CENTRAL ISLIP, NY- The Somerset Patriots (16-5, 51-33) fell short in an 11-5 loss to the Long Island Ducks (11-8, 41-41) in Monday night’s series-opener at Bethpage Ballpark.
Somerset opened the scoring in the top of the first inning on an Alfredo Rodriguez (3) solo home run. The Ducks responded in the next half inning, however, on a Lew Ford two-run single and a run-scoring wild pitch to take a 3-1 lead.
Justin Pacchioli got one back for the Patriots in the top of the second with a two-out RBI double to trim the deficit to one. Long Island once again answered in the bottom of the second - this time on a two-run home run from Jordan Valdespin (5) - to regain a 5-2 lead.
Ramon Cabrera drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth to increase Long Island’s lead to 6-2. Somerset got right back in the game the next half inning with a three-run frame, including RBI singles from Nate Coronado and Endy Chavez, along with an RBI groundout from Yovan Gonzalez.
The Ducks immediately answered again, however. Emilio Bonifacio started the scoring in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single. A two-out, two-run double from Taylor Ard, followed by a two-out RBI double from David Washington, pushed the Long Island advantage out to 10-5.
Ard (12) added a solo blast in the bottom of the eighth to top off the scoring.
John Brownell (7-8) earned the win after allowing five runs on eight hits over five-plus innings. David Kubiak (7-2) yielded six runs on seven hits and six walks over 4.1 innings to take the loss.
The Patriots and Ducks continue their three-game series Tuesday night. Somerset righty Vince Molesky (3-1, 3.41 ERA) takes the mound against Long Island southpaw Jake Fisher (4-5, 4.20 ERA). First pitch at Bethpage Ballpark is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
The Patriots will continue on the road until Thursday, Aug. 2nd when the team returns to TD Bank Ballpark for an 11:05 a.m. game against the New Britain Bees. For tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.