Pilots Power Past Blazers 12-7

BOONVILLE, N.Y. - In the final game of a three-game home stand, the Adirondack Trail Blazers dropped their third straight game to the Newark Pilots by a score of 12-7.

Similar to the past two games, the visitors took an early lead in the top of the first. Peter Battaglia (Niagara) hit a two-run home run to give the Pilots a quick 2-0 lead. Newark increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the second with an RBI single from D'Marcus Guillory (Motlow State CC).

Despite the deficit, Adirondack showed resiliency and fought back in the bottom of the second. Hayden Rappoport (Dartmouth) took first with a lead-off walk and scored off an RBI double from Robert Zurawski (Hillsdale). Zurawski advanced to third on batter later on a passed ball and scored on a ground out to short, closing the gap to 3-2.

The top of the third would prove to be disastrous for the Trail Blazers. After two quick outs, the Blazers' infield fell apart, recording three throwing errors that would translate to five runs ultimately coming around to score. Guillory and Joe Loeffler (UCONN) each picked up to RBIs in the half inning.

Tried as they might, the Trail Blazers were not able to get as many runners on base as they had wanted, but continued to chip away at the Pilots. Dugan Darnell (Adrian) had the only Blazers hit in the bottom of the third and came around to score.

In the top of the fourth, Newark had a total of eight batters come to the plate, recording three hits and two runs scored. Battaglia hit an RBI double and he scored off a single from Over Torres (Yavapai).

Trailing 10-3 entering the bottom of the fourth, the Trail Blazers needed some momentum and got some with the help of Tyler Bruno (Iona), who hit a crucial RBI triple scoring Zurawski; it was Bruno's only hit of the game.

In the top of the fifth, the Trail Blazers made a call to the bullpen, calling in Ryan Maya (Nova Southeastern) to replace starter Mike Delease (Central Connecticut State). From the moment he stepped on the mound all the way through the eighth, Maya allowed only one hit and one walk. He struck out five batters during that stretch and one more in the ninth, finishing with six total.

The Trail Blazers were also retired in order in the fifth and sixth innings by Pilots' starting pitcher Adam Donovan (DeSales).

In the bottom of the seventh, Adirondack scratched two more runs on the board and began knocking the door. Singles from Rappoport and John Michael Boswell (Furman) brought the score to 10-6, still in favor of the Pilots.

Dan Abate (Monmouth) hit his third home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth to make the score 10-7, and also presenting the potential save situation for the Pilots. With the home run, Abate now leads his club in home runs.

In the top of the ninth, Maya showed signs of fatigue and Newark was able to capitalize, scoring two insurance runs putting the Blazers down in order the following half inning. The Pilots emerged victorious 12-7.

Delease falls to 0-3 in five starts. He allowed 10 runs to score, but only four were earned, and struck out only one batter through four full innings.

Donovan won his first game in seven starts for Newark, improving to 1-4 with four strikeouts through six full innings of work.

The Pilots and Trail Blazers will go head-to-head next on Saturday, July 22, in Newark, the second of two games between the teams in 2017.

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