BRIDGEWATER – The Somerset Patriots defeated the Newark Bears 9-0 for the series sweep on Father’s Day Sunday in Bridgewater.
Patriots’ starter Matt Thompson frustrated the Newark bats from the outset. Thompson scattered five hits over his first five innings of work and allowed just one base runner to advance to third base in that same span.
Somerset gave their starter an early cushion in the home first. Joe Holden led off with a single, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a Matt Hagen RBI groundout to make it 1-0 Patriots. Holden scored the Pats’ second run in the third. Starter Matt Smith collected one of his four strikeouts on the day against Holden, but the ball got away from catcher Chris Vasami to put Holden on first. A stolen base and a pair of wild pitches brought him around the bases and the lead grew to two runs.
The Patriots sent nine men to the plate in the home fourth and did their damage all with two outs. J.R. Hopf, David Housel and Joe Holden collected three straight RBI singles and Tim Raines Jr. followed with a two-run shot just off the batter’s eye in left-center field to bring home six runs on five hits and it was 8-0 Somerset. A solo shot by Jason Belcher in the sixth off reliever Matt Melody tacked the final run for the Pats.
Thompson (3-2) earned the win, firing seven scoreless innings, with four strikeouts and two walks in the shutout. Smith (3-6) was dealt the loss, allowing eight runs, seven earned on seven hits, with four strikeouts and two walks in four innings of work. Bear relievers Drew Coffey, Melody, Michael Mehlich and Armando Benitez combined to allow just one run on one hit, with a pair of strikeouts and walk over four innings.
The Bears will enjoy a day-off on Monday before beginning three-game series on Tuesday against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs down in Waldorf. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. Fans can tune into the action at www.newarkbears.com as David Greenwald provides the play-by-play.
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