Top 20 Patriots: #19 Corey Smith

top20blogscoreysmithBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that third baseman Corey Smith has been voted as the #19 Patriot in team history.

The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T is a season-long promotion as part of the team’s 20th Season. The Top 20 Patriots were voted on by the fans and ranked by an expert panel of team officials, media, and long-time fans.

“Anytime you are recognized by an organization and fan base as powerful as the Somerset Patriots, it’s an honor,” said Smith. “There were a lot of great players that came through here. It’s always nice to know people enjoyed watching you play and still remember you for your time with the team. That’s really cool.”

Smith first joined the Somerset Patriots in the second half of the 2012 season. He hit .263 with 46 hits, 11 home runs and 30 RBI in 47 games for the team to finish the season.

The Piscataway legend rejoined the team in 2013 and had his first of back-to-back All-Star seasons for the squad.

“Being able to play at home with my kids, family, and extended family in the stands was very special. It was the first time during my 13-year career that I was able to do that. For a hometown guy, it was beautiful,” Smith said.

In 2013, Smith finished with a .269 batting average, 82 runs scored, 138 hits, 29 doubles, 20 home runs and a team-high 84 RBI in 133 games.

He was also the Atlantic League Player Of The Month for May when he hit .333 with 34 hits, nine doubles, seven home runs, and 27 RBI in 27 games played.

Smith was named the Atlantic League All-Star Game MVP when he won the tie-breaking home run derby to lead the Freedom Division squad to victory.

Smith returned for his final season playing professional baseball in 2014. He finished as the team leader with his .305 average, 149 hits, 37 doubles and 79 RBI in 133 games played. His 13 home runs that season tied for second on the team.

He finished his Somerset Patriots career with a .283 average, 182 runs scored, 333 hits, 75 doubles, 43 home runs and 193 RBI in 313 games played.

“Corey was one of our team leaders that helped us make the playoff runs in 2013 and 2014. He had a very positive impact on this team,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “He was a force in the middle of our lineup and was always a huge part of our success both on and off the field.”

Smith was the 26th overall pick in the first round by the Cleveland Indians in the 2000 amateur draft out of Piscataway High School. He had prior service in the Indians, San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Kansas City Royals, and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations before joining the Somerset Patriots.

The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T will be counted down each week throughout the 2017 season. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by RWJBarnabas Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey on Wednesday, July 12th. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Somerset Patriots Complete Opening Weekend Sweep Of Barnstormers

FordblogsBridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots defeated the Lancaster Barnstormers 8-2 at TD Bank Ballpark on Sunday afternoon to complete the four-game sweep of the opening series of the 2017 season.

 

The Patriots jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run single by Jerry Sands. It’s was his second straight day with a two-run hit to break a tie game.

 

Somerset doubled the lead the next inning on a two-run double by Darren Ford to make the score 4-0. Ford finished the game 4-for-5 with three runs scored, two doubles, and two RBI.

 

“I’m just trying to play my role. I know I have a lot of great hitters behind me,” said Ford. “I’m just trying to get on base as the leadoff guy. I found a way today and it worked out.”

 

Lancaster got on the board with a run in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI single by Blake Gailen and a second run in the fifth inning on Anderson De La Rosa’s RBI double.

 

The Patriots added three runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by Olmo Rosario’s RBI single to left field. Rosario is hitting .500 on the season.

 

“From what I’ve seen, we have a really good team,” said Rosario who has been plugged into the three spot in the lineup the past three games. “I’ve been seeing the ball well so far and it’s helped me see the good pitches.”

 

Somerset’s final run scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning.

 

Patriots reliever Justin Wright (1-0) went 0.1 innings with a strike out to earn the win. Tommy Shirley (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on six hits in four innings pitched.

 

The 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford will continue at home on Tuesday evening with a 7:05 pm game against the Long Island Ducks. The game features Most Improved Student Night. For tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Somerset Patriots Sweep Double Header Over Lancaster


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Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots swept a double header over the Lancaster Barnstormers at TD Bank Ballpark on Saturday night.

 

Game 1:

The Patriots defeated the Barnstormers 5-4 in the first game.

 

Aaron Laffey (1-0) struck out seven and allowed just two hits over five scoreless innings pitched to earn the win.

 

The Patriots struck first with three runs in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run single by Justin Pacchioli in his first at bat of the season and an infield single by Darren Ford.

 

“Bases were loaded with one out and I’m just trying to get a guy in,” Pacchioli said. “I saw a couple of pitches, worked the count a little bit, and then with a 3-2 count I knew he was going to try to bring me something. He threw me a good pitch and I just tried to get the barrel on it to do the job and it found a hole.”

 

Somerset added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Olmo Rosario, who later scored on an error for a 5-0 advantage.

 

Lancaster made it a one run game with four runs in the top of the seventh inning. Trayvon Robinson and Vladimir Frias hit RBI singles before K.C. Hobson’s home run (1) to right field made it a 5-4 ballgame.

 

Somerset’s Kyler Newby came in to record the final out, striking out Caleb Gindl to end the game and record his first save of the season. Romme Lewis (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits in 4.1 innings of work.

 

422g2fbGame 2:

Somerset took the second game over Lancaster 5-2.

 

The Patriots struck early in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Rosario for a 1-0 lead.

 

Lancaster answered with a run in the top of the second inning on a solo home run by Kevin Ahrens (1).

 

The Patriots regained the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. With the bases loaded, Jerry Sands delivered his first hit of the season, a two-run broken bat single to center field. Last night’s hero Yovan Gonzalez followed with an RBI single of his own for a 4-1 lead.

 

“He got ahead of me and flipped me a little slider. It broke my bat, but luckily it fell in up the middle and got a couple of runs home,” said Sands. “It’s good to get the first one out of the way with hopefully a lot more to come.”

 

Alfredo Rodriguez drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend the lead to 5-1.

 

The Barnstormers plated another run on a sacrifice fly by Robinson for the 5-2 final.

 

Patriots starter Mitch Atkins (1-0) picked up the win, giving up just the one home run to Ahrens in his five innings of work. Barnstormers starter Elih Villanueva (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on nine hits in 4.3 innings pitched.

 

The 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford will continue at home on Sunday afternoon with a 1:05 pm game against the Lancaster Barnstormers. The game features 20th Season Mini Bats for the first 1,000 kids in attendance courtesy of Ford. For tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Yovan Gonzalez Hits Walk Off Homer To Lead Somerset Patriots To Opening Day Victory

42117blogsBridgewater, NJ- Somerset Patriots catcher Yovan Gonzalez hit a tenth inning walk off home run to lead the Somerset Patriots to a 2-1 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers at TD Bank Ballpark on Opening Day of the 2017 season.

 

“I felt like it’s a perfect night to hit a walk off. We got Opening Night and a lot of fans out there. Everything felt like it was supposed to be like that,” Gonzalez said. “In my at bats before I was a little late on everything. He got behind 1-0 so I was expecting something hard at me and I was lucky he left it up. I put a good swing on it. I knew the wind was blowing out. It was the right spot.”

 

Gonzalez led off the tenth inning with the solo shot off losing pitcher Kevin Munson (0-1). It was Gonzalez’s first-ever career walk off hit.

 

“It’s the best feeling. As soon as I saw the ball touch the bat, I felt it. When it was up in the air I got really excited because I knew it had a chance. When I touched first base I lifted my right hand up and knew it was gone,” Yovan added.

 

The Barnstormers broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI double by Trayvon Robinson.

 

The Patriots evened up the score in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Zach Lutz was hit by a pitch, Scott Kelly was put in as a pinch runner. Aharon Eggleston advanced Kelly to third on a single. Kelly would come around to score on a wild pitch during Gonzalez’s at bat to tie the game up at 1-1.

 

Patriots starter Logan Darnell went five scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out three batters for a no decision in his Somerset debut. Lancaster’s Bryan Evans matched Darnell’s effort, throwing five scoreless innings while striking out five batters and giving up just three hits.

 

“I thought it was exciting the whole way through with the pitching performances on both sides and some great defensive plays,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “It was a fun game to watch and be a part of. To have it end with a guy not as likely to hit a home run, especially after busting his tail behind the dish all game, felt like a great way to start the season.”

 

Patriots reliever Rick Teasley (1-0) picked up the win, allowing one hit in an inning of work.

 

The 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford will continue at home on Saturday night with a 5:05 pm double header against the Lancaster Barnstormers. The double header is a single admission event with tickets good for both seven inning games. The first 1,000 Adults in attendance will receive a 20th Season T-Shirt presented by Flemington Porsche. For tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Top 20 Patriots: #20 Adam Donachie

top20blogdonachieBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that catcher Adam Donachie has been voted as the #20 Patriot in team history.

 

The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T is a season-long promotion as part of the team’s 20th Season. The Top 20 Patriots were voted on by the fans and ranked by an expert panel of team officials, media, and long-time fans.

 

“It’s an honor. I was not expecting it,” said Donachie. “To be recognized as one of the Top 20, I can’t thank the fans and everybody enough for voting for me.”

 

Donachie first joined the Somerset Patriots in 2012 after service in the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles organizations. He would appear in 165 games with Somerset across 2012 and 2013.

 

Primarily known as a defensive catcher, Donachie put up his best offensive numbers in an All-Star 2014 season for the Patriots. The 6’1” catcher from Winter Park, Florida finished that season with a .277 batting average, 34 runs scored, 67 hits, six doubles, nine home runs, and 45 RBI in 78 games played. He was named an Atlantic League Post Season All-Star as well that season.

 

“People don’t understand how valuable he really is. I know his numbers don’t show it all the time with averages and some stats, but he comes up with so many big hits in big situations,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “He’s been one of our team leaders for the whole time he’s been here and he handles the pitching staff extremely well, which sometimes can go unnoticed.”

 

The now five-year Patriot last played for the team in 2015 when he served as the primary catcher for the championship squad. He hit four home runs and drove in 40 RBI in 87 games.

 

Donachie left after the season to work under former-Patriots hitting coach Shane Spencer as a coach for the Nexen Heroes in the Korea Baseball Championship. 2017 marks his return to Somerset as a player-coach.

 

“I can say this has been one of the best times I’ve had playing baseball. This really feels like home to me, so to be recognized here means a lot,” Donachie said.
Overall, he has hit .250 with 22 home runs, 147 RBI and 51 doubles over 330 games in his previous four seasons in Somerset entering the 2017 season.

 

The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T will be counted down each week throughout the 2017 season. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

 

Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by RWJBarnabas Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey on Wednesday, July 12th. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

 

About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.

 

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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