Rams walk-off on Matt Diorio single

WATERTOWN, NY- Matt Diorio (Central Florida) hit the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the ninth inning up the middle for a base hit, scoring Santino Alteri (Alvernia) and giving the Watertown Rams (14-9) their fourth win in a row. Jon Escobar (Holy Cross) picked up the win for the Rams, while Pat Geraghty (Florida Tech) took the loss for the Adirondack Trail Blazers (9-15).

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Alteri drew a walk and stole second base with Chris Gaetano (Monmouth) batting. Gaetano grounded out to first base, advancing Alteri to third. Up stepped Diorio, who now has 17 RBIs on the season. Diorio grounded the first pitch from Geraghty up the middle and off the glove of a diving Hunter Thomas (Mansfield-2014). Alteri scored and the Rams had their third walk-off win of the season.

The scoring started in the fourth inning when Dan Cecillia (Fredonia State) hit a two-run single to right field for Adirondack. Watertown answered in the bottom of the inning on a Joe Deluca (Niagara County CC) sacrifice fly and a James Bonds (San Diego) RBI triple to right-center field. The lead was given back to the Trail Blazers on two throwing errors by Watertown.

The Rams would take the lead for the first time in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Bonds singled to lead off the inning and Robbie Alessandrine (Monmouth) walked, Alteri put down a sacrifice bunt to advance them to second and third, respectively. After a strikeout, Diorio hit a pop fly to shallow left-center field. Miscommunication from Adirondack resulted in the ball dropping and two runs coming around to score.

Adirondack tied the game in the next half inning, however. Singles from pinch-hitter Mike Carter (Rutgers) and Justin Korenblatt (La Salle) put runners at first and third with one out. Alex Lushkevich (Albany) plated Carter with a groundout to shortstop.

Watertown starter Sean Rackoski (Kansas) went six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) and striking out six in his no-decision. Escobar struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning to pick up the win. Tsuyoshi Horibata went six-plus innings for Adirondack, allowing four runs (all earned) in his no-decision. 

Diorio finished 2-for-4 on the night with three RBIs to lead the Rams offense. Bonds also tallied two hits, going 2-for-4. Mike Carter and Alex Simone (LaRoche) both had two hits for Adirondack. The Trail Blazers left 13 men on base to Watertown’s 8.

Watertown travels to Glens Falls tomorrow to take on the Golden Eagles in a double-header. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Adirondack plays host to the Newark Pilots on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

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