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Sunday Sports: Watertown Rapids improve their season with a win over Utica

Updated: Jun. 13, 2021 at 11:00 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Sunday afternoon featured Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League action from the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds as the Watertown Rapids played host to the Utica Blue Sox.

The Rapids are coming off a 5-4 come from behind win over Auburn on Saturday night.

At the top of the 1st, the Blue Sox get on the board via a double steal. The throw to 2nd sails into center field and Ryan Enos scores: 1-0 Blue Sox.

Rapids pitcher Anthony Espinoza settles down after that, getting Luis Deleon looking.

At the bottom of the 1st, the Rapids tie it. Tony Santa Maria reaches on an infield single. That allows Dylan Broderick to score, tying the game at 1.

Utica starter Sam DiGeorge gets out of further trouble striking out Dylan Perry to end the inning.

Watertown goes on to win 11-2 as the Rapids improve to 3-2 on the season.

The 2020 Section 3 baseball season came to a close Saturday with the Sectional championships. Earlier in the week, a 2 decade career for one area baseball coach also came to an end, and along with it an era that will be tough to match.

For the last 20 years, Lowville grad Dan Myers has led the Red Raiders varsity baseball team to new heights, but come next season there will be someone new guiding the program, with Myers deciding to step down.

”Yeah, I really wanted, you know, last year could have been my last year but I think having this season, being able to walk out on that field and knowing this was my last year, it was a little bit easier,” said Dan Myers, who is stepping down as Lowville’s baseball coach.

While the wins were great and the losses hurt throughout his 20 years, Myers says the thing that he will miss the most is making sure the players were prepared each and every time they hit the field to play a game.

”It was tough. My love for the game and passion to teach the game. I always tell people that making my practice plan is my favorite part of the day. When I can give that practice plan to my coaches and we can go out and execute that, we’re preparing them for that game day. So, I actually love practices more than games just because I know we’re preparing them for success,” said Myers.

Myers won over 200 games and a number of Frontier League championships including a 4 year stretch where the Red Raiders ruled the Frontier League B Division.

Myers says the number one priority for him during his coaching career was doing things the right way.

”You know, the past few days there’s been a lot of players that have reached out and just kind of let me know that we made a big impact on them. So I think what we did and how we did it was the right way. You know, we were always very fundamentally sound. There were some seasons that were tough, but we tried to really continue to focus on the foundations of what we wanted to focus on and I think when we look back on what we did over the last 20 years or so we had a class act with our staff and our kids,” said Myers.

Myers says he isn’t leaving the game completely.

He says that one of his other endeavors, Double Play Sports in Lowville, will be opening up a new year round training facility dedicated to baseball and softball. It’s something he will be directly involved with.

”You know, the North Country, we’ve got an opportunity to build even more, and I think me stepping down and focusing on how I can improve baseball in the North Country, that’s the next step of my life. What I want to try to do is how I can improve baseball in the North Country, not just on the 3rd base coach side. It takes a little bit more than just playing baseball in May and June. You’ve got to train in the off season and we want to create that opportunity for them,” said Myers.

Whoever takes over the Red Raiders program for the 2022 season, they will definitely have some big shoes to fill.

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