Another season in the books for Watertown Rapids

Another season in the books for the Watertown Rapids
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 7:08 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The 2022 PGCBL baseball season came to a close for the Watertown Rapids on Friday night.

On the field it was a season filled with highs and lows for a team that turned things around in the second half of the season.

The Rapids ended the 2022 PGCBL season with a 21-24 record, finishing in sixth place in the eight-team PGCBL East division.

But it was a tale of two seasons for the Rapids. In June, after starting 2-1, the team lost 13 straight games and finished the month with a 7-17 record.

But in July Watertown turned things around and posted a 14-7 record, which included a season-high five-game win streak.

First-year Rapids manager Mike Kogut says the team’s perseverance through the tough times began to pay off.

“I think we just started to click a little bit better,” he said. “We stayed competitive and we kept plugging away and then those close games started to go our way and once that finally happened, we got on quite the roll. Once it finally clicked, it definitely clicked for us and we were very strong for the end of June and all the way through July.”

The Rapids ranked ninth in offense in the 16-team league, 12th in pitching and seventh in fielding.

Rapids infielder Tyree Bradley had a monster season, ranking in the top five in batting average and homeruns, and led the league in RBIs.

For a majority of the players, it was their first year in Watertown playing for the Rapids and each of them say they will take away something different from this season.

“The experience,” said Michael Norton, an outfielder from Cayuga Community College. “You know, I’m facing some of the best pitching I’ve ever faced and when I go back to my college, I’ll be ready to go and have a good mindset about hitting.”

“Just take away the community that the Rapids bring to Watertown,” said Molloy College outfielder Anthony Manisero. “It’s really nice to see people coming out to these games, nice events that they put on. Nice to see all the kids come out and support us. So that’s really the main takeaway that I’m going to have from this season.”

“Just playing with this group of guys,” SUNY Cobleskill infielder Aidan Maxwell said. “It’s a fun group. I like everyone on the team, good coaching staff. Yeah, it’s a great place.”

And Kogut says despite not having a winning record and getting off to a slow start, he feels that both he and his coaching staff accomplished what they set out to do when they put this roster together and began the season.

“Yeah, overall, the experience itself has just been totally awesome,” Kogut said. “The kids worked really hard, put tons of effort in and I think we’ve accomplished what the main goal of collegiate summer leagues are, which is the kids got better and are going back to school having had a great experience in Watertown this past summer.”

It was a summer of adversity that the players and coaches will never forget and a summer that new friendships were forged on and off the field that will last a lifetime.

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