Reds Save Best for Last, Belt Americans 15-8
After scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 8-4 lead over the Watertown Reds Wednesday night at Morelli Field, the Americans were three outs away from a hard-fought, come from behind victory. But in the seventh the roof caved in, the walls fell down and the floor collapsed as the Reds demolished the offerings of catchers turned pitchers Kyle Devin and Anthony Licciardello, scoring eleven runs in the inning and returning to Watertown with a 15-8 win.
Watertown got on the board in the first when Will Brennan launched a two-run homer off Ronnie Luke who was making his first start for the Americans. Luke, replacing scheduled starter Mike Peters who had fallen ill earlier in the day, pitched five full innings, allowing four runs, all earned, on six hits while walking two and striking out one. He tossed a scoreless second inning and watched his teammates cut the lead to one in the home half when Chris Hopkins hit a lead off double and scored on a two out base hit off the bat of Dan Cacciola.
In the third, Luke again held the Reds scoreless and the Americans took the lead in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Nick Herzog singled, Malcolm Nachmanoff walked and Devin singled to center, scoring Herzog to tie the game 2-2. An out later, Hopkins delivered Nachmanoff with a single to right, giving the Americans a 3-2 lead.
The Reds bounced right back in the fourth, taking a 4-3 lead on the strength of a two-run Cal Christofori home run. Neither team would score again until the sixth when the Americans scored the aforementioned five runs. Hopkins was hit by a pitch leading off and Matt Hosman walked. After Charlie Huegi's sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Cacciola walked to load the bases. Will Shackelford was hit by a pitch to drive in Hopkins with the tying run before Herzog doubled to left, driving in Hosman and Cacciola and sending Shackelford to third. Nachmanoff then singled to send home Shackelford and Herzog, upping the score to 8-4 entering the seventh.
Chris Mitchell had pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the Americans in relief of Luke, but he had pitched five and two thirds innings two days earlier and had reached his limit. Out of pitchers, the Americans turned to two catchers in an attempt to finish off the game. The Reds, however, were having none of it and took complete advantage, getting their eleven runs in the inning on a hit batter, three walks and seven hits, including their third home run of the night, a three run rocket to left by Dan Chaisson.
With the loss, the Americans fell to 8-9, good for sixth place in the standings. They'll send Zach Begin to the mound Thursday when they visit Trum Field in Somerville to take on the Somerville Royals at 8:15.