June 11 – WATERTOWN – Watertown Rapids suffered another one-run loss Friday night, but coach Mike Kogut likes the struggle he sees in his team.
The Rapids trailed multiple times before tying for a tie in the late innings, only to go 9-8 in 10 innings against the Geneva in a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game at Toyota Field at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds Losing Red Wings.
Watertown (2-3) is now 0-3 in one-run games, including a 0-1 home setback against Mohawk Valley in Monday’s previous game.
“Absolutely, it’s a good group of guys, they will fight and play hard,” said Kogut. “It’s pretty tough. But if you keep putting yourself in good positions and in good games, eventually good things will happen.”
Kogut likes to emphasize the positives for the Rapids, who have fought back from multiple deficits including 4-0 and 7-4 in the middle innings.
“We fell behind early on, but we responded right away,” said Kogut. “They gave us another lead and we were able to respond to that and in extra innings they started a guy at second base and they were able to push that run over. Then we positioned ourselves there, had two shots at it and didn’t get through, but it was a damn good game.”
Shane Dux (Hamilton College) went 3-for-5, including a double, and knocked out Geneva (2-3) in four runs.
“It was a great win,” said Geneva coach Dan Munn. “We played well as a team, our pitchers did their job tonight and we brought our bats to life when we needed them.”
Watertown rallied to tie the game with a single run in both the seventh and eighth innings when Tyree Bradley hit a single and pinch runner Eli Meredith hit in the seventh on an infield single from Aidan Maxwell. The Rapids tied 8-8 in the round of 16 when Colin Hageman hit a leadoff single and later scored when Elvis Lopez made a fielder choice.
After both teams lost 1-2-3 in the ninth, Geneva’s Mike Gorham got the starting shot at the top of 10th as Gorham headed home after starting on second base and Brandon Gelpi followed with an infield single came a victim fly to midfield from Max Hitman.
Then, with Brett Myers placed on second base to open the bottom of the inning, Jonah Shearer walked and the runners advanced on Hageman’s victim bunch.
Ellis Schwartz positioned to left field and Rob Conley struck out to end the game.
“We put in a lot of good fights tonight,” said Rapids left fielder Owen Parliament. “It’s been tough but we’ve had a long season and the boys are struggling. We’ve come back which is encouraging so I think we’re going to have a good season.”
The loss dashed a brave comeback for the Rapids as Chaumont’s Mike Flyzik put up more than three innings of relief and Malachi Flaherty threw two more to concede the loss.
“I’m really proud of our pitchers,” said Kogut. “Obviously Wyatt came out and did a great job, then Mike came in and ate a couple of innings for us, and then Malachi came in and gave us two great innings to keep us in the game.”
Wyatt Parliament of LaFargeville, ending his freshman season at Rutgers University, threw three scoreless innings to start the game for Watertown.
“It’s great to be home,” Wyatt told Parliament. “I see a good mix of guys here.”
Parliament’s older brother Owen, also from LaFargeville and following his second campaign at Binghamton University, started in left field for the Rapids, marking the first time the two had played together at that level.
Geneva broke through by hitting four runs in the fourth inning for a 4-0 lead, which was scored by Hitman with a two-run triple.
Watertown responded to tie the score with four runs late in the inning when Bradley followed in one run, a run scored on a beam, and Schwartz followed with a two-run single.
After the Red Wings took a 7-4 lead in the fifth dux, the Rapids scored twice late in the inning when Michael Norton hit a single in a run and Lopez stole home with a double steal to chase the Rapids draw home 7-6.
Geneva led 8-6 in the sixth when Ozzie Fleischer hit and hit a single from Gorham.
Nick Serce threw up four innings of relief to earn the win for the Red Wings in a game that ended in a long three hours and 47 minutes.
Norton (Cayuga Community College) mastered Watertown’s 11-hit attack in a 3-for-5, including doubling twice, driving in one run, and Conley and Bradley each scored twice.
Wyatt Parliament allowed two hits while striking five and walking three in his three innings.
After Sean Crowley allowed four runs in the fourth, Flyzik conceded two runs in the fifth before setting himself up when he allowed another run but finished with six strikeouts while going three and allowed six hits in his 3 2/ 3 innings to.
“They had great arms, their catcher was solid defensively behind the plate and they hit the ball well,” Munn said of the Rapids. “They are a tough team.”
Flaherty pitched the last two innings for Watertown, batting two while walking one.
“I ended up getting a lot of innings there and I think I pitched well,” Wyatt Parliament said of his first season at Rutgers, where he won 5-1. “It’s a big transition from high school, but graduating early was a great decision and it ended well.”
“It’s definitely a good little boost for us,” said Kogut. “With Wyatt it’s nice to have him out there and Owen put some good bats together for us, he’s been on base a couple of times so it just helps the whole lineup.”
Owen Parliament added: “I came home on Monday. We went to Stanford and did the (NCAA Tournament) Regionals there, it was a lot of fun and a great atmosphere in California. It was a great opportunity for us and we ended the year strong.”
The Rapids play a doubleheader at the Albany Dutchmen today at 5 p.m. and the Glens Falls Dragons at 7 p.m. Sunday before hosting the Utica Blue Sox again at the Fairgrounds on Monday at 6:30 p.m.