BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots (1-2) defeated the Long Island Ducks (2-1) 8-4 in Game 3 of the Liberty Division Championship Series before an Atlantic League Playoff record 8,143 fans at TD Bank Ballpark on Friday evening.
The Patriots cut the Ducks lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five playoff series.
The Ducks took an early 2-0 lead when David Washington struck again, hitting his third home run of the series in the top of the fourth inning.
A Jayce Boyd RBI double in the next inning got the Patriots on the board and shrunk the deficit to 2-1.
Long Island answered with a run in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI double by Taylor Ard that made the score 3-1.
The Patriots jumped in front with a four-run bottom of the sixth inning. Mike Fransoso started the scoring with an RBI double, Yovan Gonzalez followed with an RBI single, and Endy Chavez plated a run on a fielder’s choice. Boyd then drove home another run on a base hit to left field for a 5-3 advantage.
The Ducks got one back in the top of the seventh inning on an RBI single by Daniel Fields to make it a 5-4 ballgame.
The Patriots broke the game open on a three-run double by Chavez in the bottom of the frame for an 8-4 lead that would ultimately be the final score.
“We needed it. We knew if we didn’t win, we wouldn’t be playing tomorrow,” said Chavez, who finished the game with four RBI. “That was fun. The team played very hard throughout and we never gave up. I like that challenge. I like the competition and that’s what we played for tonight.”
David Kubiak (1-0) picked up the win, allowing three runs on five hits and five strikeouts in six innings pitched. Jose Cuas (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing two unearned runs on two hits in 0.2 innings pitched.
Game Four of the Liberty Division Championship Series is at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at TD Bank Ballpark. For tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.