Somerset Patriots manager Sparky Lyle earned his and the franchises’ 1,000th victory with a 6-5 decision, in front of 6,028 at TD Bank Ballpark over the Sugar Land Skeeters. This game was the first half of a day/night doubleheader. Somerset has now won 10 out of 12 against the Skeeters.
Recent signee and former Major Leaguer Andy Sisco took the hill for the Patriots and was rocked. Skeeters lead-off hitter Dominic Ramos tripled to start the game after hitting a home run to lead off Monday’s game. Ofilio Castro drew a walk and Bubba Bell hit into a fielder’s choice to give Sugar Land a 1-0 lead.
Bell would steal second during Aaron Bates at-bat and Bates would draw a walk, giving Sugar Land runners at first and second. After Manuel Mejia struck out, Steven Moss followed with a three-run home run over to left-center field, extending the Skeeters lead to 4-0.
Somerset would respond in the bottom half of the first inning with three runs of their own, all with two outs. Freddie Bynum started the rally with a single to right field and Jeff Nettles followed with a walk. Hot-hitting Jake Fox came up and singled to center field, cutting the Sugar Land lead to 4-1. Fox has reached base safely in 10 of 12 games so far as a Patriot.
Jesse Hoorelbeke would draw a walk and Adam Donachie came up big with a two-RBI double down the left field line and cutting the Skeeters lead to 4-3 with two runners in scoring position. However, those runners were stranded after a Dan DeGeorge strikeout.
Lyle pulled Sisco after one inning for recent signing Jon Kibler and he would fall prey to the Ramos train. Ramos hit a one-out double to left field and scored on a Bell RBI single, increasing Sugar Land’s lead to 5-3.
Somerset came back in the bottom of the fourth inning and loaded the bases. Joe Holden singled while Dan Hennigan and Jonny Tucker drew walks. Bynum came up big again with a double to right field, scoring Holden but Hennigan was out at the plate after tagging up at second. Nettles was tagged out after a strikeout, stranding two Patriot runners.
The Patriots tied the game in the fifth inning on a Donachie solo home run, giving him three RBI’s on the day. In the sixth inning (of the scheduled seven inning contest), Hennigan led off with a walk and advanced to second on a throwing error by Skeeters pitcher Garrett Parcell. Bynum would sacrifice bunt Hennigan over to third base with one out.
Sugar Land intentionally walked Bynum to face Nettles, setting up the double play opportunity. Nettles grounded out to second base, but got the RBI after Hennigan came home. Somerset took their first lead of the game at 6-5 and would hold on in the seventh for the historic victory.
Brandon Braboy got his first win for Somerset, tossing 1.2 shutout innings in relief, surrendering one hit and striking out two. Parcell took the loss, giving up a run and a walk in an inning of relief, striking out one. Andrew Dobies earned his second save of 2012.
- While this was the Patriots 1,000th victory, this was Jeff Nettles 561st as a Somerset player. Nettles stands two hits away from his 1,000th hit in the Atlantic League.
- Recent signing Tobi Stoner was placed on the inactive list with a broken middle finger on his pitching hand on July 15 and Kibler was picked up the same day.
- Former Patriots closer and 2012 Atlantic League All-Star Josh Rupe retired to spend more time with his family on July 16
- Outfielder Aaron Mathews was placed on the inactive list on July 20 to pursue other opportunities – the same day they acquired Braboy.
- Johnny Drennen was placed on the DL for the third time this season (concussion-like symptoms).
- Sisco and LHP Taylor Sinclair were signed yesterday before the opening game of the four-game set against Sugar Land.