Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots defeated the Sugar Land Skeeters 5-4 in front of 7,453 fans in Game Three of the Freedom Division Championship Series at TD Bank Ballpark on Friday evening to advance to the Atlantic League Championship Series. The Patriots swept the three-game series over Sugar Land, who set an Atlantic League regular season record with 95 wins, to become the Freedom Division Champions.
Somerset jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning on a two run double by Cory Aldridge and an RBI single by Jeff Baisley.
The Patriots added to the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third inning on a two-run single by Eddy Martinez-Esteve that made the score 5-0.
Sugar Land scored in the top of the eighth inning on a wild pitch, a two run single by Brian Burgamy, and a passed ball to cut the lead to 5-4.
Roy Merritt (1-0) pitched 7.1 strong innings and allowed four runs, one earned, on seven hits. Doug Arguello (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on four hits in three innings pitched. Jon Hunton earned his third save of the playoffs with a scoreless ninth inning pitched.
The Patriots will take on the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League Championship after the Ducks swept the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to become the Liberty Division Championship.
It is the Patriots first trip to the Championship Series since 2009, when they won their league leading fifth title.
The 2013 Somerset Patriots season presented by Ford will continue in the Championship Series beginning on the road in Long Island on Wednesday night. The Patriots will host Game 3 of the Atlantic League Championship at TD Bank Ballpark on Friday, September 27th at 7:05 pm. For tickets, call (908) 252-0700 or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.