CENTRAL ISLIP,, NY - The Somerset Patriots (16-7) rode an impressive pitching performance from Cory Riordan into a 2-1 win over the Long Island Ducks (13-12) in Friday night’s series-opener at Bethpage Ballpark.
The Patriots took an early lead in the top of the first on an Aaron Dudley sacrifice fly. Long Island responded with a Jordany Valdespin (4) solo home run in the bottom of the first to tie the game at one.
Both teams exchanged zeroes until Somerset broke through in the top of the sixth inning. Back-to-back doubles from Julio Borbon and Endy Chavez put the Patriots back in front 2-1.
That was all the offense the Patriots would need as Riordan (2-1) put up his best effort of the year. The first-year Patriot yielded just one run over eight innings, needing just 81 pitches to allow three hits with no walks and four strikeouts. He faced just two batters over the minimum and retired the final 11 batters he faced.
“I spent some time between my last start and this start trying to iron out some mechanical stuff,” said Riordan after the game. “I was happy to put the work into the actual game and give my team a chance to win. I tried to keep them off balance, then late in the count throw a couple of heaters and see if I could get them to react.
Long Island starter John Brownell (2-3) was saddled with loss after allowing two runs on three hits over seven innings. Ryan Kelly (5) earned the save with a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning.
Somerset right-handed pitcher David Kubiak makes his season debut Saturday night against Ducks’ righty Jake Dunning (1-2, 4.84 ERA). First pitch at Bethpage Ballpark is set for 6:35 p.m.
The 2018 Somerset Patriots season continues on the road until Friday, June 1st when the Patriots return to TD Bank Ballpark to take on the Road Warriors at 6:35 pm. For tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots.com