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Submitted by:  Travis Larner, Newark Pilots

The Newark Pilots tied the West Division Championship Series at one game apiece with a 3-2 win over the Cooperstown Hawkeyes at Colburn Park on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes got on the board first in the third inning. Danny Nelson (Cal State Monterey Bay) started off the inning with a double to left field. Bryan Aanderud (Cypress) drove Nelson home with a sacrifice fly to take the 1-0 advantage.

Michael Bolling
Newark took the lead after scoring one run in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Michael Bolling (Lewis) slapped a double of his own deep down the right field line. Ray Delvalle (Kentucky Wesleyan) moved Bolling to third with a sacrifice bunt, who then tied the game after a balk from Cooperstown starter Joe Nester (LaSalle).

The Pilots loaded the bases in the fifth before Shayne Herold (Ashland) gave his team a one-run lead with a RBI groundout. Chase Brown (UT Dallas) scored the go-ahead run after leading off the inning with a double.

A Cooperstown error in the sixth allowed Bolling to score another run, putting Newark up 3-1. The leadoff batter was hit by Nester. Kyle Attl (Cal State Northridge) later singled to left center and the throw to the plate went between catcher Jamie Jiron’s (Buffalo) legs, allowing Bolling to slide in safely.

Parker Ray (Texarkana) entered the game in relief of Nestor after Newark scored in the sixth. He finished with two and two-third strong innings, retiring his first six batters via the strikeout.

Cooperstown made things interesting in the ninth. Tynan Pedretti (Merced) doubled off the wall in left field, scoring Nate Izzo (Tufts) to cut the deficit to 3-2. Pedretti advanced to third on the throw home and was ruled safe on a questionable call that nearly got a livid Pilots’ manager Chris Ebright ejected.

Closer Mark Scott (San Joaquin Delta), who led the league in saves during the regular season, finished off the ninth to earn his first save of the postseason.

Justin D'Amato earns win
Newark starter Justin D’Amato (St. John Fisher) and reliever Mike Saunders (Saginaw Valley State) combined for eight innings of work with 14 strikeouts. Bolling went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a stolen base.

Nestor took the loss in five and one-third innings on the mound for Cooperstown. He surrendered three runs, but only one earned. Pedretti had a game-high three hits and two stolen bases.

The Cooperstown Hawkeyes will host the Newark Pilots in Game 3 of the WDCS at Doubleday Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner will advance the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series, which starts on Tuesday against the winner of the Amsterdam vs. Glens Falls series.


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