NEWARK — The Watertown Rapids turned to one of their newcomers — Josh Lajoie — to start Friday night’s game against the Newark Pilots.
Lajoie responded on the mound as he was backed offensively by the Rapids en route to recording a 5-2 win over the Pilots in a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game at Colburn Park.
Lajoie, a Massachusetts native who attends St. John’s, made his first appearance with the Rapids, pitching five innings to record the win for Watertown (10-11).
He allowed two runs, striking out five, while walking three after joining the team this week.
Relievers Marc Maestri and Michael Rounds each pitched two scoreless innings to finish off the win, with Rounds recording his first save. The three pitchers combined to limit Newark to three hits.
Rounds, who started the game as the designated hitter, doubled, singled and knocked in two runs to lead the Rapids offensively.
Watertown grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Derek Kasperzyk singled, stole second base and later scored as he stole home on a double steal. Drake Smith also singled and scored on a single from Rounds for the second run.
Watertown built a 3-0 lead in the second as Brandon Taylor walked to lead off the inning and scored on Dylan Sanchez’s single.
The Pilots drew within 3-2 in the bottom of the inning as Parker Denny doubled and came home on Dylan Duplechain’s single and Denny later scored on an error.
Watertown scored a run in both the third and fourth innings as Vinny DeRubeis singled and scored on an RBI double by Rounds, and Brandon Taylor doubled and came home on Trevor Fagan’s single for a 5-2 lead.
Taylor doubled, singled and scored two runs, and Kasperzyk and Sanchez each singled twice.
Newark starter Matthew Boyko pitched five innings in taking the loss, allowing all five runs.
The Rapids return to host the West Division-leading Geneva Red Wings at 7:15 tonight at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. After an off day Sunday, Watertown will host Adirondack at 6:15 p.m. Monday.