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Collegiate baseball: Rams gain second victory at home

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After a slow start to their season, the Watertown Rams will take any win any way they can.

That’s just what the opportunistic Rams did on Thursday night as pinch runner Trevor Marino scored the winning run on a ground out by Collin Theroux in the bottom of the 10th inning to edge past the Cooperstown Hawkeyes, 4-3 in a Perfect Game Collegiate League game at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

“The way things have been going, we kind of take what we can get,” Theroux said. “But that’s baseball — you’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities when they’re given to you — and we did a good job of that tonight.”

Watertown (2-4) “manufactured” both the tying run in the eighth inning and the winning run and received five innings of nearly scoreless relief pitching to prevail in its first extra-inning game of the season.

“I think this was a good gut check for our team,” Watertown coach Paul Alteri said. “We used quite a few guys off of the bench — that was a factor — but especially our bullpen kept us in the game.”

After Cooperstown took a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning, the Rams responded to tie the game with an unearned run two draw even as after Jacob Boylan singled, pinch runner Cameron Allen (St. John Fisher) of Sackets Harbor scored on two-out single to left field from Brad Rush (St. John Fisher).

Dominic Lopez led off the bottom of the 10th for the Rams with an infield singleand advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by J.J. Wagner. After Rush was intentionally walked and Nik Alfonso reached on an infield single to load the bases, Marino, pinch running for Lopez, scored on Theroux’s ground out to the shortstop.

“These guys are getting used to me a little bit,” Alteri said. “When it gets to be the fourth or fifth inning, I tell the everyone on the bench to ‘get ready — you never know when I’m going to call on you.’ And our guys really helped us off the bench tonight.”

Logan Grant pitched two scoreless innings of one-hit ball in relief to earn the win, after Carthage’s Josh Amann allowed only a hit and an unearned run in three innings in relief of starter Tanner Rahauser.

“Our bullpen did a great job tonight,” Alteri said.

The Rams, who rallied back from a pair of deficits against the Hawkeyes, have now won two of their past four games, with both coming at the Fairgrounds.

“It’s about playing good team baseball,” said Theroux, “just having faith that the next guy that he’s going to pick you up whether or not you got the job done. We showed a lot of life and belief in each other and we just knew we were going to win this one.”

“This is a good morale booster for our team, especially after we had a tough loss on (Wednesday) night,” Grant said. “It’s nice to see — especially the way we did it with a walk-off play. Hopefully this can get us going.”

Boylan, Joe Moroney and Justin Protacio each singled twice to lead Watertown and four different players each drove in a run.

“We’re not really a deep-ball threat type of team,” Alteri said. “Playing small ball is our strength and we can run, so why not use our strength? That’s what we’ve done the last couple games is try to manufacture runs and I think that’s our personality.”

Cooperstown took a 2-0 lead in the second inning against Rahauser as Ryan Hanahan singled in a run and Matt Feldt drew a bases-loaded walk.

Watertown scored single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings as J.J. Wagner singled a run and Boylan reached on an infield single to drive in the tying run.

Ben Hall singled twice to pace the Hawkeyes, who were dealt their first loss of the season.

nNOTES: The game started after a 35-minute weather delay. ... The Rams have lost starting pitcher Brett Brown (Lamar) for the season to an elbow injury. Brown will return home to have surgery. ... Watertown will host the Syracuse Salt Cats in an exhibition game at 11 a.m. today.


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