NEWARK — After winning the first game of the day, the Watertown Rapids settled for a split of a doubleheader with the Newark Pilots on Tuesday.
The Rapids rallied to win the first game, 5-4, but came up short in the nightcap in a 3-1 loss to the Pilots in Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League play at Colburn Park.
In the opener, Drake Smith scored on Tony Socci’s single in the top of the eighth inning to lift Watertown to the win over Newark.
Relief pitcher Kenny Sysyn pitched two scoreless innings to finish off the win for the Rapids, striking out four and walking only one.
In the second game, Emil Matti was hit by a pitch and scored on Jonathan Catapano’s triple in the third inning to provide the Rapids with a 1-0 lead, but the Pilots rallied with one run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to prevail.
Watertown (11-13), which has struggled at home of late having lost its past seven games at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, is now 8-4 in away games.
In the first game, Newark jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, keyed by a run-scoring double by Dylan Duplechain and an RBI single from David Bermudez.
Watertown scored a run in the third as Danny DiMarzo singled and later scored as Derek Kasperzyk reached on an infield error.
The Rapids struck for three runs in the fourth inning as Michael Rounds doubled and scored on DiMarzo’s single. Nate Chase followed with an RBI single to score Tony Socci and DiMarzo scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Matti for a 4-3 advantage.
The Pilots tied the game in the sixth inning as pinch runner Jordan Fiedor scored on Kameron Reynolds’ RBI sacrifice fly to left.
In the eighth, Smith singled to lead off eighth inning, advanced to second base on a groundout, went to third on a wild pitch and came home on Socci’s single.
In the second game, Newark tied the game at 1-1 in the fifth inning as Jordan Fiedor hit a leadoff single and scored on Over Torres’ two-out single.
In the sixth, the Pilots’ Parker Denny drew a leadoff walk and scored the go-ahead run as Fiedor reached on a fielder’s choice. Bermudez, who had walked earlier in the inning, came home with the third run after he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Ryan Mueller recorded the final two outs of the game to earn the save for Newark (8-14).
Khale Showers doubled to lead off the seventh inning for Watertown, which was then retired in order to end the game.
The Rapids — who have hit the midway point of their 48-game regular-season schedule — will host the Elmira Pioneers at 6:15 p.m. today before playing at Elmira at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday in an Independence Day game.
After Watertown plays at West Division-leading Geneva at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, Geneva comes to Watertown on Saturday as last Saturday’s suspended game will be resumed at 5:15 p.m., with a seven-inning game to follow that night.
Watertown will also host Newark in a doubleheader at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday at the Fairgrounds.