The Newark Pilots (22-17) increase the gap between them and Elmira in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League West Division standings with a 9-7 win over the Pioneers (17-21) on Sunday.
The contest featured quite a bit of offense from both sides as they combined for 16 runs on 24 hits. However, defense and pitching was a cause for concern. Elmira had four errors while Newark had to use six different pitchers to complete the game.
Both team's starters struggled, each throwing just four innings. Elmira's Aaron Zaleznik (Massachusetts) gave up six runs, five of which were earned. He finished with only one strikeout with three walks and a wild pitch.
Edwin Reyes (UAB) surrendered five runs in his four full innings of work. He fanned two Pioneers, but also threw two wild pitches.
The Pioneers scored a run in each of the first, second and third innings. Newark took a 2-1 lead in the home half of the first when Kyle Attl (Cal State Northridge) hit the third straight single to start the frame, driving in Luke Swenson (UC Santa Barbara) from second. Ray Delvalle (Kentucky Wesleyan) scored the second run on an error. The score was tied 3-3 entering the fourth.
In the fourth, Ty Yesensky (Old Dominion) drove in Justin Lamborn (West Chester) on a single followed by an RBI groundout from B.J. Willis (Wabash Valley C.C.) to put the Pioneers up 5-3.
Delvalle and Attl would hit back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth as part of a three-run inning to give the Pilots a one-run advantage.
Trailing 7-6 in the seventh, Elmira began the inning by drawing two straight walks, the latter to Corey Keller (Florida Atlantic). Keller advanced to second on a fielder's choice, then beat the throw home on a RBI single from Zac Bellinger (Thomas A. Edison H.S.) to tie the game.
In the bottom of the inning, the Pilots loaded the bases with a walk, an error and Jimmy Reed (Skagit Valley) hitting the first batter he faced, all with two outs. Delvalle then hit a two-run single through the left side to score the game-winning runs.
Jay Ferri (Rhode Island) was responsible for the two batters that reached before Reed entered the game, and therefore is credited with the loss. Lamborn, Ryan Normoyle (Washington) and Patrick Hyde (Northern Kentucky) each had two runs on two hits.
Alec Clifton (Lindenwood) earned the win despite only facing one batter in the seventh. He ended the inning by forcing Hyde to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Mark Scott (San Joaquin Delta) struck out three of the four batters he faced in the ninth for his eighth save. Delvalle went 4-for-5 with 3 RBI's and two runs scored.
The Pilots are now four and one-half games ahead of the Pioneers for second place in the PGCBL West Division.
On Monday, the Newark Pilots, who now are will host the United States Military All-Star team, the Heroes of the Diamond, in a special exhibition game at 7:05 p.m. The Elmira Pioneers have the day off.