Bridgewater, NJ – Tonight the Somerset Patriots (2-2, 89-50) battle the Long Island Ducks (2-2, 80-59) in a decisive Game Five of the Liberty Division Best-of-Five Series. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. from TD Bank Ballpark. Download today’s comprehensive game notes. The Ducks and Patriots are tied at 2-2 in the series. The Patriots repeated as Half Title Winners while the Ducks snuck in as a Wild Card. This is just the second time ever these two have squared off in the postseason. The only time prior was the 2013 Championship Series where the Flock outlasted the Patriots 3-2 in the best-of-five set.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Lefty Roy Merritt Oliver (1-0, 1.50 ERA) toes the rubber for Somerset while righty hurler John Brownell (0-1, 7.50 ERA) will toss for Long Island. Both starters started Game One and are tossing on three days rest
Game One Synopsis
Patriots defeat Ducks 5-3. Long Island stranded 15 base runners including eight the final three innings. The offensive star was clean up hitter Michael Burgess who finished a double shy of the cycle and three RBI.
Game Two Synopsis
Ducks edge Patriots 5-4. Somerset was getting no-hit by Darin Downs for 5.2 innings. The Patriots scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning to grab a 4-3 lead. The inning was highlighted by a two RBI go ahead double by Matt Fields. The Ducks countered with two runs in the ensuing half inning to win it. Sean Burroughs, who won the Atlantic League batting title in the regular season hitting .340, knocked home the go ahead run with a two out RBI single in that frame,
Game Three Synopsis
Ducks top Patriots 9-4. Six of the Ducks 9 runs occurred with two outs. Homers from Aharon Eggleston and Michael Burgess were not enough as the bullpen gave up five runs over five innings of work. Cody Puckett was instrumental in the victory as he stroked four singles.
Game Four Synopsis
Patriots blank Ducks 4-0. Will Oliver hurled one of the greatest pitching performances in Atlantic League history as he tossed a complete game, three hit shutout on 112 pitches. The Patriots put up a crooked number in the sixth scoring three runs with two outs.
Something Has Got To Give
Statistically the Ducks have the best offense in the Atlantic League boasting the best team batting average (.283) and tallying the most runs (649). Statistically the Patriots have the best pitching in the Atlantic League boasting the best team ERA (3.04).
The Patriots and Ducks have met 309 times with the all-time series being tied 155-154 in favor of Somerset. This year Somerset was 9-11 against Long Island in the regular season. 18 of the 24 meetings (including postseason) were decided by three runs or fewer. 11 of the 24 meetings were decided by exactly one run.
The Patriots established an Atlantic League record for most wins in a single half with 50 (1st Half). The previous high was 48 done once by the 2005 Atlantic City Surf and once by the 2013 Sugar Land Skeeters. The Patriots amassed 89 wins on the year good for third most all-time in Atlantic League history.
Raking In The Field
In 17 starts including the postseason, Matt Fields has 16 RBI and 6 HRs
Turn Around Bright Eyes
After hitting .188 in the 2013 postseason, Aharon Egglestin is hitting .455 this postseason
Michael Burgess is hitting .429 in the postseason with 2 HRs, 2 intentional walks, and 6 RBI
Both Jonny Tucker and David Vidal are sidelined with lower extremity injuries that they sustained earlier in this series
Eggs Sunny Side Up
Aharon Eggleston had a great bounce back 2015 campaign. After hitting .251 a year ago and not being in this year’s Opening Day lineup, the All-Star hit .289 (7th best in league), 13 HBP (1st), 57 BBs (6th) and .390 OBP (2nd). The elder statesman on the squad hits .452 with RISP and two outs.
Be sure to follow the Patriots on twitter @SOMPatriots for immediate updates. Listen the Patriots play-by-play voice Justin Antweil broadcast the game starting at 5:05 p.m. eastern on 1450 AM WCTC or www.wctcam.com.