WATERTOWN — Tuesday’s game between Lowville and Watertown ended with tarps on the field and the players packing their bags. After three innings, the umpires ruled that the steady rain fall had made the field unplayable, therefore suspending a game that Watertown was leading 4-0. It is unclear when the game will be rescheduled and whether it will pick up where it left off or start over.
The three innings played gave those in attendance a glimpse of one of the better pitching matchups this season, Watertown’s Ryan Peters versus Lowville’s Dan Mayers.
Peters proved to be better in the limited appearance. He allowed only one hit, a line drive up the middle off the bat of Alex Thomas, while striking out five. He often used his fastball, which tops out in the low 80s, to finish off batters. “Lowville is a good-hitting team and I didn’t want to throw too many fastballs back-to-back and I didn’t want to throw too many off-speed pitches back-to-back, I had to mix it up,” Peters said. “I’ll throw an off-speed before my fastball and makes the hitters forget, because they saw a slow pitch before a fast one. It sets them up.”
Peters switched up that strategy against Brett Myers, one of Lowville’s better hitters. Against Myers in the first inning, Peters threw mostly off-speed pitches getting Myers to swing and miss on three curve balls. In fact the only pitch Myers was able to foul off well was a fastball.
“A lot of good hitters, they like to hit the fastball so I wanted to throw some off-speed in there to throw him off,” Peters said.
In the batters box, Peters collected two hits off of Mayer, the second of which was a bases-loaded double to the right-center field gap that split the outfielders and allowed three runs to score.
It was the one big hit Mayer would give up in what was an ultimately disappointing outing. Coach Dan Myers noted how Mayer fell behind on the count, which he has avoided this season.
“He wasn’t getting ahead early and that’s one of the things he’s really good at, getting ahead on batters.” Lowville coach Dan Myers said. “You go 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, I mean he was at 50 pitches in two innings. With the pitch count limitations, 105 maxing out, he was on track to max out in the fourth inning. If you can’t get ahead, that one bad inning where they got all their runs, he walked two batters and hit one.”
Unlike Peters, Mayer’s fastball isn’t overwhelming so he must use his other off-speed pitches to either make people miss or make weak contact. Getting ahead in the count helps set up those pitches.
“I like to keep them off their toes, my fastball is not the fastest but I like to keep it low anyway so that moving those curve balls will really keep the batter off,” Mayer said.
After a four-run second, Mayer bounced back to pitch a hitless third. There were a few occasions where Mayer needed a moment to calm down. Catcher Chase Lyndaker helped with that.
“He’s huge [for me], pitching to him is like pitching to no one else,” Mayer said. “I’ve pitched to him since Little League together, and we have a really good bond, and he calms me down every time I get worked up.”
Lyndaker helped prevent Mayer from allowing Watertown a big inning in the first when Mayer put two men on with only one out and faced a 3-0 count on Kalub Conway. After a brief chat with his catcher near the mound, Mayer proceeded to strike out Conway and get Andrew Victoria to pop out on the first pitch, stranding the two base runners.