WATERTOWN — The Watertown Rapids used a two-day break to play as perfect a game as manager Mike Wood could want.
Evan Harold went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs and Watertown (6-3) used five different pitchers to record the team’s first shutout of the season in a 9-0 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League victory over the Adirondack Trail Blazers Wednesday night at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Derek Kasperzyk doubled twice as the Rapids bounced back from losing back-to-back game to the Utica Blue Sox and Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs on Saturday and Sunday. Watertown was scheduled to host Mohawk Valley on Monday, but the game was rained out. The Rapids used the time to refocus and recover from losing two in a row for the first time all season.
“We were all loose coming out and ready to play after those couple of days off,” said Harold, who plays his college baseball for Lander University.
Watertown used that time to play arguably one of its best performances of the season. Wood said the Rapids were great in all parts of the game and made his night a good one.
“It’s very rare to get those (perfect nights).” Wood said. “Those are the easy ones, but all credit to the guys for coming out and putting up seven runs early.
Pinch hitter Jarrett Hall smacked a double in the ninth inning as the only extra-base hit for Adirondack (1-8), which was limited to four hits by Watertown’s hurlers. The Trail Blazers have lost six in a row since beating the Elmira Pioneers, 15-2, on June 3.
“The pitchers were great,” said Kasperzyk, who played at Quinnipiac this season. “They were getting the balls up in the zone and that’s all you can ask for.”
Adirondack starter Stephen Miller last over one inning gave up six runs to take the loss.
Rapids’ starting pitcher James Krick set the tone early and struck out three while only giving up three hits and walking two. Drew Mead tossed a quick fifth inning while Michael Rounds, Mark Maestri and Kenny Sysyn snuffed out any chance of an Adirondack comeback.
“Drew came in and got his one inning in with 10 pitches,” Wood said. “Very efficient with 10 pitches and the rest of the bullpen came in and did a great job.”
Kasperzyk helped Watertown started off fast with a double off the wall and he was brought home by a Drake Smith sacrifice fly. The Rapids sent 10 hitters to the plate in the inning and pushed four runs across in the opening inning.
“That big first inning helped a lot,” Harold said. “Our pitchers went out there too and did good things.”
Watertown kept it rolling with another three runs in the second inning. Harold and Jonathan Catapano supplied RBI singles in that inning to put the game out of reach.
“It’s huge any time you can seprate from a team and just keep going,” Kasperzyk said. “It was a complete team win.”
The Rapids tacked on another run in the fifth before Harold smashed a home run over the left-center field fence. It was the second homer of the season for Harold, who is hitting .333 this season.
“I was just waiting for a pitch to hit (on that home run),” Harold said. “I was really calm and the box and just got the barrel on it.”
It was a return to form for the Rapids’ offense, who scored the most runs this season since their 13-8 season-opening night win at Adirondack on May 31.
Watertown sits a half-game behind the Utica Blue Sox for first place in the PGCBL West Division.
The Rapids host the Newark Pilots at 6:15 p.m. today at the Fairgrounds before playing at Mohawk Valley at 6:45 p.m. Friday.
n NOTES: Watertown leads the season series over Adirondack, 2-0. The teams face each other seven more times this season with the next meeting at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Fairgrounds.