BRIDGEWATER, NJ- Led by two former Patriots' teammates, the New Britain Bees (29-28) defeated the Somerset Patriots (31-24) 8-5 before 5,598 fans at TD Bank Ballpark on Thursday evening.
The Patriots took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI double by Aaron Dudley.
New Britain stung for six runs in the top of the third inning. Reid Brignac started the scoring with an RBI single and later scored on an RBI double by Jason Rogers. Three more RBI doubles by Brock Stassi, Vicente Conde, and former Patriots catcher James Skelton made the score 6-1.
Matt Tuiasosopo added to New Britain’s lead with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning.
The Patriots cut the lead to 7-2 with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI triple by Craig Massey.
The Bees plated another run in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI single by Rogers for an 8-2 advantage.
A Julio Borbon RBI single, and a bases loaded walk by Craig Massey in the bottom of the eighth inning, closed the gap to 8-4.
An RBI groundout by Mike Fransoso in the bottom of the ninth inning led to the 8-5 final score.
“I was proud of how bullpen came in and kept us in the ballgame,” said Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “We had some opportunities, but didn’t capitalize on that big inning. I was happy to see our fight with some competitive at bats and competitive defense. We just need to clean up some things to be more sound all around in these games.”
Former Patriots pitcher Andy Van Hekken (3-5) picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on six hits in five innings pitched. David Kubiak (3-1) suffered the loss, allowing six earned runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings pitched.
The Patriots will l continue on the road until Friday, July 6th when they return home for a 7:05 pm game against the Road Warriors. The game features a Post Game Fireworks Show and a Patriotic Jersey Auction to benefit Operation Shoebox New Jersey. For tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.