WALDOEF, MD - The Somerset Patriots (15-7) split Saturday’s series-opening doubleheader against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (11-11) at Regency Furniture Stadium. Somerset took game one 8-2, but fell in game two 8-3.
The Patriots jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning of game one on a Jerry Sands two-run home run (5) and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Scott Kelly. Southern Maryland immediately responded on a solo home run from Jose Lozada (1) in the bottom of the first and a Mike Blanke RBI single in the second to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
Somerset increased its lead to 5-2 in the fourth on a run-scoring error and an RBI infield single from Justin Pacchioli. The Patriots later added three more runs in the top of the 7th, including an RBI single from Carlos Guzman, to take an 8-2 lead and top off the scoring.
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“I’ve just been trying to keep it simple at the plate; go up there, see the ball well and put a good swing on it,” said Pacchioli, who also stole three bases in game one. “The situation will always dictate whether I try to steal a base or not. For all of the speed guys that we have on this team, we just try to find good situations to take off and use that component of our game.”
Jerome Williams (1-0) earned the win in his Somerset debuted, allowing two runs over five innings on five hits. Pat McCoy (0-1) took the loss after he yielded five runs (three earned) on five hits in 3.2 innings of work.
Game two remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning, when a Sands RBI single and a run-scoring groundout put the Patriots in front 2-0. That lead would not last long, as back-to-back home runs from Cory Vaughn (2) and Zach Cone (1) in the bottom of the fourth put the Blue Crabs in front 3-2.
Southern Maryland later added five more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a Zach Wilson (4) grand slam and Vaughn’s (3) second homer of the game. The Patriots topped off the scoring on a Sands sac fly in the sixth, but the comeback ended there.
Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision. Jesse Beal (2-0) earned win with a scoreless inning of relief. Alex Gouin (2-1) took the loss after he allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in two innings of relief.
The Patriots and the Blue Crabs conclude their four-game series with a single-admission doubleheader Sunday afternoon. Somerset righty Mitch Atkins (2-2, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound in game one against Southern Maryland right-hander Daryl Thompson (1-2, 3.96 ERA). The starters for game two have not yet been announced.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots season, which includes the team’s 20th anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 12th. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.