The Ducks took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Lew Ford.
Long Island put up two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on a wild pitch followed by an RBI single by Elmer Reyes that made the score 3-0.
Somerset got on the board in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Kyle Roller.
The Patriots biggest opportunity came in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded, but failed to capitalize and drive in any runs to close the gap.
“We actually grinded out some at bats. We threatened at times. The problem was we waited until there were two outs each time,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “It’s never too late, but there is no room for error there. A fly ball becomes out number three instead of a sacrifice fly there. But we never gave up, we kept pressing and worked the pitch counts to do a good job getting on base. We just never got that big hit to put something across.”
Alex Burg made it a 4-1 game in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run (1).
Matt Larkins (1-0) allowed a run on four hits and seven walks in 5.2 innings pitched for the win. Mike Antonini (0-1) took the loss, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and four strikeouts in four innings pitched.
“I thought Antonini just wasn’t as sharp as usual. He let the leadoff guy on each inning I think,” added Jodie. “It felt like he was battling himself a little bit. I don’t know if he was trying to be too fine, but he never looked too comfortable. He did manage to minimize every inning, except the one that they got to him a little bit. That’s all it takes in a game like this.”
The Liberty Division Series shifts to TD Bank Ballpark on Friday night at 7:05 pm. The game features a pitching matchup of Ducks LHP Jake Fisher (0-0, 2.76 ERA) vs. Patriots RHP Will Oliver (8-6, 4.78 ERA).
Game Three of the series features a Postgame Fireworks Show. For tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.