UTICA — Isaiah Torres singled in Khalyd Cox with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Utica Blue Sox past the Watertown Rapids, 2-1, to record a split of a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader on Saturday night at Murnane Field.
The Rapids won the first game of the twin bill, 6-1, as pitcher Addison Pawelek scattered five hits over the seven innings to record a complete-game win.
With the doubleheader split, both Watertown and Utica stand at 21-19 on the season and remain tied for second place in the Central Division.
Both teams, who each have eight games left in the regular season, also trail first-place Mohawk Valley (22-16) by two games as the DiamondDawgs lost at Oneonta, 9-6, on Saturday.
If the current league standings hold up, the top two teams in the division would meet in a one-game playoff after the conclusion of the regular season to determine a postseason berth.
The Rapids will also play at Utica at 6:35 p.m. Monday and will also host the Blue Sox at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Watertown has one game remaining against first-place Mohawk Valley at 6:45 p.m. next Sunday in Little Falls.
In Saturday’s nightcap, after Cameron Phelts provided Utica with a 1-0 lead in the second inning with an RBI single, Watertown tied the game in the third on a home run from Trevor Kuncl (George Washington).
Troy Naab pitched seven innings of four-hit ball, striking out 10 and walking none to post the complete-game win for the Blue Sox.
Rapids relief pitcher Robbie Frongello was dealt the loss.
In the first game, Pawelek (Wayne State) allowed only a run in the third inning and struck out nine, while walking only one to improve to 3-3 on the season.
All but two batters in Watertown’s lineup recorded at least a hit, with leadoff hitter Julian Kurych singling twice and catcher Kenny Bergmann doubling.
For the second straight night, the Rapids struck for multiple runs in the first inning, this time scoring five runs against the Blue Sox, keyed by RBI singles from Nick Bosma and Ben Maycock, and a two-run single from Bailey Lewis.
Watertown added a run in the ninth on Bergmann’s RBI double.
The Rapids also stole six bases in the opening game, including two each from Kurych and William Heurtin.