GENEVA — As part of a home-and-home series for the Geneva Red Wings and the Newark Pilots, the two local rivals faced off in the first game of the back-to-back on Wednesday evening.

The game between the Red Wings (16-7) and the Pilots (8-15) was a pitcher’s duel for the majority of the game.

In the end, Geneva would prove to be too much for the Pilots, winning 5-3.

For five innings, Geneva’s Kobie Punchard and Newark’s Allen Murphy battled it out on the mound, giving up a combined three runs.

Locked in from the first pitch, Murphy didn’t give up a hit until the third inning. Geneva ended up scoring in the fourth inning off a bases-loaded walk. Apart from that, Murphy shut down the Red Wings offense during his entire outing.

After six innings of work, Murphy gave up four hits, one run, two walks and struck out three batters.

While Murphy was locked in from the first inning, Punchard took slightly longer to settle in.

Newark’s James Wrabel led off the bottom of the first inning by swatting a double on the second pitch thrown by Punchard. Pilots’ starting pitcher Allen Murphy then gave himself a cushion to work with by hitting an RBI single that scored Wrabel, giving the Pilots a 1-0 lead.

After that, Punchard would settle in and not allow another run until the fifth inning.

Geneva finally broke Murphy in the fourth inning when Brandon Cooper forced a bases-loaded walk.

Newark answered right back in the bottom of the fifth inning with an RBI single off the bat of Dylan Duplechain. James Wrabel would score his second run of the game.

In the top of the seventh inning, Brandon Odehnal replaced Murphy on the mound for the Pilots. If it weren’t for that pitching substitution, the Red Wings may not have been able to crack Murphy.

Realizing that Murphy had left the mound, Geneva’s offense changed gears.

Brandon Cooper continued his hot streak and led off with a triple in the top of the eighth inning. In the next at-bat, Trevor Rogers would send him home with an RBI single.

Odenhal would then walk Brock Kauffman before getting replaced on the mound by Devin Hicks. A fielder’s choice and a single later, Harrison Treble hit an RBI single that scored Trevor Rogers.

The bleeding didn’t stop for Newark as Kauffman would then score off an error by Pilots’ second baseman James Wrabel.

Each team would then add another run in the ninth inning but the Red Wings were able to hold off the Pilots for their 16th win of the season.

In Tuesday’s PGCBL action:

Watertown 5, Newark 4 (8)

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Newark 3, Watertown 1 (7)

Newark hosted Watertown for a doubleheader on Tuesday evening as each team was able to walk away with a win.

In the first game, everything started in Newark’s favor. They scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, hopping all over Watertown’s starting pitcher, Matt Aufiero.

Allen Murphy and Over Torres hit back-to-back singles and Dylan Duplechain would then follow with a double that allowed Murphy to score for a 1-0 Pilots lead.

After a putout and a single by David Bermudez, both Torres and Duplechain were able to score, giving Newark a 3-0 lead after the first inning.

Unfortunately for the Pilots, that would be the majority of their offense as Aufiero would settle in and throw four scoreless innings.

While Newark struggled to add runs, Watertown would work their way back into the game.

Newark continued to struggle defensively with three errors to Watertown’s zero. One of those errors allowed Rapids shortstop Danny Di Marzo to score in the third inning.

The Rapids would take the lead in the next inning with three runs off a wild pitch, a single and a sacrifice fly.

Newark would tie the game at four in the sixth inning with a Kameron Reynolds sac-fly that would score Jordan Fiedor.

Watertown would add a back-breaking run in the top of eighth with an RBI single from Tony Socci that would ultimately be the demise of the Pilots.

In the second game, the Pilots would exact revenge and win 3-1.

Though Watertown would score first in the top of the third inning, Newark did not blink as they leveled the score two innings later.

Down by one run, Over Torres would come through for the Pilots once again with an RBI single. Torres is currently first in the division with 23 RBIs and second in the entire league.

The next inning, the Pilots would take the lead with two runs.

Jordan Fiedor advanced to first on a fielder’s choice that would allow Parker Denny to score.

With the bases loaded, Allen Murphy absorbed a pitch and took first base to advance to first base and allow David Bermudez to score, giving the Pilots a 3-1 lead.

Ron Loomis got the start for Newark and was a stud on the mound. He was two outs away from a complete game win, allowing just six hits, one run, one walk all while striking out five batters.

Ryan Mueller would then slam the door shut in the top of the seventh inning and earn the save.

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