The Cooperstown Hawkeyes clinched a playoff spot in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League with a 2-1 victory Tuesday in the second game of a doubleheader at the Watertown Wizards.
Cooperstown (24-20) holds a half-game lead over second-place Newark (25-22), which also clinched one of the two West Division playoff berths with a 3-2 victory over the Elmira Pioneers on Tuesday.
Cooperstown's split, which started with a 5-2 loss to Watertown, and Newark's victory eliminated third-place Elmira (22-24) from the playoff chase.
The Hawkeyes travel to Elmira for a doubleheader today, when Watertown will host Newark. The Pioneers are three games behind Cooperstown and trail Newark by 2 1/2 games.
Parker Ray struck out three, walked one and allowed one hit in two innings of relief to earn the save for the Hawkeyes in Tuesday's second game. Joe Nester struck out four, walked four and yielded three hits in five innings for the pitching victory.
Bryan Aanderud went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for Cooperstown, which got two hits apiece from Danny Nelson, Nate Izzo and Tynan Pedretti in the second game.
Delhi graduate Luke Burns played first base in the sixth and seventh innings for Cooperstown. He struck out in his only at-bat, in the top of the seventh.
Aanderud went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the first game for Cooperstown, which received two hits from Pedretti.
Wizards 5, Hawkeyes 2
Cooperstown 001 000 1 _ 2 7 0
Watertown 410 000 x _ 5 7 1
Jacob Cadle (L) and Ben Manlove. Scott Whitehead (W) and Kevin Whitehead. 2B _ Bryan Aanderud (C), Alex Meadow (C), Chris Gruarin (W).
Hawkeyes 2, Wizards 1
Cooperstown 020 000 0 _ 2 9 2
Watertown 000 100 0 _ 1 4 1
Joe Nestor (L), Parker Ray (6,S) and Jamie Jiron. Dustin Exford (L), Adam Krebs (7) and A.J. Capone. 2B _ Bryan Aanderud (C), Jamie Jiron (C), Erick Gaylord (W).