BRIDGEWATER– The Somerset Patriots defeated the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs 8-2 in Game One of the Atlantic League Championship Series at TD Bank Ballpark on Thursday evening.
The Patriots took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Third baseman Jeff Nettles singled and moved to third on a double by second baseman Matt Hagen. Catcher Jason Belcher drove home Nettles on an RBI groundout and first baseman Travis Anderson followed with an RBI single to plate Hagen. Right fielder Mike Rodriguez reached on a single and left fielder Elliott Ayala plated Anderson on a sacrifice fly to center. After center fielder Sean Smith walked, designated hitter Noah Hall drove home two with a double.
Southern Maryland got on the board with a run in the top of the third inning. Second baseman Mike Just walked and later scored on an RBI single by shortstop Travis Garcia.
Somerset extended the lead with two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Belcher singled, Anderson was hit by a pitch, and Rodriguez loaded the bases by reaching on a fielder’s choice. Two runners scored when Ayala and Smith were hit by back-to-back pitches with the bases loaded for a 7-1 lead.
The Blue Crabs got a run in the top of the sixth inning. Garcia singled and scored on an RBI single by center fielder Jeremy Owens to make the score 7-2.
The Patriots made it 8-2 with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Nettles singled and later scored on an RBI single by Hagen.
Patriots starter Jim Magrane (2-0) got the win after allowing two earned runs on five hits and seven strikeouts in seven innings pitched. Blue Crabs starter Jarrett Grube (1-1) suffered the loss after surrendering five earned runs on five hits in 1.2 innings pitched.
The Somerset Patriots take on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in Game Two of the Atlantic League Championship Series on Friday, Oct. 2 at TD Bank Ballpark at 7:05 p.m.
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