Pulsipher Pitches Patriots To Series Split

(PR) Central Islip, NY – Bill Pulsipher made 20 starts in Long Island as a member of the Ducks in parts of four seasons and dominated. He did the same on Thursday night, except he did it in a different uniform. Facing his former club, the ex-Major Leaguer tossed six innings of one-run baseball while the Somerset offense pounded a season-high 18 hits, knocking the Ducks out with a 10-1 win at Suffolk County Sports Park, coming away with a four-game split and a 4-4 road trip.

Pulsipher (1-0), in just his second Atlantic League start outside of a Ducks jersey, did not have a promising start. The first three men reached against him in the 1st inning and Javier Colina drove in Ray Navarette with a sacrifice fly, tying the game at 1-1. But Pulsipher settled down from there, inducing a Dustan Mohr double play to finish the inning and begin a five-frame scoreless stretch. Pulsipher put runners on in three of those innings but danced out of trouble with just four hits against him. Despite five walks, the 36-year-old was not deterred, sending down the final six men he faced, four on strikeouts, fanning six for the game. With a short bullpen behind him, Pulsipher muscled 111 pitches over 6.0 innings. Behind him, Ben Grezlovski – who took a loss on Tuesday night – was brilliantly efficient over 3.0 innings of relief for his third Patriot save. Grezlovski put the leadoff man aboard in the 7th and 9th frames but induced double play balls and used three pitches to retire the side in the 8th.

Even though Somerset didn’t need it with the fine pitching on the hill, the Patriot offense exploded for the second straight game. After 10 runs and 17 hits the night before, Somerset put up three crooked numbers for another double digit run effort. Wayne Lydon knocked a single off Ducks’ starter Jake Dittler to start the game and stole second base, setting up a run-scoring hit from Joe Burke to take a 1st inning lead. After the Ducks tied it in the bottom of the frame, Somerset batted around in the 3rd. After loading the bases with two outs, Michael Hernandez beat out a slow chopper to second to drive Burke home and Pete LaForest followed with a two-run single. Iggy Suarez capped the inning with his second hit, driving Hernandez in and putting the Patriots up 5-1. Dittler (8-8) put Lydon and Burke on to start the 4th and left the game with an elbow problem. Benny Cepeda came in and hit Noah Hall with a pitch, loading the bases. After Jeff Nettles hit into a double play – the third of the night – to bring Lydon home, Josh Pressley smashed a two-run homer to right field to give Somerset an 8-1 edge. Two more runs scored on RBI hits from Hall and Hernandez in the 6th against Chris McCoy for the final tallies. Every Patriot starter had a hit, six players scored a run and six players drove one in.

Somerset (8-13, 44-47) heads back to Bridgewater to begin a seven-game homestand, starting with a four game series against the Bridgeport Bluefish (11-9, 47-43). Former Bluefish Josh Miller (7-7, 3.58) battles Matt Pike (9-4, 3.84) on Friday night at TD Bank Ballpark. Coverage begins at 7:00 pm on 1450 WCTC-AM and online at http://www.wctcam.com and http://www.somersetpatriots.com. Gates open at 6:00 as the Carrier Clinic will sponsor a post-game fireworks show.

NOTES: Burke finished 4-6 with three runs and a RBI. It was his first four-hit game with Somerset and first since 2008 with Atlantic City. Burke has never had a five-hit game…Lydon had a multi-hit game, his 11th in the last 19 games…Hall reached all five times he came up, walking twice and being hit with two pitches. He was hit in the hand in the 7th and left the game. JR Hopf entered for Hall…Pressley’s homer was his sixth in July and 10th of the year…Pressley and LaForest have combined for 11 homers and 45 RBIs in the last 24 games…Hernandez notched his first three-hit game since June 23…Suarez had two hits, his first multi-hit game since May 26…Pulsipher went 12-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 20 starts at Suffolk County Sports with Long Island…it was the fifth time the Patriots have had 17 or more hits. Somerset last had 18 hits on June 17, also against Long Island.

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