By: Sammy Johnson

The Pilots got back in the winning column tonight, defeating the Tri-City Chili Peppers by a score of 11-6. Pilot hitters started hot and stayed hot throughout the game, recording fourteen hits on the night.

Mason Dunaway (James Madison) was the star of the night for the Pilots, going a stellar 5-5 with five singles!

Justin Starke (VMI) and Chris Martinez (Univ. of Science and Art) both homered tonight, coming in the second and third inning respectively.

Barham White (Louisiana Monroe) came in the game after Cole Stanford was injured, and filled in beautifully. White went 1-1 on the night with three RBIs, one coming on a sacrifice fly.

Todd Mozoki (James Madison) had a solid start for the Pilots. Over three innings pitched, he gave up one run on five hits, striking out three. Olvis Genao (Southeastern) came in after him, pitching two perfect innings, and striking out two.

Tri-City wasted no time getting in the scoring column. On the second pitch, the leadoff batter blasted a home run over the right-center field wall. Mozoki settled in nicely after the homer, striking out three batters in a row to end the top half.

Justin Starke struck back in the bottom of the third inning with a two-run home run, his third of the year, giving the Pilots a 2-1 lead.

Chris Martinez joined in the homer fun in the next inning, hitting a 405 ft home run to extend the Pilots’ lead to 3-1.

The Chili Peppers evened up the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning with a two-run bomb that just cleared the left field wall.

This tie didn’t last long, as the Pilots put two across in the bottom half. Barham White (Louisiana Monroe) got a pinch-hit sacrifice fly, scoring Hunter Cole (Randolph Macon). Cole was able to get to third by singling to right and stealing second and third base, his 16th and 17th stolen bases of the season. Mason Dunaway (James Madison) found no man’s land in right field, dunking a single in between everybody to score another run.

A two-out single got a run back for the Chili Peppers, cutting the Pilots’ lead to 5-4.

The Pilots were able to get this run back and more in the bottom half, breaking the game open with six runs. Barham White continued to get RBIs off the bench, hitting a two-RBI double down the left field line in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ryan Dooley (James Madison) had an RBI groundout later in the inning, further extending the lead.

Mason Dunaway singled to left field later in the inning, scoring another run. This marked his FIFTH hit of the ball game. Justin Starke (VMI) wasted no time scoring him, hitting a triple in the right-center gap for his third RBI of the game.

Tri-City was able to scrape a couple of runs across in the top of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as the Pilots cruised to an 11-6 win.

The Pilots are on the road tomorrow night, facing the Tri-City Chili Peppers again.