Archive for September, 2010

Game 5: Patriots Fall, 1-0

September 26, 2010

(PR) York, PA – In 17 half innings of baseball, one single run scored and it belonged to the York Revolution as they defeated the Somerset Patriots in Game 5 of the Freedom Division Championship Series at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Sunday night. The Revolution will face the Bridgeport Bluefish in the Atlantic League Championship Series in their first ever trip to the finals as the Patriots’ season comes to a close.

The games’ only run scored in an odd sequence when Andrew Dobies entered the game in the 7th. James Shanks led off the inning with a bunt single but as catcher Jason Belcher fielded the ball, he wildly threw towards first base and sent the toss sailing into right field towards the wall. Shanks would take two more bases before Ian Bladergroen sent a fly ball down the left field line, deep enough to bring the run home, giving the Revs a 1-0 lead. The run against Dobies (0-1) came in unearned.

Joel Kirsten and Matt DeSalvo squared off in a classic pitcher’s duel with neither allowing a run. DeSalvo allowed just two base runners through his first six frames before Jeff Nettles and Josh Pressley singled to push the starter out. With runners at the corners, Michael Nix entered and got a Noah Hall fielder’s choice before inducing a Matt Hagen double play. Nix (1-0) got all three outs of the 7th on two pitches. DeSalvo finished 6.0-plus frames, allowing just three hits, fanning seven.

Kirsten danced out of trouble all game, leaving four runners on base while inducing three double play balls. The southpaw finished 6.0 innings, yielding just five hits with three strikeouts.

Eric Ackerman came in for the 8th and retired all six men he faced for a two-out save.

Somerset’s season ends with its first ever Division series loss and its first ever Game 5 loss.

Somerset Comes Up Short In Game 5

September 26, 2010

Somerset has lost to York, 1-0, in the deciding Game 5 of the Atlantic League’s Freedom Division Series.  The Patriots lose their first playoff series since the 2007 AtLCS against Newark, while the Revolution win their first ever playoff series and advance to the finals for the first time.

Stay tuned for the team release…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 4: Adams Gem Sends Series to Game 5

September 26, 2010

(PR) Bridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots defeated the York Revolution 7-0 at TD Bank Ballpark on Saturday evening to even up the Freedom Division Series and force a Game 5 in York on Sunday.

The Patriots took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Shortstop Iggy Suarez drew a walk, left fielder Elliott Ayala hit a bunt single, and center fielder Wayne Lydon plated Suarez with an RBI double. Ayala came home to score on a wild pitch on first baseman Joe Burke’s at bat and third baseman Jeff Nettles drove home Lydon with a sacrifice fly.

Somerset made it 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning on a solo home run by Burke.

The Patriots broke open the game with three more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Catcher Jason Belcher doubled, Suarez singled, and Ayala followed with a sacrifice fly to score Belcher. Lydon followed with an RBI triple and scored on an RBI single by Burke for a 7-0 advantage.

Patriots starter Brian Adams (1-0) picked up the win, pitching 7.2 scoreless innings, while allowing five hits and striking out seven. Revolution starter Kevin Angelle (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on four hits in 4.2 innings pitched.

The Somerset Patriots will take on the York Revolution in Game 5 of the Freedom Division Series in York on Sunday at 5:05 pm. Listen to the game live on WCTC 1450 AM or on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

Game 3: Patriots Comeback Falls Short

September 25, 2010

(PR) Bridgewater, NJ – The York Revolution defeated the Somerset Patriots 6-5 to take a 2-1 lead in the best of five Freedom Division Series before 5,926 fans at TD Bank Ballpark on Friday evening.

The Revolution took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Catcher John Pachot singled and shortstop Chuck Jerolomon reached on a fielder’s choice. Pachot would come around to score on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Liu Rodriguez and third baseman Ramon Castro followed with an RBI single to plate Jerolomon.

The Patriots cut the lead to 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Catcher Jason Belcher singled and later scored on an RBI single by center fielder Wayne Lydon.

York added a run to the lead in the top of the fifth inning on a solo home run by Castro for a 3-1 lead.

The Revolution plated another run in the top of the sixth inning. Left fielder James Shanks doubled and came home to score on an RBI single by right fielder Steve Haake for a 4-1 advantage.

Somerset answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Belcher singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Lydon to make the score 4-2.

The Revolution offense continued to roll with a run in the top of the seventh inning on a solo home run by center fielder Scott Grimes.

York added another run in the top of the ninth inning after right fielder Erold Andrus singled and scored on an RBI single by Rodriguez to make the score 6-2.

The Patriots rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to cut the lead to 6-5, but fell just short of tying the game as Lydon grounded out to first with a runner on second to end the game. Left fielder Elliott Ayala’s bases loaded two-run single put the Patriots to within a run.

York starter Chris Salberg (1-0) got the win after allowing two runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings pitched. Somerset starter Josh Miller (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings pitched.

The Somerset Patriots will take on the York Revolution in Game Four of the Freedom Division Series TD Bank Ballpark on Saturday, September 25th at 7:05 pm. The 2010 Somerset Patriots Playoffs are presented by Somerset Hills Towing. Great seats are available by stopping by the Patriots Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, by calling (908) 252-0700, or on-line at http://www.somersetpatriots.com.

Patriots Rally Falls Short; Trail 2-1 In Best-Of-Five

September 24, 2010

Somerset rallied in the ninth inning with two outs and down 6-2, posting three runs before Wayne Lydon grounded out to first base to end the game with the tying run on second and winning run on first.

The Patriots now trail the Revolution 2-1 in the best-of-five series.  Brian Adams pitches for Somerset tomorrow, and he’ll be countered by York’s Kevin Angelle.  Game time is 7:05 PM at TD Bank Ballpark.

Stay tuned for a complete post-game press release from what turned out to be a very exciting game.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 3: Atlantic League Freedom Division Series

September 24, 2010

Top 1st — Scott Grimes led off the inning with a clean single to right center field.  Joe Burke made a nice stop on a hard liner hit on the ground by Liu Rodriguez and threw from his knees to get Grimes out at second, but the relay throw on the attempted double play eluded Josh Miller and nearly trickled into the dugout, allowing Rodriguez to advance to second.  But consecutive flyouts by Ramon Castro and Jose Herrera ended the threat.  0-0.

Bottom 1st — Wayne Lydon singles to lead off the inning…and steals second with two outs.  But Josh Pressley hits a borken bat floater to second base to end the first.  0-0

Top 2nd — 1-2-3 inning for Josh Miller, making his first postseason start since the Division Series last year.  0-0 game.

Bottom 2nd — Matt Hagen with a one-out double off the top of the wall in left field to get things going here for the Patriots.  But he too is stranded on second.  Nobody’s gotten past second base through the first two innings off of Salberg or Miller…0-0, going into T3.

Top 3rd — York puts two unearned runs on the board in the third to take a 2-0 lead.  John Pachot led off the frame with a single, and Chuck Jeroloman laced a ground ball down the third base line that Jeff Nettles snared.  Nettles tried to make an off balance throw to second, but pulled Matt Hagen off the bag and was charged with an error…the play could have been scored either way.  Scott Grimes flew out to right field to advance Pachot to third, and Pachot scored one batter later on a Liu Rodriguez sac fly.  Ramon Castro drove in another run with a single and it’s a 2-0 game.

Bottom 3rd — Tough break for the Patriots right there.  Jeff Nettles appeared to have cut Somerset’s deficit to one with a hard-hit double to left center field…but the ball hopped over the wall and was ruled a ground rule double.  Joe Burke, who would have easily scored, had to go back to second.  Josh Pressley was walked to load the bases with two outs, but Noah Hall weakly grounded out to shortstop, and Somerset squandered their best chance yet.  2-0, York.

Top 4th — York strands runners on first and second…it remains 2-0.

Bottom 4th — Somerset cuts the deficit to one.  Wayne Lydon’s RBI single made it a 2-1 game…the Patriots had runners on the corners with two outs, but again could not capitalize any further.  Salberg is certainly giving them chances — 6 hits and 2 walks through 4.  2-1, York, however.

Top 5th — Ramon Castro hit a solo shot to left field off of Miller with two outs to put York up 3-1…

Bottom 5th — Noah Hall reaches first base on a two-out walk, but that’s about it for Somerset right there…they trail, 3-1, going into T6.

Top 6th — With one out and James Shanks on third base, the Patriots played the infield in.  It backfired.  Steve Haake hit a grounder just past a diving Matt Hagen to the right of second base to plate Shanks to make this a 4-1 game.

Bottom 6th — Wayne Lydon drives in another run on a sac fly to make it 4-2…Salberg’s out, Eric Ackerman’s in for the Revs.

Top 7th — Scott Grimes absolutely demolished a Jeff Kennard offering to deep left field.  5-2 game.  Absolute missile, that one was.  My goodness.

Bottom 7th — To this point, York pitchers have issued 10 hits and three walks.  And Somerset has just two runs to show for it.  Iggy Suarez had runners on second and third with two outs, but again…another weak groundout — this time off of Michael Nix — by a Patriot in a key situation kills the rally.  5-2.

Top 8th — Jerry Dunn in to pitch for the Patriots…1-2-3 inning for him.  5-2, York.

Bottom 8th — Jason Belcher led off the inning with a double.  He stayed at second base for the rest of the inning.  Somerset went down in order after that, including a pinch-hit flyout by Michael Hernandez for Joe Burke.

Top 9th — A lengthy ninth inning plates a run…Liu Rodriguez skips a ground ball just past Matt Hagen to give York a 6-2 lead going into B9.

Bottom 9th — Jeff Nettles walks.  A Josh Pressley double gives Somerset runners on second and third with nobody out.  Oh boy……..Jason Belcher draws a bases loaded walk to make it a 6-3 game.  Elliott Ayala with a two-run single to make it 6-5.  But Lydon grounds out.  It’s over.  6-5 loss.  Somerset’s down 2-1 in the best-of-five series.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

ALFDS Game 3: Pre-Game Notes

September 24, 2010

5:30 PM — Lineups are in…

YORK

Scott Grimes, CF
Liu Rodriguez, 2B
Ramon Castro, 3B
Jose Herrera, DH
James Shanks, LF
Ian Bladergroen, 1B
Steve Haake, RF
John Pachot, C
Chuck Jeroloman, SS

Chris Salberg, P

SOMERSET

Wayne Lydon, CF
Joe Burke, 1B
Jeff Nettles, 3B
Josh Pressley, DH
Noah Hall, RF
Matt Hagen, 2B
Iggy Suarez, SS
Jason Belcher, C
Elliott Ayala, LF

Josh Miller, P

Game 2: Patriots Bats Battle Back, Series Tied 1-1

September 24, 2010

(PR) York, PA – Matt Hagen drove in three runs and Bill Pulsipher tossed a quality outing as the Somerset Patriots defeated the York Revolution 9-2 on Thursday night at Sovereign Bank Stadium, leveling the Freedom Division Championship Series at one game apiece.

In a tight game over the first seven frames, Somerset took a lead in the 3rd on a Jeff Nettles RBI single, bringing an unearned run home against York starter Corey Thurman. But York answered back quickly when Chuck Jeroloman launched a two-run homer to left center against Pulsipher (1-0). In the 4th, Hagen went to work after Noah Hall walked on a close 3-2 pitch. The third-year Patriot sent a fly ball sailing over the 38-foot Arch Nemesis wall in left field to put Somerset in front 3-2 and that’s where the game would remain until the late innings.

Pulsipher and Thurman (0-1) battled through the middle innings with the former dancing out of trouble all night. With the one-run cushion in the 4th, Pulsipher gave up a leadoff single to Jose Herrera and saw James Shanks send a double off the bottom of the wall in left-center field. Herrera pulled up at third but, after noticing the ball had ricocheted away from Wayne Lydon, took off for home. Iggy Suarez fired a relay throw home, nailing Herrera for the first out. Shanks ended up at third but was left stranded after Pulsipher retired the next two men.

In the 5th, with John Pachot and Scott Grimes in scoring position, Suarez took a grounder from Rodriguez and, seeing that Pachot had gone too far from third, threw behind him for a big out. James Shanks ran into a double play in the 6th inning when Hagen caught an Ian Bladergroen pop-up and was doubled off at second base. All three men represented the tying run and were eliminated in scoring position as Pulsipher finished 6.0 solid frames, striking out four while scattering nine hits.

After allowing the Hagen homer, Thurman retired the next nine men he faced to finish his 6.0 innings with just four hits against him. Dustin Pease retired the Patriots in order in the 7th, making it a dozen in a row retired but the York bullpen scuffled after that. Somerset against Pease, one of the league’s top relievers in Sean Stidfole, and Jason Richardson, knocked four hits, drew a pair of walks, and got three two-out run-scoring hits from Hall, Hagen, and Elliott Ayala to bring home five runs in the 8th. A wild pitch from RJ Rodriguez allowed Josh Pressley to score in the 9th for the final margin while Ben Grezlovski, Andrew Dobies, and Travis Minix threw the final three frames scoreless for the victory.

Somerset (1-1) and York (1-1) each look for an advantage in Game 3 when Josh Miller (12-9, 3.65) squares off with Chris Salberg (1-1, 6.10) from TD Bank Ballpark. Friday night’s coverage begins at 7:00 pm on 1450 WCTC-AM and http://www.wctcam.com.

NOTES: The home run was Hagen’s third career Patriot playoff shot. He now has 15 career playoff RBIs…Ayala leads active Patriots with 19 career playoff RBIs…the Patriots are now 3-3 after losing Game 1, 3-1 since 2007…Somerset is 14-7 all-time at TD Bank Ballpark in playoff games and is now 28-19 overall in post-season contests.

Game 1: DeSalvo Shuts Down Somerset

September 24, 2010

(PR) York, PA – Matt DeSalvo baffled Somerset for six innings and racked up a quality start while the York Revolution offense set the tone early, defeating the Somerset Patriots 10-1 in Game 1 of the Freedom Division Championship Series at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Wednesday night.

York, in just its third-ever playoff game, knocked around Patriots starter Joel Kirsten in the opening frame with Liu Rodriguez banging a one-out homer to start the run. Jose Herrera and Ian Bladergroen each nabbed RBI base hits before John Pachot cleared the bags with a three-run double, giving York a 6-0 lead in a flash. Ten batters came up against Kirsten (0-1) as the southpaw needed 42 pitches to end the calamitous inning.

DeSalvo (1-0) allowed just two baserunners in his first six frames on a 3rd-inning Jason Belcher single and an Elliott Ayala walk in the 6th. DeSalvo was on the hill in the top of the 4th when rain struck, forcing a 58-minute rain delay but was just as effective afterwards. Kirsten was done after the pause, finishing his shortest career Patriot playoff start of 3.0 innings, yielding six hits and six runs.

After Jason Monti allowed a pair of runs in his 3.0 innings of long relief, the Patriots finally got on the board on a Noah Hall homer in the 7th. With Somerset down 8-1, DeSalvo walked the next three batters to load the bases before leaving. Eric Ackerman stepped in and struck out Ayala to end the threat, leaving DeSalvo in line for the win after 6.2 innings. The former Yankee allowed just two hits, fanning eight batters.

Carlos Hines allowed two runs on run-scoring extra-base hits from Scott Grimes and Rodriguez in the 7th for the final margin. The loss is the second-worst for the Patriots in their 46-game playoff history.

Somerset (0-1) and York (1-0) battle in Game 2 with a pair of former Major Leaguers squaring off. Bill Pulsipher (5-1, 3.18) battles Corey Thurman (10-8, 4.56) on Thursday night with coverage beginning at 6:25 pm on 1450 WCTC-AM and http://www.wctcam.com.

NOTES: The worst post-season Patriot loss came in their fifth franchise playoff game; Game 2 of the 2000 Atlantic League Championship Series, falling 11-1 to Nashua…the Patriots have lost Game 1 five times prior and have come back to win the series twice…Jeff Nettles, Josh Pressley, and Matt Hagen combined to go 0-11 with Hagen walking once…Kirsten is 2-2 in his Patriot playoff career over five starts. He had previously beaten York in the opening game of the 2008 playoffs…Jeff Kennard threw a scoreless 8th for Somerset…the Patriots are 27-19 in their playoff history.

Patriots-Revolution Series Preview

September 22, 2010

The following story will appear in The Messenger Gazette and Hunterdon County Democrat tomorrow…

By MIKE ASHMORE
For The Messenger Gazette

Another year, another postseason appearance for the Somerset Patriots. The Patriots improbable late season turnaround and subsequent second half Freedom Division win marks the fourth consecutive playoff berth for Somerset, a franchise record.

Their opponents are the York Revolution, who were the class of the first half (40-30), but have struggled over the last few months of the season to post a 29-41 mark over the final 70 games.

This marks the second time in three seasons that the Patriots and Revolution have faced each other in the Freedom Division Series. In 2008, Somerset swept York, two games to none. Now, the first round is a best-of-five, and it was scheduled to start in York, PA yesterday. After today’s Game 2, the series shifts to Bridgewater for Game 3 on Friday — Somerset would host Game 4 (if necessary), while the teams would travel back to York on Sunday for a deciding Game 5 (if necessary).

The Patriots held a slight edge in the regular season series over York, posting an 11-9 record in 20 games, ten each at TD Bank Ballpark and Sovereign Bank Stadium.

STARTING PITCHING: Somerset’s got their rotation as good as it’s been all season. The addition of Bill Pulsipher has paid huge dividends, while Joel Kirsten has turned in one good start and one bad one in the two outings he’s made since being acquired for the third straight year from the American Association.

Josh Miller, Brian Adams and Jason Monti round out a formidable starting five in Somerset.

York’s starting rotation features three former major leaguers in ex-Yankee Matt DeSalvo, Corey Thurman and Tim Harikkala. DeSalvo and Kirsten could be the keys to this series, as they have yet to face the other team this season. With three days off between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs, they could be on a collision course for a Game 1 matchup.

BULLPENS: The Patriots bullpen has been a question mark all season long, and it remains as such going into the final two weeks of the year. Long-time Atlantic Leaguer Ben Grezlovski has emerged as a shutdown middle reliever for Sparky Lyle, and the addition of Travis Minix has been a big boost to a beleaguered bullpen. Former National League Rookie of the Year Scott Williamson will likely be relied upon to shut the door on York in the ninth inning.

York’s bullpen features two former Patriots in Ryan Basner and Jason Richardson, each of whom earned championship rings while in Somerset. Both R.J. Rodriguez and Sean Stidfole can close games out for the Revs, with the two combining for 19 saves during the regular season.

PROJECTED LINEUPS:

C — Jason Belcher (SOM), John Pachot (YORK)
1B — Joe Burke (SOM), Ian Bladergroen (YORK)
2B — Matt Hagen (SOM), Liu Rodriguez (YORK)
SS — Iggy Suarez (SOM), Chuck Jeroloman (YORK)
3B — Jeff Nettles (SOM), Ramon Castro (YORK)
LF — Elliott Ayala (SOM), James Shanks (YORK)
CF — Wayne Lydon (SOM), Scott Grimes (YORK)
RF — Noah Hall (SOM), Erold Andrus (YORK)
DH — Josh Pressley (SOM), Jose Herrera (YORK)

Both teams feature some potent players. York’s Ramon Castro — a former big leaguer — may have been the best player in the Atlantic League this season, posting a .339 batting average with eight home runs and 85 RBI in just 109 games. Herrera, who along with Castro won a league title with the Newark Bears in 2007, is no pushover either, having batted .337 with 10 home runs and 87 RBI in 115 games. But it may be James Shanks, who was a member of the Southern Maryland team that the Patriots defeated for the championship last year, who’s the man to watch. He hit .325 with 19 home runs and 86 RBI in 131 games, and gives York their own “big three” to counter Somerset’s noted trio of Matt Hagen, Josh Pressley and Jeff Nettles.

Yes, it will be Somerset’s own “big three” that will be relied upon to carry the team to their third straight championship. Nettles had the best season of the bunch despite only playing in 82 games, missing most of the first half of the year with a broken hand. The seventh-year third baseman hit .299 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI, and hit over .400 in the month of September. Hagen and Pressley combined for 31 home runs and 132 RBI, and a healthy Pressley in the postseason is a big key for the Patriots.

The “X factor” might be Jason Belcher, who has shown a penchant for clutch hits throughout his tenure with the club. He hit .269 with seven home runs and 54 RBI during his All-Star season, and the durable backstop could be one to watch in this series.

BENCH:

Somerset’s got OF Michael Hernandez, UTIL Joe Holden and C J.R. Hopf, while York’s carrying OF Steve Haake, INF Vince Harrison and C Joel Collins. Haake and Harrison are solid players, but with Somerset having Hernandez in tow, who can change the game with one swing of the bat, it’s hard not to give the Patriots the edge.

PREDICTION: Somerset in 5. Never pick against the Patriots this time of year. Two straight Atlantic League titles and five championships in 12 seasons should tell you as much.