Carter’s 5 RBI Power Somerset over Sugar Land
Added by Philip Mathew on May 8, 2012.
Yusuf Carter continued his solid start to the 2012 season as the Somerset Patriots defeated the Sugar Land Skeeters at TD Bank Ballpark, 8-4 on Monday night.
Sugar Land was making their first trip to Somerset, as the organization is the newest member of the Atlantic League. Former Patriots star Josh Pressley returned as a visitor for the first time, after five great years with Somerset.
Pressley said about returning as a visitor, “It is a little different…a lot of familiar faces. Obviously, (Somerset) means a lot to me. It was my home for five years and it will always hold a place in my heart with all the memories, friends and relationships that were made here.”
Sugar Land opened the game with authority, getting to Patriots starter Mike MacDonald. Bubba Bell led off with a double to right field and advanced to third on a passed ball to Drew Locke. Locke put the Skeeters on the board with a RBI triple to right-center for a 1-0 lead.
Locke scored soon after on an RBI groundout by Jason Botts to give Sugar Land a 2-0 lead. Pressley was up next and came up to his old walkup music and a nice response from the crowd. Pressley drew a walk, but Ben Harrison hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
However, Somerset would answer in the bottom of the second inning. Jeff Nettles, batting sixth, would draw a one-out walk. Johnny Drennen singled behind Nettles to give the Patriots runners at first and second. Carter came up and nailed his second home run of the season — a three-run blast to left field, to give the Patriots a 3-2 lead.
Somerset would add to their tally in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, a pitch hit Jesse Hoorelbeke. Aaron Mathews hit a broken-bat single to center, giving Somerset runners at first and second.
Drennen hit a single to short center to load the bases with two outs. Carter drew a walk, scoring Hoorelbeke and earning his fourth RBI of the night. The score was 4-2 Patriots through three innings.
The Skeeters cut the lead to 4-3 on a single pitch: Botts led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to center field. Sugar Land would tie the score in the fifth inning.
Victor Gutierrez singled to lead off the inning. Bell doubled to right field to place runners at second and third. Locke hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Gutierrez and tying the game at four.
Somerset answered back in the bottom half of the inning. Hoorelbeke led off with a double to center field and advanced to third on a Mathews infield hit that was ruled an error (off second baseman’s glove).
Nettles singled to right field, scoring Hoorelbeke and retaking the lead at 5-4. Drennen walked to load the bases and Carter earned his fifth RBI of the night on a fielder’s choice to increase the lead to 6-4. Rex Rundgren hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Mathews to give Somerset a three-run lead at 7-4.
The Patriots added insurance in the bottom of the eighth inning, after Rundgren led off with a triple and scored on a Tucker sacrifice fly to right field, for an 8-4 Somerset lead and the eventual final.
MacDonald earned his first win of the season, going five innings and surrendering four runs. Skeeters starter Ryan McKeller took the loss after giving up seven runs and seven hits in four innings pitched.
Somerset continues their home stand against Sugar Land with an 11:05 a.m. game on Tuesday morning and two 7:05 p.m. games on Wednesday and Thursday before going to York for a three-game road trip.
Nettles said about his early hitting struggles, “I don’t know. Hitters go through funks and when you start the year off in a funk, it is more noticeable. I am not too worried about it, but the team is picking each other up and we are playing good baseball.” With his RBI single in the fifth inning, Nettles stands two hits away from the all-time Atlantic League record after Monday.
Former Patriot and current Sugar Land player Iggy Suarez (leg injury) is unavailable for this series, according to Sugar Land manager Gary Gaetti. Another former Patriot and current Skeeter player, Derrick Gordon, will start for Sugar Land on Thursday night.