CENTRAL ISLIP, NY - The Somerset Patriots (19-29, 61-57) failed to maintain an early lead and dropped Friday night’s series-opener 8-5 to the Long Island Ducks (26-21, 69-48) at Bethpage Ballpark.
Somerset opened the scoring in the top of the third inning. With runners at first and third, Will Kengor got the Patriots on the board with an RBI single to right field. A pair of run-scoring wild pitches later in the inning put Somerset ahead 3-0.
Long Island, however, answered immediately in the home third. The Ducks rallied for five runs in the inning - all with two out - including an L.J. Mazzilli RBI double, Hector Sanchez two-run single and a Deibinson Romero (8) two-run home run.
The Ducks added an unearned run in the fourth on a two-base fielding error from Alfredo Rodriguez and a Romero RBI double in the fifth to extend their lead to 7-3.
Somerset got back on the board in the top of the seventh inning. Rodriguez (3) led off the inning with a 368 ft. solo home run to left field. Kengor drew a walk later in the inning, stole second, advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout to cut the deficit to 7-5.
The Flock returned serve in the bottom of eighth on a two-out RBI double from David Washington to extend their lead back out to three and provide the night’s final score.
Vin Mazzaro (W, 8-4) earned the win after he allowed three runs over five innings. Zack Dodson (L, 1-2) yielded seven run (six earned) over five innings to take the loss. Pedro Beato (S, 6) worked a scoreless ninth inning for the save.
The Patriots and Ducks continue their three-game series Saturday night. Right-hander Tyler Cloyd (0-1, 3.43 ERA) will toe the rubber for Somerset against Long Island righty Brandon Beachy (3-0, 3.93 ERA). First pitch at Bethpage Ballpark is scheduled for 6:35 pm.
The Patriots continue on the road until the team returns home on Friday, Sept. 6th against the High Point Rockers. The night will feature a postgame fireworks show.. For tickets, stop by the box office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.