Patriots Struggling Through Ugly Road Trip
The Somerset Patriots closed out a successful home stand by completing a sweep of the Road Warriors back on May 26. At that point in time they found themselves winners of four consecutive games and appeared to be hitting their stride in hopes of getting to the .500 mark on the season. It seems as though that stretch was just a case of “fools’ gold,” as the Patriots have since been swept in consecutive series by the Bridgeport Bluefish and most recently, the Long Island Ducks over the weekend.
The Ducks absolutely pummeled Somerset pitching in the three-game set, defeating them by a combined score of 36-13. Starting pitching for a majority of this season was regarded as the strongest component of the Patriots, but the rotation has let the team down over the course of the last week.
Recently signed pitcher, Jason Oxspring, who has Major League experience with the San Diego Padres, was shelled on Saturday, yielding eight runs in just two innings of work. Bill Pulsipher then followed that up yesterday with a start that saw him go just four innings while surrendering seven runs. Falling down by such a vast margin early on in games has placed added pressure on the offense, and the bats have suffered as a direct result. Over the course of this six game rut, the Patriots have been outscored 60-23.
Arguably the two most recognizable names on the Patriots roster, Josh Pressley and Jeff Nettles have been the lone bright spots offensively for a team that has scored just 143 runs all season. Only the Road Warriors (128) and York Revolution (139) have scored fewer.
Pressley continues to scorch the ball, hitting .352, which is third highest in the Atlantic League, along with four home runs and 21 runs batted in and looks every bit as dominant as he did in his 2008 MVP campaign.
Nettles performance early on this season suggested that he could be on the down swing of his career, but since taking over as the leagues career RBI leader in mid-May, Nettles has been arguably the hottest hitter in the Atlantic League. Nettles has seen his average sky rocket to .333 with a team high six home runs and 28 RBI, which is second best in the league. In his last seven games alone, Nettles has hit .455 with a .530 on base percentage.
The Patriots will trek to York to open up a four game series against the Revolution beginning tonight, their final stop on a season-high ten game road trip. The team will return home Friday night to open up a nine game home stand of their own starting with a three game series against the Camden Riversharks
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