Cameron Allen hit his first collegiate home run on Friday night in the same place he blasted his first high school home run.
The Sackets Harbor native launched a two-run shot to left field in the fifth inning, then drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh to lead the Watertown Rams to a 12-7 victory over the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs on the annual Fourth of July fireworks night at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
The Rams (13-11) have won eight of their last nine games and possess a two-game lead over Utica and Elmira for first place in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball Leagues West Division.
I honestly kind of blacked out a little bit. I didnt even know what was going on, Allen said of the home run.
I had one here in my first game of my freshman year (in high school) and probably hit three or four after that, he added. But that first one was the best because it was to opposite field. Ive had a few here but not too many.
Fridays game was Allens fourth start of the season for the Rams. He had just three hits on the season entering the game. He finished 3-for-5 with the home run, two singles and three RBIs.
Allen didnt start any games but appeared in nine as a freshman at Division III St. John Fisher this spring. He didnt record a hit in just six at-bats, playing behind two seniors and a junior in the outfield.
Allen said that he is starting to feel more natural, getting more at-bats as the season progresses.
Its such a relief being able to come home to play because were at school however many months of the year, and if you want to go play summer ball, youre away from home for probably 10 or 11 months out of the year, Allen said. So its nice to be able to come back here, kick back a little bit, see my friends and stuff and play the hell out of baseball.
Rams manager Paul Alteri said that Allen has been a welcomed presence.
In my opinion its all about making sure we take care of our local guys as much as we can, Alteri said. And Cams been patient. He hasnt been playing a lot lately, once in a while well give him a spot start here and there. But little by little, hes getting it. Hes playing well right now and I hope hes having a good time. I know hes learning a lot and Im glad hes on the roster.
Allens homer was the exclamation point on a big fifth inning for the Rams.
Catcher Collin Theroux blasted a three-run home run earlier in the inning and J.J. Wagner singled in a run. Watertown scored a total of six runs on five hits in the frame, which ended with the Rams leading 6-2.
After Mohawk Valleys Jordan Friend hit a bases-clearing double in the seventh to tie the game at 6-6, the Rams responded by scoring five runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Allens single to right field put the Rams up 7-6. Trevor Marino provided an RBI double and the Rams tacked on runs via a bases loaded walk and an error.
Whats really impressive is when they came back and put up a four spot, in the bottom of that inning we put five up, Alteri said. So that was really impressive. These guys just dont quit, its not in our character.
Dale Irving went 4-for-5 and Brad Rush, Allens teammate at Fisher, finished 3-for-5 with a double for Watertown.
The Rams will play a doubleheader at Elmira at 6:05 tonight before returning home for a 5 p.m. game against Amsterdam on Sunday.