WATERTOWN — The Watertown Rapids were dealt another one-run loss Friday night, but coach Mike Kogut likes the fight he sees in his team.
The Rapids trailed multiple times before rallying to tie the game in the late innings, only to fall to the Geneva Red Wings, 9-8, in 10 innings in a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game at Toyota Field at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Watertown (2-3) is now 0-3 in one-run games, including a 1-0 home setback to Mohawk Valley on Monday in its previous game.
“Absolutely, it’s a good group of guys, they’re going to fight and play hard,” Kogut said. “It’s kind of tough. But if you keep putting yourself in good positions like that and in good games, eventually good things will happen.”
Kogut likes to emphasize the positives for the Rapids, who battled back from several deficits, including 4-0 and 7-4 in the middle innings.
“We fell behind early, but we answered right back,” Kogut said. “They put another lead on us and we were able to answer that and in extra innings, they started with a guy on second base and they were able to push that run across. Then we got ourselves in position there, had two shots at it and didn’t come through, but it was a heck of a game.”
Shane Dux (Hamilton College) went 3-for-5, including a double, and knocked in four runs to pace Geneva (2-3).
“It was a great win,” Geneva coach Dan Munn said. “We played well as a team, our pitchers did their job tonight and we had our bats come alive when we needed them.”
Watertown rallied to tie the game with a single run in both the seventh and eighth innings as Tyree Bradley singled and pinch runner Eli Meredith scored on an infield single by Aidan Maxwell in the seventh. The Rapids tied the score at 8-8 in the eighth as Colin Hageman hit a leadoff single and later scored when Elvis Lopez reached on a fielder’s choice.
After both teams went down 1-2-3 in the ninth, Geneva’s Mike Gorham scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th, as after starting out on second base and Brandon Gelpi followed with an infield single, Gorham came home on a sacrifice fly to center field by Max Hitman.
Then with Brett Myers placed on second base to open the bottom of the inning, Jonah Shearer walked and the runners moved up on Hageman’s sacrifice bunt.
Ellis Schwartz lined out to left field and Rob Conley struck out to end the game.
“We showed a lot of good fight tonight,” Rapids left fielder Owen Parliament said. “It was a tough one, but we have a long season and the guys are battling. We came back, which is encouraging, so I think we’re going to have a good season.”
The loss spoiled a gutsy relief effort by the Rapids, as Mike Flyzik of Chaumont pitched three-plus innings of relief and Malachi Flaherty tossed two more in taking the loss.
“I’m really proud of our pitchers,” Kogut said. “Obviously Wyatt came out and did a great job to start then Mike came in and ate some innings for us, and then Malachi came in and gave us two great innings to keep us in the game.”
Wyatt Parliament of LaFargeville, coming off his freshman season at Rutgers University, pitched three scoreless innings to begin the game for Watertown.
“It’s great to be home,” Wyatt Parliament said. “I see a good mix of guys here.”
Parliament’s older brother, Owen, also of LaFargeville and coming off his sophomore campaign at Binghamton University, started in left field for the Rapids, marking the first time the two played together at this level.
Geneva broke through by scoring four runs in the fourth inning to take a 4-0 lead, keyed by a two-run triple by Hitman.
Watertown responded to tie the score with four runs in the bottom of the inning, as Bradley singled in a run, a run scored on a balk and Schwartz followed with a two-run single.
After the Red Wings seized a 7-4 lead in the fifth on Dux’s three-run double, the Rapids scored twice in the bottom of the inning as Michael Norton singled in a run and Lopez stole home on a double steal to pull the Rapids within 7-6.
Geneva led 8-6 in the sixth as Ozzie Fleischer singled and scored on a single by Gorham.
Nick Serce pitched four innings of relief to earn the win for the Red Wings in a game which finished in a lengthy three hours and 47 minutes.
Norton (Cayuga Community College) paced Watertown’s 11-hit attack by going 3-for-5, including doubling twice, and drove in a run, and Conley and Bradley each singled twice.
Wyatt Parliament allowed two hits, while striking out five and walking three in his three innings.
After Sean Crowley allowed four runs in the fourth, Flyzik yielded two runs in the fifth before settling in as he allowed another run, but finished with six strikeouts while walking three and allowed six hits in his 3 2/3 innings.
“They had great arms, their catcher was solid defensively behind the plate and they hit the ball well,” Munn said of the Rapids. “They’re a tough team.”
Flaherty pitched the last two innings for Watertown, striking out two while walking one.
“I ended up getting a lot of innings there and I think I threw well,” Wyatt Parliament said of his freshman season at Rutgers, where he went 5-1. “It’s a big adjustment from high school, but graduating early was a great decision and it turned out well.”
“That’s definitely a good little boost for us,” Kogut said. “With Wyatt, it’s nice to have him out there and Owen put together some good at bats for us, he got on base a few times, so it just helps the lineup all together.”
Owen Parliament added: “I got home Monday. We went to Stanford and competed in the (NCAA Tournament) regionals there, it was a lot of fun and it was a great atmosphere out in California. It was a great opportunity for us and we finished the year strong.”
The Rapids will play a doubleheader at the Albany Dutchmen at 5 today and play at the Glens Falls Dragons at 7 p.m. Sunday before returning to host the Utica Blue Sox at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Fairgrounds.