WATERTOWN, NY- The Watertown Rams (20-14) gained at least a share of first place with a 6-2 win over the Elmira Pioneers (18-16) on Thursday. If the Newark Pilots (19-14) lose game two of their doubleheader against Adirondack, the Rams will have sole possession of first place.
Dominic Lopez (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) gave the Rams a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the second inning. The home run came on the first pitch from reliever Roberto Suppa (Cornell), who relieved Elmira starter Logan Salow (Kentucky). The Rams extended their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth on a Drew Hercik (East Stroudsburg) sacrifice fly, scoring Chris Gaetano (Monmouth).
Lopez picked up his third and fourth RBIs of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, hitting a double down the left field line that scored Willi Martin (Mount Olive) and Nick Moore (Missouri). Elmira got a run back in the top of the seventh on a TJ Dixon (Samford) RBI single that scored Jordan Taylor (Radford). Both teams scored runs in the eighth inning, Elmira’s on a Zac Bellinger (Saint Rose) RBI triple to center field, scoring Taylor Hillson (Mansfield). Watertown’s Ben Wylly (San Diego) hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Hercik, in the home half of the inning.
Watertown starter Sean Rackoski (Kansas) was dominant. The right-hander allowed just one run (earned) in seven innings of work in his second win of the season. Rackoski struck out five Pioneers in the seven innings. Elmira starter Logan Salow allowed the one run in an inning-plus of work. He left the game in the second inning with an apparent injury. Roberto Suppa tossed four innings of relief for the visitors.
Nick Moore and Lopez both finished the night 2-for-4. TJ Dixon went 4-for-5 for Elmira and Taylor Hillson also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5.
The Rams are back home on Friday night as they take on the Adirondack Trail Blazers. Elise Stefanik (R), candidate for the New York State 21st congressional district seat, will throw out the first pitch prior to the game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Elmira continues its road trip at Newark on Friday, taking on the Pilots at Colburn Park with a 7:05 p.m. scheduled first pitch.
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