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Red-hot Rams extend winning streak to seven

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Henry McAree didn’t feel any pressure to extend the Watertown Rams’ winning streak to seven games when he took the mound on Tuesday night.

That’s because McAree didn’t know his team had a streak to keep intact.

McAree, a 6-foot-2 righty from Shoreline Community College in Washington state, just joined the team last week and made his first start at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds a good one.

He scattered six hits over six innings, allowing two runs to go with six strikeouts and a walk in leading the Rams to a 3-2 victory over the Adirondack Trail Blazers.

“I actually didn’t know we had a streak going,” McAree said. “I try not to put any pressure on myself, just go out there and pitch and throw strikes.”

It was the seventh straight win for Watertown (12-10), which increased its lead in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s West Division to two games over Elmira (9-11) and Utica (8-10).

The Rams will try to create more separation tonight with a game at Utica.

“Things are going our way, that’s all. But it’s the starting pitching that is keeping us going,” Watertown manager Paul Alteri said.

During the team’s seven-game winning streak, its starting pitchers have gone at least five full innings and have allowed three runs or less in each start.

It includes two wins from Joe Adel and one each from Watertown native Anthony Magovney, Thomas Casey, Kevin Klaess and Jake Jenkins.

“Another quality start tonight, and that’s what we’ve had,” Alteri said. “That’s been the key to our whole streak, our starters are going to deep into games and that helps a lot.”

Jacob Boylan and Austin Lueck drove in a run in consecutive at-bats in the fifth inning to give the Rams a 3-1 lead.

Boylan drove a sacrifice fly to deep right field to score Justin Protacio and break the 1-1 tie.

Lueck then singled to score Bryce Greager from third.

Watertown finished the fifth with two of its four hits, two walks and three stolen bases.

“We’re really rolling now, swinging the bats well and our pitching has come a long way keeping these games low scoring so we have a chance,” said Lueck, who went 2-for-4 with two singles, two stolen bases and a run batted in.

Lueck also scored the game’s first run on a groundout by Sackets Harbor native Cameron Allen in the second inning.

The Trail Blazers, who dropped to 7-13 and four games back of the Rams in the division, pounded out eight hits but stranded a total of seven base runners.

Dominic Fazio singled in a run with one out in the sixth to cut the Rams lead to 3-2.

But the next two batters flied out and grounded out, respectively, to strand runners at first and second and end the threat.

They left runners on second and third in the next inning.

Matt Chaidez singled with one out in the ninth, but Mike Parsons grounded into a double play in the next at-bat to end the game.

It was the second straight night that the Rams sealed a victory with a double play.

“That’s just the way baseball goes sometimes,” Adirondack manager Ryne Foster said. “You need a big hit in a key situation and one team gets it, the other team doesn’t. That’s why we play pretty much every day. It’s a game of failure sometimes.”

Watertown will return to the Fairgrounds on Friday to host the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs (10-10).

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