BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Long Island Ducks (17-11) defeated the Somerset Patriots (19-10) 9-3 before a season-high 6,503 fans at TD Bank Ballpark on Friday night.
The Ducks got to Somerset starter Mickey Storey with a six-run third inning to break open the game. Lew Ford drove in a run on a base hit and a two-run double by Cody Puckett was followed by a Mike Blanke three-run homer (2) that made the score 7-1.
“It’s unfortunate because I felt like I had pretty decent stuff today,” Storey said. “That one inning I couldn’t stop the bleeding and they got hit after hit and then the big home run pushed it over the edge. I can’t touch on exactly what it was except that those balls must have been hittable.”
The Ducks took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI single by Blanke.
The Patriots tied up the game in the bottom of the frame on a Mycal Jones’ RBI single.
Puckett added two more RBI on a double in the sixth inning to finish the series opener 3-for-5 with a run scored and four RBI.
Somerset scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Vinny Zarrillo to make the score 9-2.
The Patriots’ final run came in the ninth on an RBI groundout by Yovan Gonzalez.
“We couldn’t really get anything going until that last inning, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We’ll just keep on plugging away and try again tomorrow,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie.
Darin Downs (3-1) picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on five hits in eight innings pitched. Storey (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing seven earned runs on 12 hits in five innings pitched.
With the win, the Ducks moved to within 1.5 games behind the Patriots in the Liberty Division First Half standings.
“This is the last time we get to face [the Ducks] in the first half so we want to go out there and put on a better display then we did,” Jodie remarked.