WATERTOWN — Along with their annual nationwide search for collegiate talent, the Watertown Rams also ensured that local flavor again would be included on their 2014 roster.
Returning infielder Tyler Decker is one of four local players on the Rams, along with infielders Santino Alteri and Dustin Exford, and Kyle Simmons, who is listed as a pitcher.
“It was phenomenal,” Decker, a graduate of South Jefferson, said of the Rams’ season in 2013 in which the team won the West Division title in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. “I didn’t play much, but I was just happy to be here. The atmosphere was great and I was happy to come back.”
Decker made the most of his opportunity with the Rams last summer by hitting .314 in 17 games, which included nine starts, doubled twice and drove in a pair of runs.
“It’s a lot more relaxed than the college scene,” said Decker, who helped lead Division II Adelphi to the championship game of the Northeast-10 Conference this spring. “It really allows players to come out of their shell and just play baseball. Talent-wise, it’s better than most college games.”
Alteri, a graduate of Immaculate Heart Central, transferred from Division II Mt. Olive to Division III Alvernia University in Pennsylvania for his sophomore season.
Exford and Simmons, both Watertown High grads, each are coming off sophomore collegiate campaigns.
Exford is coming off his redshirt sophomore season at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and Simmons, who recorded a standout season at Jefferson Community College particularly at the plate, will attend Division II baseball power Coker College in South Carolina in the fall.
“I’m excited about our local kids,” Watertown Rams coach Paul Alteri said. “They’re the best in the area and hopefully when they get their shot, they’ll perform. But they’re going to be treated just like everybody else and maybe even harder, just because they are local kids.”
RAMS ON THE RADIO
All Watertown games will be carried on the league’s website, starting with tonight’s game at 7 at Adirondack.
Justin Mattingly will handle the play-by-play for home games, while Rams road games will be broadcast by the home teams around the league.
For more information, visit www.pgcbl.com
GET YOUR TICKETS
General admission tickets at the Fairgrounds are $5, and $12 for a family pass (family of five), while reserved seats are $8 and $18 for a family pass.
General admission season tickets are $40 per individual and $99 for a family pass, with reserved seat season ticket plans are $60 and $150, respectively.
For more information, visit www.watertownrams.com
Fireworks will follow Friday night’s game against Adirondack at the Fairgrounds, following a special 8 p.m. start time.