Rapids outslug Blue Sox to record home win

Watertown Rapids

WATERTOWN — A night after generating plenty of fireworks offensively in being dealt a one-run loss on the road, the Watertown Rapids were unable to follow up at the plate Saturday.

The only fireworks were from a postgame pyrotechnics display and the Saugerties Stallions, who routed the Rapids, 11-1, in a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game before a crowd of 521 at Toyota Field at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

Watertown was held to four hits — all singles — by three Saugerties pitchers in a game shortened to eight innings because of a 10-run mercy rule.

The loss came a night after the Rapids totaled 14 runs on 18 hits, rallying from four runs down, only to lose in walk-off fashion in the ninth inning in a 15-14 loss at Mohawk Valley.

“(Friday) night was another heartbreaker, our fifth run-loss loss, we keep ending up on the wrong side of those,” Watertown coach Mike Kogut said. “And we knew coming in today and (Sunday) we’re facing top perennial powers and we knew they were going to be tough games.”

On Saturday, Watertown seized a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but wouldn’t score again.

“I mean it’s all on us, honestly, we’re not hitting right now as like how we should,” Rapids first baseman Tyree Bradley said. “(Friday) night we were hitting, but things just didn’t go our way. Tonight, the scoreboard says it all.”

Now a quarter of the way through their regular season, the Rapids slipped to 2-10 with their ninth consecutive loss.

“I’m a little upset, but I’m pretty sure everything is going to turn around soon,” Bradley said. “Because we have a good ball team and everything and I have faith in everyone to pick it up.”

While Watertown struggled at the plate, Saugerties (6-6) recorded 16 hits on the night, with seven of them doubles.

“We try and keep up the pressure when we can,” said Saugerties coach Collin Martin, whose team extended its winning streak to five games. “We’ve got some extra guys in here the last week or so and we’re starting to swing the bats a little bit better. I think we’re playing well.”

Jake Skrine, Evan Goforth and Brett Heckert each recorded three hits for the Stallions, with Heckert doubling and driving in three runs, and Skrine stroking two doubles, as did Jahlani Rogers, who also knocked in a pair of runs.

“That’s a very good team and their record isn’t reflective of what team they are,” Kogut said. “All their guys were playing college ball for the first two weeks, so most of their team just got in. That’s why they’ve won five in a row after starting kind of slow, because their team showed up.”

Watertown grabbed its only lead of the night as Clay Grady reached on an error and scored on Bradley’s single to center field in the opening inning.

The lead held up until the third when Goforth singled and scored on a flyout to right field from Rogers to tie the game and Heckert singled and came home on an infield error on the play as the relay man threw the ball away.

Saugerties went on to score five runs over the next three innings, keyed by a two-run single from Heckert in the fourth, an RBI double from Garrett Michel in the fifth and a run-scoring double from Rogers in the sixth.

The Stallions continued to pour it on by plating four more runs in the eighth on RBI doubles from Heckert and Skrine and a two-run single from David Shackelford.

Meanwhile only three Rapids managed to get into scoring position over the final six innings of the game.

Winning pitcher Bryan Boully pitched three innings of three-hit ball, with the Rapids’ run unearned, striking out six while walking none. Jagger Iovinelli and Drake Quinn combined to toss five scoreless innings with Iovinelli allowing the other Watertown hit in three innings.

Rapids starter Sean Crowley was tagged for six runs on five hits in five innings, striking out three and walking two in taking the loss.

“It’s tough, especially this being our third (game) in seven in a row and (Sunday) will be our fourth and fifth (games) in seven in a row just to wear on our pitching staff,” Kogut said. “But we put one (run) up early and we stayed right with them through the first three innings and then they kind of got to Sean and then the bullpen.”

The Rapids did show some solid defense early on as they turned a pair of double plays in the first two innings.

“It’s summer ball, so we’ve got to have fun,” Bradley said. “No matter the outcome of the game, we still have to have fun.”

Bradley, who attends Bloomfield College in New Jersey, went 4-for-4 against Mohawk Valley on Friday, including slugging a pair of home runs and driving in eight runs, as well as scoring four runs.

“For me, I’m enjoying every moment,” Bradley said. “I enjoy the fans the most, honestly, that and the competition that we’re seeing out here, I love it.”

Watertown will host the Amsterdam Mohawks in a doubleheader at 5 p.m. today at the Fairgrounds before playing at the Utica Blue Sox at 6:45 p.m. on Monday in their first trip to Utica this season.

“Just keep plugging away,” Kogut said of his team. “Our schedule is definitely front-loaded, we’ve got a doubleheader and another one on Wednesday against the two division leaders, so that’s not going to get any easier. But we’ve just got to keep going out and giving a good effort and try our best.”

■ NOTES: There will be another fireworks display following the Rapids’ home game against Boonville on July 3, which will be a 5 p.m. start at the Fairgrounds. ... Saturday was also the Rapids’ Agriculture Day Game and veteran NFL running back Latavius Murray, who grew up Central New York in Onondaga, was on hand to represent the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, the nation’s largest in-school wellness program, designed to help individuals meet school wellness goals. Murray also threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game.

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