Filed by the Watertown Rams...
WATERTOWN- Colby Gee’s (Ithaca) single in the top of the fourteenth inning propelled Elmira on to a a 7-6 victory over host Watertown (0-1) in Game 1 of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League's West Division final. The win gives Elmira a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. The 14-inning game was the longest in PGCBL playoff history. Anthony Roma (Herkimer County CC) picked up the win for the Pioneers. Cody Culp (Bellevue) took the loss for the Rams.
Elmira jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With one out in the inning, Chris Knott (East Stroudsburg) reached on an error and Dave Hoffmann (Siena) was hit by a pitch. Knott came around to score on a single by Brian Bashara (Old Dominion). Rams starter Joe Adel (South Florida) was able to avoid further damage with a ground out and a popout. Watertown took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth in the span of three batters. Collin Theroux (Nevada) hit a one-out double into the right-center field gap to put a runner in scoring position for Matthew Thaiss (Virginia 2013-14). Thaiss lined Elmira reliever Brandon Diorio’s (Ithaca) first pitch into right field to tie the game at one. Riley Smith (Occidental) then gave Watertown the lead with a 2-run home run over the left field fence on the first pitch the shortstop saw. The home run was the first of the postseason for the Rams and the first of the summer for Smith.
Elmira regained the lead in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs off Joe Adel. Andrew Nist (Temple) singled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a Taylor Hillson (Mansfield HS) single and a throwing error by Joe Adel. A Chris Kalousidian (Manhattan) single drove home Nist. Parker Curry (Samford) followed with a three-run home run to left field. The home run was the first of the postseason for Curry and his second on the summer.
Watertown tied the game in the home half of the inning to make the score 5-5. Dominic Lopez (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) doubled to left-center field to lead off the inning. Trevor Marino (VCU) followed with a walk and the two base runners were then sacrificed over by J.J. Wagner (Pacific). Following a Collin Theroux walk, Matthew Thaiss was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. Riley Smith delivered with his third and fourth RBIs of the night on a double to left center. Thaiss was thrown out at home attempting to come around to score. In the top of the seventh, Rams reliever Logan Grant (Creighton/Millersville) got out of a bases loaded, no outs jam with a double play and a strikeout.
The score remained the same until the eleventh when both teams plated a run. In Elmira’s half of the inning, Andrew Nist singled and was pinch-run for. Taylor Hillson laid down a sacrifice bunt which Rams pitcher Cody Culp was unable to field cleanly, putting runners at first and second with none away. Following a fielder’s choice and a walk to Parker Curry, Spencer Henderson (UC Davis) singled into left field to give Elmira a 6-5 lead. Culp avoided further damage with a strikeout and a ground out. In the home half of the inning, Joe Moroney (Kansas) delivered a one out single and stole second base before coming around to score on a Dominic Lopez single. The RBI was Lopez’s first of the postseason; the first baseman led the Rams with 31 RBIs in the regular season. Elmira's Anthony Roma was able to get out of a bases loaded, one out jam with a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Prior to the start of the fourteenth inning, the skies opened and rain poured down on the Fairgrounds. The game was paused for 31 minutes as the grounds crew, coaches, and players looked to make the field playable. Once baseball resumed, Chris Knott began the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a Dave Hoffmann sacrifice. With two outs, Colby Gee delivered the game winning RBI with a single up the middle to score Knott. The Ithaca product plated 13 runs in the regular season. In the home half of the inning, JJ Wagner drew a leadoff walk and was thrown out attempting to steal second on a strikeout, throwout double play. Matthew Thaiss flew out to left to end the ballgame.
Watertown starter Joe Adel tossed five innings allowing five runs (four earned) in his no decision. Adel finished with four strikeouts while only allowing eight hits. In the regular season, Adel posted a 5-2 overall record with a 3.95 ERA while being named to the PGCBL West Division All-Star Team. Elmira starter Spencer Henderson tossed three scoreless innings in his no decision. The southpaw finished with two strikeouts while allowing four hits. Henderson posted a 2-1 record with a 3.46 ERA in the regular season. Parker Curry tossed a scoreless fourteenth to earn the save for the Pioneers.
Dominic Lopez and Riley Smith led the Rams with four hits apiece. Smith delivered four RBIs and Lopez drove home a single run. Joe Moroney and Matthew Thaiss also contributed multiple hits for coach Paul Alteri.
Chris Kalousidian, Parker Curry, and Spencer Henderson all contributed three hit nights for coach Matt Burch. Andrew Nist and Colby Gee also delivered multiple hits with two apiece.
Game two will take place tomorrow night at Elmira’s Dunn Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.