Utica, NY – It didn’t start great for the Utica Blue Sox Defense. With two outs in the top of the third, Newark Pilots left fielder Darien Herncane advanced to first off of an error by the Blue Sox’s left fielder Dylan Hutcheson. Moments after the first error and on the very same play, Utica recorded another error on the first base side, which helped Herncane advance to third base. Herncane scored when Newark’s shortstop Greg Cullen hit a double. Blue Sox pitcher Mike Hope had pitched 2 and 2/3 perfect innings, but the Newark Pilots held a 1-0 lead.
Newark added another run in the top of the fourth when third baseman Chase Cockrell scored on a sac-fly Chris Sharpe.
The Sox bounced right back back in the bottom of the fourth. Kyle Winkler lead off the inning with a single. Robbie Young then rapped a one out single later in the inning to put Winkler on second. Hutcheson hit a single to bring Winkler home and decreased the Pilots’ lead to 2-1. The Blue Sox struck again later in the inning when Mike Warren singled home Young, evening the score at 2-2.
Still in the bottom fourth, Hutcheson scored off of a fielders-choice from Jared Baldinelli to give Utica its first lead of the game 3-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, shortstop Joe Spitaleri reached first after being hit by a pitch. Winkler later singled home Spitalerim increasing Utica’s lead to 4-2. The Blue Sox have now won three in a row and five out of their last six games.
Michael Hope (1-1) got the win on the hill for Utica, striking out 10, while allowing just one earned run on seven hits and no walks over 8 innings. Pilots pitcher Skyler Defer, who leads the PGCBL in innings pitched so far this season, suffered his first loss of the year. He lasted four innings.
The Blue Sox improved to 12-5 on the season and will face PGCBL Western Division co-leader Elmira Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. That game can be heard live right here at midyorksportsreport.com