BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The New Jersey Blasters (1-0) defeated the Somerset Patriots (0-1) 7-2 in the first professional baseball game played in the state of New Jersey in 2020 as part of the newly created Somerset Professional Baseball Series.
The Blasters got out in front early after Martin Figueroa drew a walk, stole second, and came around to score on an RBI single by Zach Racusin in the top of the first inning. The former Patriot reached base in all four at bats, finishing 3-for-3 with three runs scored, a walk, and an RBI.
Somerset answered in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Dan Valerio that knotted up the game at one run apiece.
An RBI double by Tommy McCarthy broke the tie and started a big four-run top of the third inning for the Blasters. Rob Calabrese added to the lead with a two-run base hit, and Louie Martini made it a 5-1 ballgame with an RBI triple.
Valerio struck again, this time with a sacrifice fly, in the bottom of the third inning to cut the lead to 5-2.
New Jersey extended the lead with a run in the fifth inning when Racusin scored on a wild pitch. Their final run came home in the seventh on an infield RBI single by Martini, who tied with Calabrese with a Blasters-high two RBI.
Ryan Williamson (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless inning relief and two strikeouts. David Kubiak (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five earned runs on four hits and four strikeouts in three innings pitched. Billy Layne Jr. pitched two scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts.
The New Jersey Blasters victory was the first in franchise history and also Jon Hunton’s first win as a manager.
The Somerset Professional Baseball Series continues on Saturday, July 18th with a 7:05 pm game between the Somerset Patriots and the New Jersey Blasters at TD Bank Ballpark. For more information, please visit www.somersetpatriots.com.