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Pilots ink three pitchers from Niagara CC

Newark Pilots head coach Chris Edmondson continues to construct the team’s pitching staff for the 2016 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) season with the signing of three ultra-talented freshmen from Niagara County Community College (NCCC).Righties Christian Young and Loukas Bechakas, as well as left-hander Cameron Voss, have been integral pieces for the Thunderwolves, ranked No. 8 in Wednesday’s edition of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III poll. NCCC finished the regular season with a 38-5 record and will face SUNY Adirondack in the first round of the NJCAA Region III Division III playoffs, beginning on Sunday, May 15.Originally from Hamburg, N.Y., Young has drawn the eye of several major league scouts in his rookie campaign due to his 6-foot-5, 200-pound frame and a fastball clocked in the low 90s. The fireballer was named one of the top incoming freshmen in the region by the NJCAA in the preseason. He finished the regular season with minute 1.99 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 31.2 innings. Young’s body of work includes 13 punch outs in six innings against Minnesota State Community and Technical College on March 15, a five-inning complete game shutout with eight strikeouts against Erie Community College (ECC) on April 28, and a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts against SUNY Broome on May 5.A fellow right-handed hurler, Bechakas has been lights-out in eight relief appearances for the Thunderwolves. In 12.2 innings of work, the rookie has surrendered only two earned runs, equaling a paltry 1.42 ERA. The East Amherst, N.Y., product earned his first save in his collegiate debut on March 10 with a spotless frame against Macomb Community College and received his first win with 2.1 scoreless innings against the Community College of Baltimore County on April 1. Bechakas, listed at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, improved to 2-0 with a pair of scoreless innings and three strikeouts in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Genesee Community College on May 10.Voss, who was also included on the list of top newcomers in the region, is having an equally-impressive season on the mound for the Thunderwolves. The southpaw has fanned a whopping 48 batsmen in only 28.0 innings while compiling a 3-1 overall record. The Fredonia, NY, native twirled a seven-inning no-hitter with 11 punch outs to pick up the first victory of his debut season over Itasca Community College on March 14. Voss entered out of the bullpen to save a 2-0 victory in Game 1 of the doubleheader against ECC on April 28 with a clean two-thirds of an inning. His other double-digit strikeout effort came in 5.0 innings of one-hit ball against SUNY Broome on May 3. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound lefty struck out 10 of the 20 batters he faced to secure his third win of the season versus the Hornets.The Newark Pilots open the 2016 PGCBL season on the road on Wednesday, June 1, against the Jamestown Jammers. The home opener at historic Colburn Park is scheduled for Friday, June 3, at 7:05 p.m. against the Geneva Red Wings. For more information and to purchase season tickets, please contact team president Leslie Ohmann at 315-576-6710 or newarkpilots@gmail.com.

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