Bridgewater, NJ – Tonight the Somerset Patriots (1-1, 89-50) battle the Long Island Ducks (1-1, 80-59) in a pivotal Game Three of the Liberty Division Best-of-Five Series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from TD Bank Ballpark. Download today’s comprehensive game notes. The Patriots and Ducks are tied in the series 1-1. 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 Matt Zielinski (8-4, 2.86 ERA) toes the rubber for Somerset while righty hurler Bobby Blevins (4-4, 3.82 ERA) will toss for Long Island. Zielinski in three starts against the Flock in the regular season boasted a 1.35 ERA while striking out 16 and only walking 2. Blevins is in his 4th straight year with the Flock and has two Atlantic League Championships under his belt.
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,
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 307 times with the Patriots leading the all-time series 154-153. This year Somerset was 9-11 against Long Island in the regular season. 18 of the 22 meetings (including postseason) were decided by three runs or fewer. 11 of the 22 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 15 starts including the postseason, Matt Fields has 15 RBI and 6 HRs
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 7:05 p.m. eastern on 1450 AM WCTC or www.wctcam.com.