BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Mayor Brian Gallagher got the call to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday night’s Somerset Patriots game at TD Bank Ballpark against the Sugar Land Skeeters.

The game was the kick-off to the Patriots’ Independence Weekend celebration.

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Gallagher was representing Operation Shoebox New Jersey, the game sponsor. Gallagher’s son, Brendan is an Army paratrooper deployed to South Korea.

Hillsborough Mayor Carl Suraci also threw out a ceremonial first pitch. Friday night was Hillsborough Community Night at the ballpark.

Operation Shoebox New Jersey, a non-profit volunteer organization based in Somerset County, collects donations of food and personal care items and ships care packages to US troops deployed overseas.

The Patriots wore commemorative USA uniforms with the Operation Shoebox New Jersey patch on the sleeve. Fans bid on the uniforms during the game to raise money for OPSHBX NJ. At the conclusion of the game, players signed their jerseys, which were then presented to the winning bidders.

The Patriots lost the game, 12-0.

A fireworks display capped off the evening at the ballpark.