Pilots Move ahead of Tide


Story by Peter Warren


With their season and playoff chances on the line, the Jersey Pilots came up in the clutch as they swept a doubleheader against the Staten Island Tide at Doc Young Field on Thursday.


The Tide, who started the day in the sixth and final seed in the playoffs, lost their playoff spot to Jersey after Thursday’s action.


In game one, the Pilots came back from a four run deficit to defeat Staten Island 6-4.


Right fielder Max Felsenstein (Drew), who returned last week from the disabled list, had a big day in his first game back at his home park.


“It is good to get back in the swing of things,” Felsenstein said. “I had a rough last week. It is nice to come back and help the team get a win.”


He got the Pilots scoring started in their big fifth inning when he doubled home Jack Chernow (Columbia) to make the score 4-2. Felsenstein and Daniel Blake (Bossier Parish Community College) then scored on a Joe Maugeri (Ramapo) single to tie the ball game.


Felsenstein then won the game for the Pilots in the sixth inning when he knocked a single just past the Tide infield to plate two runners and put the Pilots up for good.


“Max is just constantly putting the ball in play,” Jersey Pilots manager Zac Dreher said. “When you have a guy like that, it is hard not to start him.”


The bottom three hitters in the Pilots lineup: Chernow, Blake and Felsenstein, all had outstanding games. Combined, they reached base eight times in 12 plate appearances while scoring five runs.


“Anyone in the order can hit, it doesn’t matter who is up,” Felsenstein said. “With two outs we can produce runs.”


Brett Lubreski (NJIT) was solid on the mound, giving up only four earned runs while striking out six in six and two-thirds innings.


Alex Hladik (Fordham) got the final out of the game to pick up the save.


After being on the opposite side of close games earlier in the year, the Pilots have started to not only close out close games, but comeback from deficits too.


“Absolutely the team has grown,” Felsenstein said. “We would have leads in the beginning of the year and then blow them. The offense has come around and the relief pitching have come around.”


Game two was a nail bitter as the Pilots broke the stalemate late in the game to win by a score of 3-2.


Shayne Fontana doubled in the bottom of the seventh deep down the left field line. He reached third on a wild pitch and then trotted in to score later in the at-bat on another wild pitch.


The Pilots had originally gained the lead in the first inning. Zach Lipshitz (Drew) hit a grounder that got past Tide second baseman Ivan Rivera, allowing Fontana and Ryan Toohers (Villanova) to score.


Staten Island came right back in the second inning and tied the game at two. After that, it became a pitching duel as the Pilots’ Eddie Lehr (Babson) and the Tides’ Jerry D’Andrea both went six innings while giving up only three hits.


“[We had] two great pitching performances from Brett and Eddie” Dreher said. “Gibbons came in for us and gave us a few shutdown innings. Both our closers did their jobs.”


Mike Gibbons (Lehigh) came on in relief of Lehr and pitched two shutout innings and picked up his team-leading fourth win. Luis Rojas (Rutgers-Newark) pitched a one-two-three ninth to secure the Pilots victory and notch his fourth save.


The Pilots wrap up the regular season against the Trenton Generals on Friday, continuing a game that was stopped earlier this season. The game will resume in the fifth inning with the Pilots leading 3-1. A victory in the game will help solidify their playoff spot.


“This is my first summer playing collegiate summer baseball and to go to the playoffs in my first year would be very exciting,” Felsenstein said. “Who knows what this team can do if we get hot.”


The Pilots will have to wait until Staten Island plays the South Jersey Giants on July 30 to see if they will be playing baseball in August. If South Jersey wins at least one game and the Pilots win their finale, Jersey should be in. If the Pilots lose and South Jersey wins one, the Pilots may be heading home.


For continued updates and information on Jersey Pilots baseball, visit www.jerseypilots.com and @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

Pilots Fall Short to the Eagles


Story by Peter Warren


In an important game with playoff implications in which only seven innings were completed due to an impending rainstorm, the Jersey Pilots fell to the visiting North Jersey Eagles 4-0 at Doc Young Field on Thursday.


The game was far from the Pilots best this season, as their hitting and defense was not up to their standards.


In the field, the Pilots made four errors on the day, which contributed to the Eagles scoring.


The Eagles first got on the board in the third inning when Luis Amaro hit a sacrifice fly. Amaro added the second North Jersey run in the fifth inning when he hit an RBI single.


Shane Woefel doubled the Eagles lead in the sixth inning when his two-RBI single gave the Eagles a 4-0 advantage.


On the mound for Jersey, Mike Gibbons (Lehigh) did a good job in his second start of the season. He went six innings while striking out six.


At the plate, the Pilots could get nothing going. Their best chance came in the third when Anthony Tagliaferro (Drew) and Eddie Lehr (Babso) both got on to start the inning. However, they would be left stranded.


A top of the eighth was played, but due to the early ending of the game, it will not count in the record book. This is because the Pilots did not have a chance to bat.


The Pilots and Eagles play each other again on Saturday, this time in North Jersey. Game one of the day’s doubleheader will start at 12:00.


The final time the Pilots will play at home in the regular season will be next Thursday when they play a doubleheader against the Staten Island Tide. Game one of that day’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 2:00 at Doc Young Field.


For more information and updates on the Jersey Pilots, visit www.jerseypilots.com or @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

ACBL All-Star Game


Story by Michael Kalb

Jersey Pilots Colby Smith (Elizabethtown), Ryan Toohers (Villanova), Shayne Fontana (County College of Morris), Brett Lubreski (NJIT), Joe Maugeri (Ramapo) and Jon Brignoni (Ramapo) pose after playing in Monday's ACBL All-Star Game. The Pilots played for the Kaiser Division All-Star Team, which defeated the Wolff Division All-Stars by a score of 5-4.IMG_0300.JPG

Six Jersey Pilots played in Monday's ACBL All-Star Game in Quakertown where the Kaiser Division All-Stars defeated the Wolff Division All-Stars 5-4.

The Pilots representatives, pitchers Jon Brignoni (Ramapo) and Brett Lubreski (NJIT), infielders Colby Smith (Elizabethtown) and Ryan Toohers (Villanova) and outfielders Shayne Fontana (County College of Morris) and Joe Maugeri (Ramapo), were integral in the success of the Kaiser Division All-Stars.

Maugeri and Smith scored the Kaiser Division's first two runs in the fifth inning. After Maugeri singled and Smith was hit by a pitch, North Jersey's Matt Krupa singled home both runners.

In the next inning, Fontana hit an RBI single to bring the Kaiser All-Stars within one run. Smith tied the game later in the inning when his single brought home Fontana.

Toohers, while not involved in any scoring, walked and hit a single in his two at-bats and played a strong first base.

On the mound, Brignoni and Lubreski both pitched one inning. While Lubreski struggled in his inning of work, Brignoni was successful. The Ramapo right-hander pitched a 1-2-3 inning while striking out two batters.

The win was the Kaiser Division's first All-Star Game victory since the 2014 contest when they won 3-0.

Pilots Take Two


Story by Peter Warren

The Pilots swept their first doubleheader of the season on Thursday as they defeated the Staten Island Tide 8-5 and 7-6 at Wakefield Diamond in Blairstown, NJ.Capture.JPG

Colby Smith (Elizabethtown) provided the heroics in game two as he hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth off of Antonio Candelario.

“I was just looking for a fastball that I can handle and I got it,” Smith said. “[Candelario] was throwing pretty hard so I shortened up a little bit and tried to elevate a ball with the infield in.”

Shayne Fontana (County College of Morris) scored the game-tying run during the previous at-bat on a wild pitch.

The game-winning hit capped off a great day for Smith, who was recently named an ACBL All-Star.

“Colby [Smith] has been our leader throughout the whole year,” Pilots manager Zac Dreher said. “For him to come up with a hit like that was really great to see.”

While Colby’s hit was play of the day, Fontana made the “Web Gem” of the game in the top of the eight.

Down by two runs, the Tide had a runner on second base with one out when PJ Harrington hit a single to center field. Fontana fielded the ball and threw a seed to Anthony Tagliaferro (Drew) behind the dish to gun down Gary Otten.

“I was running in right away on the hit and I knew I had to get rid of it fast and fire it home,” Fontana said.

While the Tide would score one run in the inning and then score two runs in the ninth, the play proved key as it resulted in the Pilots having to comeback from one run down instead of two runs.

The Pilots had scored four runs in the third inning when Ryan Toohers (Villanova) hit a sac fly, Smith doubled home two runners and Daniel Blake (Bossier Parish Community College) doubled home a run.

Smith added an extra run in the seventh when he singled home Fontana.

As usual, Brett Lubreski (NJIT) was impressive while on the mound. The ACBL All-Star gave up only one run in six innings of work.

“We were keeping [Lubreski] on somewhat of a lower pitch count today because he will be pitching in the All-Star Game,” Dreher said. “He has just been so consistent in getting ahead of guys and getting his off-speed stuff to work. His changeup looked great today. Just another overall great outing from him.”

Game one was a dominating performance for the Pilots.

Lukas DeRenzi (Villanova) provided the offensive highlight of the game as he drove a homerun over the right field fence in the fifth inning to put the Pilots up 7-1.

The Pilots has previously scored two runs in the second on a Fontana single and three runs in the fourth inning: two on a Maugeri triple and one on a Toohers single.

“We just commanded the whole time,” Dreher said. “We got out to an early lead and just held it. The bats looked great today.”

In his first start of the year, Mike Gibbons (Lehigh) went six strong innings and gave up only two runs while going 1-3 with a double and a walk at the plate.

“Gibbons looked great,” Dreher said. “His velocity was there and he was getting ahead of guys. For him to go six great innings like that, we were nothing but pleased.”

All in all, it was a great day for the Pilots. Not only did they get two victories, but also everyone in the lineup in both games contributed in some sort of fashion.

“We are getting guys who have struggled the first half of the year starting to square things up,” Dreher said. “When you get nine-to-ten guys going, it is a dangerous lineup to face.”

The victories improved the Pilots to 9-16 on the season while the Staten Island Tide dropped to 10-14-1.

“It is nice to play meaningful baseball in the summer,” Smith said. “We got the Gulls coming up. Hoping to sweep them too and we will be [right in the playoff race].”

The Pilots next play in an important doubleheader against the Ocean Gulls on Sunday. The first game of the day will start at 11:30.

The next home game for the Jersey Pilots will be next Thursday, July 20 against the North Jersey Eagles at Doc Young Field on the campus of Drew University.

For more information and updates on the Jersey Pilots, visit www.jerseypilots.com or @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

Pilots and Railers Split on Sunday


Story by Peter Warren

The Jersey Pilots split a doubleheader against the league-leading Allentown Railers on Sunday at Wakefield Diamond on the campus of Blair Academy, winning game one 3-1 and game two 14-6.Capture.JPG

A strong performance from Alexander Hladik (Fordham) and clutch two-out hitting was the difference in game one of the doubleheader.

“Going into the game, I knew they were the number one team so I knew I had to bring my best stuff today,” Hladik said. “I went out there and I think I did pretty well.”

Hladik went the full seven innings in game one, striking out five while only giving up four hits and one unearned run.

“[Hladik] really came with the right approach today of getting ahead on guys and really challenging guys early in the count,” Dreher said. “He was able to get some guys off balance and make good pitches all day. He really controlled the game.”

The righty from Fordham was also very efficient on the mound, only throwing 93 pitches, including a three-pitch fifth inning.

“Early on, I attacked with the fastball and then later in the game I started throwing in some off-speed and it kind of fooled them a little bit,” Hladik said.

At the plate, the Pilots scored all three of their runs with two outs, something they have struggled to do all season.

“Situational hitting is an area we have struggled with in the past but an area we did really well with in game one,” Dreher said. “It was definitely good to be on the right end of that situational stuff.”

Ryan Toohers (Villanova) got the scoring started in the first inning when he singled in Shayne Fontana (County College of Morris) and then extended the Pilot lead in the third with a single to score Tom Schumacher (Lehigh).

The next inning, Joe Maugeri (Ramapo) added the third run when he doubled home Adam Tricarico (Rutgers – Newark).

Game two was a very different story for the Pilots.

Starter Jon Brignoni (Ramapo) struggled, lasting only two innings and giving up seven runs, while Andrew Scholz (Arcadia) also struggled in his inning of work.

Once the Railers took the lead, the Pilots struggled to gain momentum. They did manage to put runs on the board and have some offensive highlights, most notably a Daniel Blake (Bossier Parish Community College) two-run single in the seventh. Yet, the Pilots could never recover from their early hole.

As well as with the struggles of the pitchers, the Pilots had a tough time in the field as well as miscues allowed rallies to continue and runners to score.

“The only thing I really said at the end to the guys was don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” Dreher said. “You are going to make mistakes. You just got to have the confidence and the swagger to make one mistake and then say you are not going to beat me again. They have to have that confidence in themselves that they can make this play.”

Toohers finished the day four hits, Fontana had two hits and a walk and Colby Smith (Elizabethtown) had three hits and reached twice on an error.

At the conclusions of the day’s games, the Pilots stayed in last place with their 6-15 record and the Railers stayed in first place as they moved to 14-7.

The Pilots and Railers play again on Tuesday, this time in Allentown, in a doubleheader with game one scheduled for 5:00.

Jersey next plays at home on Thursday, again at Wakefield Diamond in Blairstown, NJ, against the Staten Island Tide. The Tide and the Pilots will be playing a doubleheader with game one set to start at 2:00.

For more information and updates on the Jersey Pilots, visit www.jerseypilots.com and @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

Pilots Fall to the Eagles Despite Plenty of Chances


Story by Peter Warren

Despite a strong performance from starter Brett Lubreski (NJIT), the Jersey Pilots fell to the visiting North Jersey Eagles 3-0 at Doc Young Field on Thursday.Capture.JPG

Lubreski, who threw a complete game shutout against the Eagles last Thursday, was again in control, going eight innings while striking out seven and only giving up one earned run. Much like his dominant performance last week, Lubreski was having success early in the count.

“[Lubreski] has just been all around the zone,” Pilots manager Zac Dreher said. “He does a great job of getting guys to be over aggressive and swing at pitches he wants them to be swinging at. Just another great outing from him.”

The only runs scored against Lubreski came in the fourth inning when Matt Krupa scored on a Brian Kelly single and Luis Amaro scored on a Pilot error.

On offense, the Pilots had baserunners in scoring position multiple times but failed to convert the opportunities.

“We have been working on putting the ball in play,” Dreher said. “With a guy on third and less than two outs, we got to be able to put the ball in play and get runs in, especially when the middle infield is playing back.”

Arguably, the Pilots biggest chance came in the fifth inning. With one out, Eddie Lehr (Babson) doubled and Colby Smith (Elizabethtown) singled to put runners on the corners. Joe Maugeri (Ramapo) and Ryan Toohers (Villanova) could not get the job done, as both runners would be left stranded.

“Most of the time, giving up three runs should win us games,” Dreher said.

Smith finished the day 2-3 with a walk and hit by pitch, Daniel Blake (Bossier Parish Community College) was 2-4 and Anthony Tagliaferro (Drew) was 1-2 with two walks.

With the regular season past the halfway mark, Dreher hopes to see more success in the win column these final few weeks.

“We got to keep chipping away,” Dreher said. “If we continue to get pitching performances like [Lubreski’s], we will come out on the winning side of some ballgames.”

The Pilots next play at home against the Allentown Railers on Sunday. However, that home game will be played at Wakefield Diamond in Blairstown, NJ instead of at Doc Young Field in Madison. The Pilots and Railers will play a doubleheader with the start time for game one being 1:00.

For more information on the Jersey Pilots, visit www.jerseypilots.com and @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

Clothing Drive a Big Hit


Story by Peter Warren


On Sunday, July 2, the Jersey Pilots held their annual Clothing Drive during the Pilots doubleheader against the South Jersey Giants.

The Pilots received over 200 pounds of clothing from players, coaches, front office staff and fans during the clothing drive.

The Pilots pride stems not only from our performance on the baseball field but also from the good that we do for the community,” said Pilots General Manager Mike Kalb. “The success of our second annual clothing drive outdid our first from last season. Our plan is to grow our community support year by year."

The clothing was donated to Goodwill Industries in Cliffwood, NJ.

As for the doubleheader, the Pilots lost the first game 12-2 but won the second game 2-1 in ten innings.

For more information on the Jersey Pilots, visit www.jerseypilots.com and @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

Pilots Finish Long sunday with Walk-Off Win


Story by Peter Warren


After losing 12-2 in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader against the South Jersey Giants and falling behind early in game two, the Jersey Pilots were on their way to finishing the day with two losses.

But Joe Maugeri (Ramapo) changed the narrative, hitting a game-tying single in the eighth, and a walk-off sacrifice fly in the tenth to give the Pilots a 2-1 victory in game two of the doubleheader.

“Joe has been one of our go-to guys,” Pilots manager Zac Dreher said. “When you talk about reliability, he’s here everyday, he’s here early for practice, he’s here early for games. He has been so reliable.”

With Joe Bonaccorso (FDU – Florham) on third and Shayne Fontana (County College of Morris) on first in the bottom of the tenth, Maugeri hit a deep fly ball to leftfield. South Jersey leftfielder Zach Miller caught the ball, but was too deep to throw out Bonaccorso, who crossed home plate and gave the Pilots the victory.

“I saw the infield up and I knew I had to get something over their heads into the outfield,” Maugeri said. “I saw the first pitch was right there. It was a pitch I could elevate and got it far enough to outfield.”

In the eighth, Bonaccorso was on second base when Maugeri sprayed a ball down the left field line to tie the game at one.

“I went down 0-2,” Maugeri said. “I was looking to put the ball in play, touch it up, and give myself a chance. [Giant pitcher Christian Scafidi] left a changeup up in the zone and I got the barrel on it.”

The victory was important for the Pilots not only in the standings, where they are currently in last place with a 5-12 record, but also for team moral.

“That is what makes baseball great,” Dreher said. “It is not over until the winning run scores or the last out is recorded. It is a great feeling, especially to the give the home fans the walk-off win.”

The Pilots also had outstanding pitching in game two, keeping them in the game while their bats stayed cool early on.

“Eddie Lehr gave us a great outing on the mound and for Mike Gibbons to come in like that and be shutdown was huge,” Dreher said.

Lehr (Babson) went seven strong innings, giving up the only run while Gibbons (Lehigh) struck out four batters in three relief innings as he picked up the win.

In game one, the Pilots got off to a great start scoring two runs in the first. Fontana scored on a Ryan Toohers (Villanova) groundout and Maugeri scored when Zach Lipshitz (Drew) reached on an error.

After that first inning, however, it fell apart for the Pilots. The Giants scored three runs in the second, five runs in the third, one in the fourth and fifth, and two in the sixth.

The top of the Giant lineup was deadly in the first game. Leadoff hitter Alec Craig was 2-2 with three walks, two RBIs and two runs scored, Jack Goan, hitting in the two hole, was 3-4 with two RBIs, and Dom D’Alessandro was 2-4 with five RBIs.

Chris Gibbons (NJIT), Derek Balbierz (Albany) and Ben Herbster (Rhode Island) pitched for the Pilots in game one.

The Pilots next play on the Fourth of July at Overpeck Park against the North Jersey Eagles. Start time is at 6:00 with a fireworks show to follow.

On Thursday, the Pilots return home to Doc Young Field to again play their rivals, the North Jersey Eagles, with game time set for 5:00.

For more information and updates on the Jersey Pilots, visit jerseypilots.com and @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

Pilots Dominate North Jersey


Story by Peter Warren

Heading into Thursday’s game against the North Jersey Eagles at Doc Young Field, Jersey Pilots manager Zac Dreher was nervous his team would be rusty after not playing since last Thursday.


Instead, the Pilots played arguably their best game of the summer.


The Pilots were firing on all cylinders as they blew the Eagles out of the sky with a commanding 10-0 victory.


Brett Lubreski (NJIT) pitched a gem for the Pilots. The right-hander went the full nine innings for the complete game shutout, striking out six batters while only giving up five hits.


“I was really aggressive,” Lubreski said. “The first strike is the most important as a pitcher. Falling behind 1-0 or 2-0 is how you get in trouble. I was just going right after them today. Getting ahead with my fastball and then putting them away with my changeup or locating my fastball.”


In addition to pounding the zone early, Lubreski made quick work of his opponents. Twenty-one times an at-bat ended with less than three pitches thrown.


“He was just getting ahead of guys all day,” Dreher said. “When you get ahead, you take control of the game. He was making good pitches and had a great day.”


At the plate, the Pilots took advantage of their chances and put up crooked numbers in three innings.


The Pilots began their run with four runs in the bottom of the third. After Joe Maugeri (Ramapo) doubled home Lukas DeRenzi (Villanova), Ryan Toohers (Villanova) blasted a three-run homer over the right field wall.


“I threw live batting practice on Monday,” Dreher said. “I worked Toohers to a 2-0 count. I threw him a fastball and he drilled it out to centerfield. That was the first live home run he hit all summer. I was talking to the coaches before today saying ‘He needed that.’ Sure enough, he parks a three-run home run to right field.”


Three more Pilots scored in the fifth. Again Maugeri knocked in a runner, this time with a single. Then, Zach Lipshitz (Drew) doubled home two runners to put the Pilots up 7-0.


In the bottom of the eight, the Pilots plated three more runs to reach double digits on the scoreboard. Toohers added two more RBIs to his team-leading total of 12 when Adam Tricarico (Rutgers – Newark) and Shayne Fontana (County College of Morris) scored on a single. The next batter, Colby Smith (Elizabethtown) singled home Toohers to give the Pilots a ten run lead.


Toohers finished the day with three hits, three runs and five RBIs; Fontana scored three runs and reached base three times; and Lipshitz had two doubles, reached base four times and stole two bases.


Defensively, the play of the game occurred in the top of the seventh with two outs. Eagle centerfielder Tyler McAvoy hit a ball into the gap. Fontana tracked the ball down and threw to Lipshitz who relayed the ball to Tom Schumacher (Lehigh) at third base. Schumacher tagged out McAvoy to end the inning.


The victory moves the Pilots to a 4-10 record while the Eagles fall to a record of 7-7


“With the hitters putting up the runs they did today I am hoping that momentum carries us into the weekend,” Dreher said.


The Pilots next play against the Trenton Generals on July 1 in Trenton.


On July 2, the Pilots return home to play against the South Jersey Giants. The Giants and Pilots will be playing a doubleheader with game one scheduled for 1:00. The Pilots are holding a Goodwill Clothing Drive that day and will be collecting clothes from fans to donated to local families at the ballfield.


For more information on Jersey Pilots baseball, visit jerseypilots.com and @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

Pilots Split with Trenton on Father’s Day Doubleheader


Story by Peter Warren

Top nine, bases loaded, two out, three balls, two strikes and the Pilots up by one.rojas.jpg

That was the situation facing Pilot closer Luis Rojas (Rutgers – Newark) on Sunday afternoon in game two of the Jersey Pilots doubleheader against the Trenton Generals at Young Field.


“[I was] just trying to bear down and put that batter away,” Rojas said. “I saw on the first pitch that he was a little late so I tried to get after him with the fastball.”


Rojas did bear down and located a fastball on the inside part of the plate to retire General Zach Shindler and secure the Pilots victory.


“For a short second, I though he was going to squeeze me,” Rojas said. “He did on the pitch before. You freeze for a second and hope [the umpire] goes the right way. I think he went the right way.”


The Pilots got on the board early in game two when Joe Maugeri (Ramapo) scored on a Colby Smith (Elizabethtown) single in the first inning. But, after the Generals scored one in the fifth and one in the seventh, the Pilots were looking at having to stage a comeback of their own.


That comeback started in the bottom of the seventh when Tom Schumacher (Lehigh) led off the Pilots’ half of the inning with a single. Max Felsenstein (Drew) then bunted Schumacher over to second base. After a Lukas DeRenzi lineout, Maugeri roped a single to left field that scored Schumacher. Maugeri, who advanced to second on the throw from Trenton left fielder Mike McGuire, then scored the go-ahead run when Ryan Toohers (Villanova) hit a single to centerfield.


Pilot starter Jon Brigioni (Ramapo) was strong in six innings of work, giving up only one run while striking out four Generals.


“That is a great outing,” Jersey Pilots manager Zac Dreher said. “If we can get that out of all of our starters, we would be in a lot better shape then we are now.”


In the first game of the doubleheader, a seven-inning game, the Pilots fell to the Generals 5-1.


Again, the Pilots took an early lead as Smith scored after a single by Jack Chernow (Columbia) in the bottom of the second. After that, Trenton pitcher Christopher Fiaschetti would only allow three more baserunners.


“Offensively we have got to be able to score more,” Dreher said. “Four runs in two games are not going to win us a whole lot of ball games. Going forward, we are going to be looking at guys’ swings and making adjustments.”


The Generals tied the score in the next half inning on a Zach Shindler single. Shindler later put the Generals ahead for good in the top of the fifth when his one-out single scored Tommy McCarthy and Cole Fluta.


Trenton would add insurance runs in the sixth and seventh to make the final score 5-1.


Fiaschetti went the full seven innings for the Generals, giving up only two hits and two walks with one hit batsman. Pilots starter Eddie Lehr (Babson) also threw a complete game and fanned six batters.


At the conclusion the day’s doubleheader, the Pilots moved to 3-8 on the season while the Generals moved to 4-7.


Dreher hopes the victory in game two is the start of a successful run for the Pilots, who have struggled to start the season.


“It always helps to end on a winning note,” Dreher said. “Hopefully winning the second game gives us a little momentum going into this next week.”


The Pilots next game is Tuesday at 7:00 against the North Jersey Eagles at Overpeck Park. The Staten Island Tide travel to Young Field for the Pilots next home game on Thursday. That game is set for a 5:00 start time.


For more information and updates on the Jersey Pilots, visits jerseypilots.com and @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

Pilots Drop Two on Opening Day


Story by Peter WarrenPilotsLogoTeamPage.png

The Zac Dreher and Doc Young Field Era for the Jersey Pilots did not get off to the start the Pilots hoped for on Sunday. The visiting Ocean Gulls took both games of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Jersey Pilots on the Pilots’ Opening Day. The Gulls won the first game by a score of 5-2 and then were victorious in the second game, winning 8-5.


In game one, the Gulls got off to an early lead. After Evan Madigan and John Mastrangelo hit singles to put two runners on, Zach Schild and Matt Cuppari both hit RBI singles to put the Gulls up 2-0. The Gulls added another run in the third inning when Noah Clark walked with the bases loaded, but the Pilots scored one in the bottom of the inning to keep the Gulls lead at two. In the seventh inning, the Gulls collected to insurance runs to put a comeback out of reach. After Schild and Brian Markoski walked, Cuppari scored Schild with a double and Clark knocked in Markoski with a sacrifice fly. Pilots starter Eddie Lehr (Babson) went five innings, giving up three runs while striking out five batters. James Gowen went all seven innings for the Gulls and picked up the victory.


The Pilots struck first in game two when Lukas DeRenzi (Villanova) scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the second. After two sacrifice flies put the Gulls up 2-1, the Pilots equalize in the bottom of the third when Ryan Toohers (Villanova) hit a single that scored Shayne Fontana (County College of Morris). The Pilots scored a run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth put the Pilots up 5-2. In the sixth inning, the Gulls scored three runs to tie the score. Two runs scored on a dropped flyball and another scored on a passed ball. Both teams could not break the deadlock until the ninth inning, when the Gulls blew the game open. Ocean scored three runs in the inning, led by Markoski single that plated two runs, and put the Gulls ahead for good. Starter Jon Brignoni (Ramapo) went five strong for the Pilots, giving up only one earned run. The losses pushed the Pilots to a record of 0-2 while the victories moved the Gulls to 2-2 on the season. Toohers finished the day with four hits in eight at-bats while Nick Polizzano (Kean) finished with three hits and Fontana reached base four times.


The Pilots will play next at Overpeck Park on Tuesday when they take on their rivals from the north, the North Jersey Eagles at 7 p.m. The next home game is next Sunday against the visiting Quakertown Blazers. It will be a doubleheader with game one set to take place at 1 p.m.


For more updates on the Jersey Pilots, visit jerseypilots.com and @ACBL_Pilots on Twitter.

Pilots host Father’s Day Applebee’s Flapjack Breakfast  


The Jersey Pilots are hosting a Father’s Day Applebee’s Flapjack Breakfast on June 18 from 8:00 - 10:00 AM. Come join us for a delicious breakfast, meet the players and sit down with the coaches for a Father’s Day baseball feast. applebees.JPG

For tickets, contact General Manager Mike Kalb at mikekalb@comcast.net or bring this flyer and the ticket cost to the door. Limited tickets available, so get them while they’re hot!

Applebee’s Location:

240 Route 10

East Hanover, NJ 07936

Tickets: $12

Pilots Announce 2017 Roster  


The Jersey Pilots return five players from last season to begin their journey for the 2017 ACBL championship. The Pilots aim to break a 12 year drought from the top of the pack.

The returning Pilot pitchers are right-handed hurlers Mike Gibbons (Lehigh), and Tyler Poulin (County College of Morris). Around the infield, Justin Trochiano (Monmouth) and Colby Smith (Elizabethtown) are returning for another summer with the Pilots. To round out the returners is outfielder Lukas DeRenzi (Villanova).

New pitchers to the Pilots this season include: Jon Brignoni (Rampapo), Kenny Campbell (Lafayette), Chris Gibbons (NJIT), Eddie Lehr (Babson), Brett Lubreski (NJIT), Luis Rojas (Rutgers Newark), Andrew Scholz (Arcadia) Ben Herbster (Rhode Island) and Mark Silvestri (Rhode Island). Behind the dish, will be the group of talented catchers Daniel Blake (Bossier Parish CC), Mike Grasso (Post), Stephen Loreng (Albany) and Anthony Tagliaferro (Drew). The infield will include Alex Thul (Albany), Ryan Toohers (Villanova), Nick Polizzano (Kean) and Tom Schumacher (Lehigh). To wrap up the team in the outfield are Max Felenstein (Drew), Shayne Fontana (County College of Morris) and Joe Maugeri (Ramapo).

The Pilots will be led and managed on the field by Zachary Dreher. Dreher is currently an assistant coach with Western Connecticut State University. He played collegiately at Elms College in Massachusetts, where he was twice named All-Conference. He will be assisted by coaches Aaron Leanhardt and 4-time Pilot pitcher Tommy Giunta.

Opening Day is just a short time away. The Pilots will open home with a doubleheader versus the brand new Ocean Gulls on Sunday, June 4 at 1:00 PM. Come out to Young Field at Drew University to support your local Jersey Pilots where there will be fun and excitement all summer long!  

Pilots Open Search for Host Families in Local Area  


The Jersey Pilots are searching for host families in the local Morris County area. There will be compensation for the families along with merchandise and discounts at the games. If you are interesting helping our boys of summer contact the Pilots at baseball@jerseypilots.com with the subject host family. Look forward to see everyone at the ballpark this June and July!!!family.jpg

Pilots Welcome Zachary Dreher as Field Manager  



The Jersey Pilots are pleased to announce that Zachary Dreher will take over as field manager of the team in the 2017 season. Zachary (Zac) is assistant baseball coach at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut since 2015 and coached at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Zac also has experience as a head coach in Naugatuck Post 17 American Legion Baseball. He is a mathematics teacher in Newtown Public Schools in Newtown Connecticut. As a college player he attended Elms College and lettered as a catcher from 2011 to 2014. He was captain of the squad in 2014 and achieved All-Conference status in 2013 to 2014. While at Elms, Zac earned his BA in Secondary Education/Mathematics, with a minor in Coaching in 2014. He is completing his MS in Sports Management, with a Certificate in Athletic Administration, at Southern New Hampshire University, Hooksett New Hampshire.

Please join the Pilots in welcoming Zac to the ACBL. He plans to lead the team to a successful season and turn out to be an asset to our league.

Jersey Pilots Baseball Camp  



The Jersey Pilots will be holding their annual baseball camp at Blair Academy on July 10-13. The camp will run from 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM during the four day stretch. Campers will learn from the top college baseball coaches and players in the area while enhancing their skills on the field.

Specifics, along with cost can be found on the BASEBALL CAMP link.

Email baseball@jerseypilots.com for additional questions.

Pilots Hire Fundraising Manager  



Matt Lubin has previously worked for the Jersey Pilots as an Intern and has proved to be an integral part of the success of the program during the 2016 season. “It was an easy choice to ask Matt because of his dedication and skills.” Pilot’s Field Manager Aaron Kalb is confident in this decision. “We believe Matt will truly do a first-rate job and will help evolve the Jersey Pilots into the modern baseball era.”

Matt is a recent graduate from Towson University and a central Jersey native. As Fundraising Manager, Matt is in position to raise funds and help support elite college athletes in the northeast as they progress towards their dreams of playing professional.