By Connor Stalker, Utica Blue Sox Staff Writer
Utica, N.Y.–The Blue Sox came into the night with a .500 record with full intention to surpass this mark for the first time since opening day. Watertown, on the other hand, has struggled mightily out of the gate with a 6-12 record. A win would not make any huge changes to their standing in the league, but it would help chip away at a playoff bid.
The Blue Sox called on Jordan Savinon to start on the mound, his 2nd start of the season. Watertown looked to Ryan Peters to hold off the Blue Sox offense, despite Peters working primarily out of the bullpen so far this summer.
Watertown started the scoring in the first on a single by David McCann that plated Nick Locurto. In the next at-bat, Savinon threw a wild pitch that scored another run for the Rapids. In the top of the 2nd, the Rapids plated another run on a bases-loaded walk, giving them an early 3-0 lead.
Blue Sox bats struck back for 2 runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Wyatt Jensen roped a single to right field that scored Josh Skowronski. Pablo Santos then came to the plate and hit a high fly that resulted in a sacrifice fly bringing the Blue Sox to within 1.
Kyuss Gargett gave the Blue Sox the lead in the bottom of the 4th on a line-drive double to deep center field that scored Santos and Todd Abraham.
The Rapids took the lead for good in the top of the 5th. With two outs and bases loaded, relief pitcher Marcus Kruzan struck out Pranav Sundar. Catcher Greg Kopp mishandled the pitch allowing a run to score and Sundar to reach base. Kruzan hit the next batter and walked the batter after that, giving the Rapids a 6-4 lead.
Unfortunately, for the Blue Sox, the Rapids bullpen held their bats to 0 runs for the remainder of the game. Despite getting 7 strikeouts and allowing 0 earned runs, Kruzan was handed his first loss of the season. Rapids’ reliever Derrike Goutremount threw 3 innings of 0 run ball earning him the win.
Blue Sox relievers, Chris Killian and Brandon Millan, threw well, despite dealing with control issues, combining for 4 and a 1/3rd innings of scoreless work.
The Blue Sox outhit the Rapids 12-6 in the loss. Kyuss Gargett led all bats with 3 hits in 4 at-bats, including a double and 2 RBIs. Pablo Santos and Will Shannon also recorded multi-hit games, with each hitting a double. Josh Skowronski had an impressive day at the plate drawing 3 walks and getting a base knock increasing his on-base percentage to .475. On the base paths, Gargett, Jensen, and Abraham all stole bases, increasing their season totals to 5, 4, and 3 respectively.
For the Rapids, McCann was the man going 1 for 1 with 2 RBI and 4 walks. Mike Norton also recorded a hit and an RBI to contribute to the win.
With the loss, the Blue Sox fall to 9.5 games out of first place, though still holding down 3rd place in the East. Watertown’s win keeps them out of last place as they are 1 game ahead of cellar dwellers, Boonville and Albany.
The Blue Sox are back in action today at 7:45 against division rival, Mohawk Valley, at home.