The Watertown Rams entered Friday night as one of the hottest hitting teams in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
After a loss to the Utica Brewers on Friday night, Watertown coach Paul Alteri is still seeking consistency from his team both at the plate and, particularly ,on the mound.
Despite generating a four-run inning early, the Rams bats were held at bay in the middle innings, while their pitching allowed eight runs over this stretch in a 12-8 loss to the Brewers in a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Whats disappointing is this was one of those games where we were in the hole again early on, which seems to be the norm for us, Alteri said. But our guys didnt stop battling again we scored eight runs but we didnt come through on the mound.
Nathan Mann doubled, singled and drove in four runs to spark Utica (5-8), which came away with a much-needed win while handing Watertown (5-7) its first home loss in four games.
When we put those two things together our offense and our pitching were a tough team, Alteri said. Were a tough team on offense right now, and theyre trying real hard to keep us in games but it gets old real quick if we cant get any help on the mound.
The Rams were thrown a curve shortly before the game when starting pitcher Tanner Rauhauser was hurt throwing warmup pitches.
Cody Culp made the emergency start for the Rams, but took the loss in four innings of work despite striking out eight.
In turn, Kellen Hackett, one of six Utica pitchers on the night, earned the win in relief with two innings of shutout ball. The Brewers defense also turned a double play in three consecutive innings.
Those were tough, Alteri said of the double plays. Their pitchers obviously did the job when they had to in tough situations.
The Brewers took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on two-run single from Mann, but Watertown struck for four runs in the bottom of the third.
Bobby Indeglia doubled, Joe Moroney followed with a run-scoring single and Dominic Lopez and Connor Perry walked to load the bases. After Collin Theroux walked with the bases loaded for a 2-0 lead, J.J. Wagner drove in a run by reaching on an infield single and Nik Alfonso drew a bases loaded walk to boost Watertowns edge to 4-2.
Utica responded by scoring eight runs in the next three innings as Spencer Mumford singled in a run and Mann delivered a two-run double in a three-run fourth to take a 5-4 lead.
This is a great win for this, weve been struggling lately, Mann said. So its good to be on the right side of the score. We got our bats going early on and that gave us momentum.
The Brewers struck for four runs in the fifth, keyed by a run-scoring double from Matt Hendricks and Ryan Valdes two-run single to bolster their edge to 9-4.
Weve had some tough ones and were lost some games that we shouldnt have, Utica coach Keith Strickland said. Well take wins any way we can, so this is a good win for us.
Indeglia doubled and singled twice to lead the Rams and Bryce Greager singled twice.
nNOTES: Eight batters were hit in the game, including four on each team. The Rams play at Newark at 7:15 p.m. today and will host Mohawk Valley at 5 p.m. Sunday.