Central Islip, NY – The Somerset Patriots (15-6) squandered two leads of three runs or more yet held on to defeat the Long Island Ducks (6-15) 10-9 Friday night from Bethpage Ballpark in the opener of the three game weekend series.
In the top of the first inning right fielder Luis Montanez slugged a grand slam (1) to deep left-center field to give the Patriots an early 4-0 lead.
The Ducks responded by plating a pair in the home half of the first inning to cut the deficit in half at 4-2. Designated hitter Ray Navarette pounded a RBI double and right fielder Adam Bailey tallied a RBI via a sacrifice fly.
Somerset added to their lead in the ensuing half inning as third baseman Corey Smith extended his hitting streak to seven games by squeaking a RBI single through the left side to make the score 5-2.
Long Island scratched across two runs with two outs in the bottom of the second as Navarette hit another RBI double and first baseman Ben Broussard blooped a RBI single making the contest 5-4.
The Flock would take the lead in the bottom of the third inning as center fielder Danny Perales registered a two out, two RBI single to put the Ducks in front 6-5.
Somerset tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the sixth inning as shortstop Dan Hennigan executed a perfect safety squeeze as his bunt single plated Montanez.
The Patriots would score three runs in the seventh inning to take a 9-6 advantage. Catcher Jake Fox slugged his Atlantic League leading ninth home run of the season as his solo homer to left-center field broke the 6-6 tie. The Patriots would tack on two more runs on first baseman Eddy Martinez-Esteve’s RBI single and scored another run on former Patriot pitcher TJ Hose’s wild pitch that made the score 9-6.
The Ducks inched closer in bottom of the seventh inning as second baseman Gabe Suarez hammered a two run home run (2) to deep left field to cut the deficit to 9-8.
Long Island tied the game at 9-9 in the bottom of the eighth inning as catcher Ralph Henriquez slapped a RBI single up the middle.
Somerset would take the lead in the top of the ninth inning on Martinez-Esteve’s RBI fielder’s choice that plated Fox that made the score 10-9 which would be the final.
Jason Lowey (1-0) earned the win. Leo Rosales (0-1) suffered the loss Jon Hunton notched his ninth straight save of the season pitching a scoreless final frame
The 2013 Somerset Patriots season presented by Ford will continue on the road until Tuesday, May 14th when the Patriots return home for a 7:05 p.m. game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. For tickets, call (908) 252-0700 or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.