren’t perfect.”
Hendricks would give up two more runs in the sixth, but would pitch into the seventh inning. With the Pilots in the middle of stretch that features five games in three days it was very important for Hendricks to pitch deep into the game.
“He lost command the one inning, but the righted the ship,” Pilots pitching coach Kevin Smith said. “A couple calls here or there and we might still be playing. We’re a little thin on arms so getting some innings from [Hendricks] really helped us out tonight.”
Newark put the ball in play, but could not manage to string hits together in the game. Trailing 3-0 entering the ninth, Newark worked the bases loaded with two outs, but Elmira closer Parker Caracci (Mississippi) would get a strike out to close the door.
“Over the course of a long summer games like this will happen,” Belyea said of the offensive performance. “When we play long stretches like this, guys will get tired and games like this will happen.”
The Pilots look to rebound from the loss tomorrow as they host the Victor Railriders (5-5) at 11:05 a.m. and then again at 7:05 p.m.