Waldorf, MD -- The Somerset Patriots defeated the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs 3-1 in Game 4 of the 2015 Atlantic League Championship Series on Monday evening.
Roy Merritt, who allowed just one unearned run in seven innings of work and picked up his third win of the playoffs, was named most valuable player of the postseason.
DH Thomas Neal cranked a long home run to left field in the 2nd inning as the Patriots drew first blood. Later, a two out error by shortstop Robert Andino prolonged the inning and Fred Lewis of Southern Maryland smacked a RBI single to plate an unearned run.The score remained tied as Tim Sexton and Merritt traded goose eggs until the 7th inning when Blue Crabs pitcher Orlando Santos unleashed a wild pitch with the bases loaded as Vidal scores. Neal stroked a RBI single to increase the lead to 3-1.
The Somerset Patriots have now won 6 Atlantic League Championships (2001, '03, '05, '08, '09 and '15). Somerset finished with a league best 89-50 record -- the second straight season that the team boasted the best record in the league. On the strength of a pitching staff that set a record with the lowest ERA (3.04) in league history, Somerset won the First Half Liberty Division Championship with a 50-20 record. (The 50 wins set an Atlantic League record for most wins in a half.) This season marked Somerset's 10th appearance in the Championship Series during the Atlantic League's first 18 seasons.