BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots improved to 13-0 to start the season after a 4-1 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at TD Bank Ballpark on Wednesday afternoon.
With the win, the Patriots have tied the Major League Baseball record for wins to start a season held by the 1982 Atlanta Braves and the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers.
The Blue Crabs took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning on an RBI base hit by Michael Snyder.
That was the only offense Southern Maryland was able to muster off Somerset starter Efrain Nieves (1-0), who allowed just two hits and struck out four in five innings for the win. Relievers Gus Schlosser and Jon Hunton also threw a scoreless inning each.
“I felt like I did a good job of staying in the moment and controlling the game. I was able to limit the damage and had the defense behind me picking me up when I needed it,” said Nieves.
The Patriots broke the game open with a three-run fifth inning. Yovan Gonzalez doubled to lead off the inning and later scored on a RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Trayvon Robinson. After an Eric Farris single put runners on first and second, Carlos Guzman smacked a two-run double to left-center field for a 3-1 advantage.
“I was just trying to do my part and not try to do too much. We pretty much have everything on this team so you don’t want to play outside your game. I’m in the three-hole or five-hole every night so I’m obviously supposed to produce. I was just looking for something I could hit. Eventually he threw a fast ball in there, that’s what I was looking for and I got it,” Guzman said.
Somerset added an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI single by Farris to provide the 4-1 final.
Hunton came in the for the seventh to notch his fifth save of the season and move to within one of tying the Atlantic League career record.
The 13-0 start extends the Atlantic League record for most consecutive wins to open a season.
“We have high character guys. When you have those kind of guys in the locker room and around you, it spreads. It’s just unbelievable,” Guzman added.