NEWARK, NEW YORK - A low-scoring game falls in favor of the Pioneers as the Newark Pilots (11-17) lose a close one to Elmira (13-13) by a final of 3-2.
Behind 1-3 in the ninth inning, Newark was thinking rally as David Vandercook (Columbia) hit a solo homerun over the right field wall. With one out Josh Ludwig (U of R), and Sam Wiggins (Houston Baptist) both singled before a 4-6-3 double play ended the threat.
The game stayed scoreless until the sixth inning when Elmira registered two runs on three hits. Brian Bashara (Old Dominion) hit a double to start the inning and moved to third on a single by Matthew Pelt (Wofford). A ground-out scored Bashara while Pelt would eventually score on a sacrifice fly by Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan).
Newark responded an inning later with a run of their own. Max Rosing (Cortland) led off and reached base after getting hit by an Elmira pitch. With one out Vandercook singled to right center, followed by a Steve Laurino (Marist) base-hit. Josh Ludwig brought in Rosing, the Pilot’s first run, on a sacrifice fly to center field. Bases were loaded as the Pioneers get out of the inning on a ground-out.
Will Spitzfaden (1-4, Southeast Missouri State) is slated with the Newark loss despite his great performance on the mound. Spitzfaden pitched a full eight innings, allowing two runs on four hits. This is his fourth game going seven innings or more as he leads the Pilots pitching staff with 45 1/3 innings pitched this season.
The Elmira starter, Victor Diaz ( 1-0, Old Dominion), had a nice outing of his own pitching five innings while allowing one hit. Although Parker Curry (Samford) allowed three hits and a run in the bottom of the ninth, he did what was needed to earn his second save of the season.
Curry started the game at shortstop before being called onto the mound for Elmira. He along with Ryan Plantier (Cornell) lead the Pioneers in hits going 2-for-4. Along with Curry and Plantier, Vandercook and Laurino led the Pilots with two a piece.
Newark will continue their home stand and host the Western Division leading Watertown Rams Wednesday night, a 7:05p.m. start time, at Colburn Park. The Elmira Pioneers head back home to play the Eastern Leading Glens Falls Golden Eagles.