Bridgewater, NJ – Through the first 12 games of the 2012 season, the Somerset Patriots have demonstrated grit, determination and heart. Since starting the year 1-4, the Patriots have won six of their past seven games, four of which have come in their final at bat. Of the Patriots seven wins this year, five have been in come from behind fashion.
Things looked bleak for the Patriots last Wednesday. They were on the verge of dropping to 1-5 for the third straight season. They were being no hit into the seventh inning. They were down four runs in the eighth inning with two outs and no one on base. But over the last week the team has shown great mental toughness and tremendous resiliency.
The Patriots Are Clutch:
Last week outfielder Johnny Drennen hit three home runs in as many games all coming in the eighth inning or later. The Patriots won all three games. Here is the audio clip of Drennen’s go ahead home run in the tenth inning on Thursday night against the Lancaster Barnstormers. Here is the audio clip of Drennen’s game winning two-run home run in the eighth inning Friday night to give the Patriots a 3-2 lead over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
On Saturday the Patriots pitching staff buckled down and only surrendered two hits the entire game to complete the 3-0 shutout over the Blue Crabs. Here is the audio clip of Patriots closer Josh Rupe notching his second save of the season to preserve the win.
On Sunday, despite the loss, the Patriots showed great character fighting back until the very end. Patriots starter Doug Arguello, who failed to record an out in his first start throwing 22 total pitches of which only six went for strikes, completely rebounded with a dominant performance. He tossed five innings of shutout, no-hit baseball. Arguello struck out the final eight batters he faced before his pitch count led him to an early exit. Here is the audio clip of Arguello recording his eighth strikeout in a row.
Down one run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday, Patriots center fielder Jonny Tucker worked a walk with the bases loaded. Here is the audio clip of Tucker drawing the walk to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings.
On Monday with the Patriots trailing 2-0 in the second inning to the Sugar Land Skeeters, catcher Yusuf Carter slugged a three-run home run to put the Patriots on top with a 3-2 lead.
On Tuesday the Patriots trailed 2-1 in the sixth inning to the Skeeters before third baseman Jeff Nettles hit an RBI single to even up the game at 2-2. Here is the audio clip of Nettles tying Rolando Avila for most hits all-time in the Atlantic League with 933.
On Tuesday the Patriots again trailed. This time 3-2 in the eighth inning before first baseman Lou Santangelo dunked a bloop RBI single into shallow center field to tie the game at 3-3. Here is the audio clip of Santangelo’s timely hit.
With the contest tied 3-3 in the ninth inning on Tuesday, the red hot Tucker was up with the winning run on second base and two outs. Tucker sliced one down the right field line that stayed fair for a game winning walk-off RBI single as the Patriots won 4-3.
All the audio clips are courtesy of Somerset Patriots play-by-play voice Justin Antweil and 1450 AM WCTC.
The Patriots (7-5) are two games over .500 for the first time since 2010. They are in sole possession of first place in the Freedom Division. There is a lot of baseball left to be played, but the Patriots are playing with confidence and swagger.