Filed by the Watertown Rams...
WATERTOWN- Dominic Lopez’s (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) bases-clearing double in the fourth propelled host Watertown (21-15) to a 5-2 win over visiting Utica (11-19). Watertown starting pitcher Kevin Klaess (Cypress) picked up his third win of the season for the Rams. Eric Brothers (Sioux Falls) took the loss for the Brewers.
Watertown took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third to begin the scoring. JJ Wagner (Pacific) delivered a 2-out single to left-field scoring Trevor Marino (VCU). The Rams followed with three runs in the following inning to push the score to 4-0. Dominic Lopez drove home Brad Rush (St. John Fisher), Bobby Indeglia (Holy Cross), and Joe Moroney (Kansas) with a bases-clearing double. The 3-RBIs pushed Lopez’s RBI count to 24 on the season which leads the first-place Rams.
Utica got a run back in the sixth to make the score 4-1. Ryan Valdes (Florida State) crushed a one-out triple off Rams reliever Chase Heslep (Lower Columbia) over the head of Rams centerfielder Joe Moroney. Valdes came around to score on an infield single by Joe Gallub (Concordia). Heslep was able to escape with only the one run thanks to a line drive double play that ended the inning. Watertown answered with a run of their own in the home half of the inning. Cameron Allen (St. John Fisher) led off the inning with a hit by pitch, advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt by Brewer reliever Kellen Hackett (Fresno Pacific), and got to third on a sacrifice bunt by Bobby Indeglia. Joe Moroney then drove Allen in for his sixteenth RBI of the season. Utica scored a run in the ninth on a Jay Gonzalez (Auburn) ground out that scored Matt Hendricks.
Rams starter Kevin Klaess (3-1) tossed five scoreless innings to earn the victory for the Rams. Klaess finished with three strikeouts while only allowing three hits. The duo of Chase Heslep and Cody Culp (Bellevue) each allowed a run in their combined four innings of relief. Brewers starter Eric Brothers (0-4) hurled five innings allowing four runs (all earned). Brothers allowed seven hits while striking out three in his loss.
Dominic Lopez finished 2-for-4 with 3-RBIs and a double for Watertown. Dale Irving (Central Florida) also tallied multiple hits going 2-for-3.
Joe Gallub was the lone Brewer to tally multiple hits going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Eric Garza and Matt Hendricks both went 1-for-3 for coach Keith Strickland.
The game was paused for more than a half hour due to lightning in the top of the second inning. Watertown is now 11-3 at home which ranks best in the PGCBL. Despite the loss, Utica still has a .667 winning percentage against the Rams posting a 4-2 record. The Rams are 16-5 since beginning the season 5-10.
Both Watertown and Utica are off tomorrow. On Friday, Watertown travels to Amsterdam to face the Mohawks with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Also on Friday, Utica will play host to the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs at Murnane Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM.