BRIDGEPORT, CT – The Somerset Patriots (19-9) edged the Bridgeport Bluefish (9-18) 5-4 in 11 innings Thursday night at Harbor Yard. Vinny Zarrillo hit the go ahead RBI single in the top of the 11th inning and contributed defensively with an outfield assist to end the game as the tying run was thrown out at the plate in the bottom half of the inning.
“I just keep the same approach,” said Zarrillo who has eight RBI in 10 games played. “I go in, work the count, and try and get a good pitch to hit. I’m just thankful things worked out tonight.” It was Zarrillo’s first at bat of the game. He came in to pinch run in the ninth inning.
The Patriots trailed 3-0 after a first inning three-run home run by Josh Vitters (3). The visitors chipped away, adding one in the third via an Aharon Eggleston RBI single and two more in the sixth. Trayvon Robinson poked an RBI single and another run crossed home as pitcher Brian Moran hurled a wild pitch to plate Darwin Perez.
Through eight innings the game was tied at 3-3. In the top of the ninth inning, Eric Farris recorded one of his three hits to lead off the frame. Two batters later he stole his fifth base of the year and advanced to third on a throwing error by first baseman Dan Johnson. With the go ahead run 90 feet away, Brad Snyder hit one in the hole at shortstop to leg out an RBI infield single as Somerset grabbed a 4-3 lead.
The lead would be brief as Jon Hunton blew his second straight save opportunity. He surrendered a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to Luis Nunez (1).
Both teams would strand runners in scoring position in the 10th inning.
In the 11th inning, Bryan LaHair socked his third double of the game. Scott Kelly would pinch run for the veteran. Zarrillo then laced an opposite field single with one out to left field to score fellow New Jersey native Kelly as the Patriots took the 5-4 lead.
“This is what we have been doing all year,” said a smiling LaHair who finished with a season-high four hits and reached base five of six plate appearances. “This team is built to win. We never give up. We have so many weapons.”
Jeremy McBryde (2-0) earned the win throwing one scoreless inning. Carlos Ruiz (0-1) suffered the loss giving up one run in two innings. Mike Thomas notched his first save of the year.
The Patriots and Bluefish split the four game midweek series.
The 2016 Somerset Patriots season presented by Ford continues tomorrow when the team returns to TD Bank Ballpark for a 7:05 p.m. game against the Long Island Ducks. For tickets, call 908-252-0700 or visit www.somersetpatriots.com. Download our Mobile App for free in the Apple or Android App store.