WATERTOWN — Adirondack Trail Blazers manager Mickey Fauvelle pumped his fist and his team let out a big sigh of relief when the last out was recorded.
Ryan Solimine tossed a complete game and Chris Rotondo slapped a two-run double in the sixth inning as the Adirondack Trail Blazers rallied to a 2-1 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League win over the Watertown Rapids Tuesday night at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Adirondack (2-9) ended a seven-game losing streak with the victory. The Trail Blazers hadn’t won in 15 days since routing the Elmira Pioneers, 15-2, on June 3.
“Things have kind of snowballed and we needed a win like that,” Fauvelle said.
Watertown (7-6) has now lost its past three games, all at home.
Drake Smith collected three hits, stole three bases and drove in the Rapids’ only run of the game. Michael Rounds was the hard-luck loser as he went six innings and gave up just two runs.
The Trail Blazers have been struggling to score mostly this season as they’ve generated only more than five runs in five of their games. Adirondack has scored less than three runs in three straight games.
“I’ve been in my head for a long time and it feels good to a couple of hits out there,” Rotondo said.
Watertown’s offense is going through similar issues as it hasn’t scored more than four runs since a 9-0 win over Adirondack on June 12 at the Fairgrounds.
“Hopefully it’s the start of something,” Fauvelle said. “Moving forward, we still have to find some offense.”
The Rapids were able to the tidy up their recent defensive woes by not allowing a single error. Watertown yielded six in a 14-4 loss to the Albany Dutchmen on Monday.
“He (coach Mike Wood) just stressed no errors because we gave up six last game and we’re not going to win any games making that many errors,” Smith said.
Smith was able to open the scoring by driving in Emil Matti, who tripled earlier in the inning. The Winthrop University product also caused plenty of problems on the bases with three steals and drew Solimine’s attention with numerous pickoff attempts.
“I really enjoy trying to steal bases,” Smith said. “I like going from first to third to get myself into scoring position and maybe get some of my guys on the teams RBIs.”
Solimine was able to settle in a keep the Rapids off-balance by mixing his pitches. It was the first complete game for a Trail Blazers’ pitcher this season.
“We were on a losing streak, so I had to step up and throw strikes,” Solimine said.
Rounds turned a similar performance on the mound before Rotondo’s double plated Randy Flores and Kevin Ferrer to give Adirondack the lead.
“He (Rounds) just hung me a curveball inside and I turned on it,” Rotondo said. “I didn’t think too hard and it was an easy turn down the line.”
Watertown got the first two runners on base in the ninth after Tony Socci reached on an error and Evan Harold slapped a single to center field. Solimine induced a double play by James Krick and tempers almost flared when pinch runner Derek Kasperzyk went hard into second baseman Daniel Irisarri. Adirondack settled down to get the final out to break its drought.
“I just forgot about it (the error) and focused on the next pitch,” Solimine said.
The Rapids have an off day today before heading to Newark to take on the Pilots 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Colburn Park. Watertown is home at 6:15 p.m. Friday against Elmira and it hopes the day off can help.
“We’ll get in here at 11 a.m. and get some work in,” Wood said. “We’ll clean some things up because we have five games in a row coming up.”
n NOTES: Watertown leads the season series with Adirondack, 2-1. The next meeting between the two teams is July 1 at the Fairgrounds.