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Submitted by:  Travis Larner, Newark Pilots

The Newark Pilots announce the signings of six pitchers to their roster for their inaugural season as a member of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. The group of hurlers includes three more starters along with a pair of relievers and a closer. Mike Saunders, Nich Boles, and Ethan Striz will fill out the back end of the rotation with Kegan Banks, Alec Clifton, and Mark Scott in the bullpen.

"Boles, Saunders, and Striz are going to be in our six-man rotation," said Pilots' Head Coach Chris Ebright. They will join Carson Beauchaine, Justin D'Amato and Shayne Herold in Newark's starting rotation. "The six starters we have were highly recommended by their coaches and actually other coaches in their league. I'm extremely confident in the guys we have on the mound."

Mike Saunders
Mike Saunders will join Saginaw Valley State University teammate Carson Beauchaine in Newark this summer. Saunders is a right-handed sophomore. He started nine games for the Cardinals, compiling a 5-4 record and a 4.81 ERA. He was second on the team with 41 strikeouts in 48.2 innings. Saunders graduated from E.A. Johnson Memorial High School, where he was crowned the salutatorian of his class. He was named to the All-League, All-District, and All-Region teams his senior year, and also won a state bowling championship.

"Mike Saunders is going to start off as our third or fourth starter, but he has the ability to move up," said Ebright. "He's a big right-hander and he throws strikes."

Nich Boles
Kutztown University junior Nich Boles will provide some experience at the back of the rotation. Boles will be the Pilots' second southpaw in the rotation, and he hasn't lost a decision is the past two seasons. He finished this spring 2-0 in five starts and a 4.55 ERA. He fanned 24 batters across 27.2 innings of work. Boles played his freshman and sophomore years at North Carolina A&T before transferring to Kutztown. Boles was a regular starter his rookie season, finishing 2009 with a 5-2 record. While at West Stokes High School in King, North Carolina, he was earned All-North State 2A Conference honors.

"Boles won't surprise anyone on the gun, but the kid knows how to pitch," said Ebright. "He did it when he was with Division I North Carolina A&T. I've heard nothing but good things about him."

Ethan Striz
Ethan Striz has the tools to pitch and play the infield. Although he bats left-handed, Striz still throws with his right. On the mound at Ave Maria University, the freshman paced the Gyrenes with 20 appearances and a 2.00 ERA. He was tied for first with four complete games. He struck out 42 while earning a 3-4 record. Striz also recorded a hit in 14 at bats while playing middle infield. The Lakeland, Florida native played at Santa Fe Catholic High School, where he batted over .300 every season and played in the 2010 All-Polk County All-Star Game.

"Ethan's a competitor. He throws hard for a little guy," said Ebright. "Right now, he's going to be a pitcher, but he's definitely a left-handed stick we could use."

Kegan Banks
The Pilots' sidearm specialist out of the pen this season will be Kegan Banks. Banks is a right-handed relief pitcher with the Blinn College Buccaneers. The sophomore didn't appear in any games this season, but last season, he pitched 15.1 innings of relief work. He finished the season without taking a loss, going 3-0 with a 5.28 ERA and 12 strikeouts. Banks attended Drippings Springs High School in Drippings Springs, Texas. Last summer, he played for the Austin Gold Sox of the Centex Collegiate Baseball League, who won the league championship.

"[Banks] is a sidewinder. He's definitely going to be of the first guys coming out of the pen," said Ebright.

Alec Clifton
Easily the Pilots' largest player, sophomore reliever Alec Clifton measures in at 6'6", 240 pounds. Clifton joins fellow Lindenwood University Lion Adam Peacock in Newark. After missing all of 2010 with an injury, he pitched 13.2 innings and struck out 10 batters. As a freshman, Clifton attended Cypress Community College, where he went 1-0 in 12 appearances. The larger-than-life California kid is originally from Laguna Beach and graduated from Aliso Niguel High School.

"Were expecting good things from Clifton" said Ebright. "One of the great things about this kid is his size. He's going to look huge on the bump."

Mark Scott
San Joaquin Delta College has provided the Pilots with a third player from their California Community College Athletic Association state championship team. Mark Scott successfully stepped into his role as the closer for the Mustangs. He was tied for the team lead with 8 saves, which was second overall in the Big 8 Conference. He had a team-low 1.64 ERA in 22 relief innings. Scott had to overcome Tommy John surgery in 2009 after graduating from Lincoln High School in Stockton, California.

"Mark Scott is going to be a good one to watch this summer," said Ebright. "He had great numbers this spring. He did his job as a closer very well for the California state champs."

The Newark Pilots open at the renovated Colburn Park on Friday, June 17th at 7:05 p.m. against the Watertown Wizards. Single game tickets for all 2011 games are on sale now. The Pilots also have a limited amount of reserved season seats that are available. Anyone who is interested should contact General Manager Pat Brown at 315-576-6710 or check out the team's website at www.newarkpilots.com. Don't forget to follow the Newark Pilots on Facebook and Twitter for more team news.


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1 Comment to "Pilots Sign Six to Pitching Staff - Coach Ebright Pencils In Starting Rotation"

  1. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    Looking forward to the Home Opener!

    Posted on Thu Jun 09, 08:00:00 PM EDT


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