Bridgewater, NJ- The Long Island Ducks defeated the Somerset Patriots 9-4 at TD Bank Ballpark on Thursday evening to start the 2012 Atlantic League season.
The Patriots took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning. After Jeff Nettles drew a walk, Aaron Mathews followed with a two-run home run (1) to left.
The Ducks cut the lead with a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Sing.
Long Island gained the lead in the top of the sixth on RBI doubles by Lew Ford and Josh Johnson for a 3-2 advantage.
Somerset tied it up again on an RBI triple by Freddy Sandoval in the bottom of the sixth.
The Ducks broke the tie with three runs in the eighth, highlighted by a two-run single by Bryant Nelson for a 6-3 lead.
The Patriots made it a 6-4 game in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Sandoval.
Long Island answered in the ninth with three runs highlighted by a two-run home run by Ray Navarrete (1) for the 9-4 final. It was Navarrete’s 23rd career home run against Somerset.
Long Island reliever Jeff Lyman (1-0) picked up the win after tossing 1.2 scoreless innings and striking out one batter. Anthony Claggett (0-1) suffered the loss for the Patriots, allowing three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings pitched.
The 2012 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford will continue at home on Friday with a 7:05 pm game against the Ducks. The game includes Schedule Magnets for all fans and Give Kids The World Night presented by Staybridge Suites. For tickets, call (908) 252-0700 or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.