Ryan Wesson Deals, Pilots Win Third Straight

The Pilots (3-0) continue their winning ways with a third consecutive victory, defeating the Geneva Red Wings (0-1) 8-2 on Thursday night. After taking two games over Jamestown on the road the Pilots treated their fans with a convincing win in the home-opener.

Newark got on the board in the first with a two-RBI single from Jordan Swiss (Saginaw Valley State) to get the scoring started.

Geneva starter Joe Polanski (Savannah St.) struggled to find the strike zone, walking six Pilots hitters in just three innings of work. Polanski issued a walk to Greg Cullen (Niagara) that forced home a run to put the Pilots up 3-0 in the second.

“We talked about making guys throw strikes,” Pilots coach Chris Edmondson said of his team’s approach. “We need to see some pitches, but still be aggressive. They were getting into good counts and putting good swings on balls.”

Pilots’ starter Ryan Wesson (Northeast Miss. C.C.) never felt any pressure thanks to the tremendous run support from Newark. The only frame where Wesson struggled was the fourth in which he issued two walks. Max Goione (Siena) would drive home a run on a double to cut the lead to 4-1.

Geneva would scrape across another run in the fifth, but after that Wesson would settle in and throw scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh. Wesson would finish the day striking out six hitters and giving up only two runs in seven strong innings.

“He just competed and got ahead of hitters,” Edmondson said of the strong pitching performance. “They put some good swings on balls, but he battles through that and pitched his tail off.”

The offensive hero for the pilots was Acy Owen (Hinds C.C.) who added on to the lead with an RBI triple to deep center field in the fifth and an RBI single in seventh. Owen finished the day going 3-for-3 with three RBIs to continue his hot start to the season.

Newark would finish its scoring for the day when Chris Sharpe (UMass-Lowell) sent a ball to then center field fence that would score Julian Gallup (Niagara) to put the Pilots up 8-2. Sharpe was given the wave around third from Edmondson, but was thrown out on a close play at the plate.

The Pilots will take on the Red Wings again Saturday night at McDonough Park. First pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.