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Somerset dominated the series against Bowie last week (Chris McCormack)


Somerset Recap: Heating Up at the Right Time

Game 1: Blane Abeyta (5-4, 5.87 ERA) vs. Carlos Tavera (2-5, 4.81 ERA)

Somerset returned home after a long road trip to kick off a 6 game series against the Bowie Baysox. A 12:05 start to lead off the series saw Blane Abeyta take the mound, searching for his 6th win of the year.  Abeyta went (6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 K) and clocked in his sixth quality start of the season in his 15th start. Opposing Bowie this season, Abeyta has thrown 12 IP, tallying 2 ER, 4 H, and 12 K.

Trey Sweeney has been red hot as of late for Somerset (Chris McCormack)

On the offensive end, the Patriots put up runs in a hurry to start the series off. Trey Sweeney (1-for-4, HR) led off the ballgame with a solo blast in the 1st inning, marking his 13th homer of the year and fourth to lead off a game. Sweeney has been one of the hottest hitters on the team and should certainly be called up before the season is over. 

Ben Rice (2-for-2, HR, 4 RBI, BB) extended the Patriots lead to 2-0 with an RBI single in the 4th inning before a three-run blast in the 5th. Since being called up, Rice has picked up where Austin Wells left off. The Yankees have proven to have some solid catchers in their organization, and Rice is the latest example. 

Elijah Dunham also provided some offense in this one, going 2-for-2, RBI, SB. Dunham has hit safely in five straight games, over which he’s 9-for-21 with 5 RBI, 7 R, and 2 HR. Since being sent down, he has shown that he can get his hitting back on track. 

After the 6th inning, the skies opened up in Bridgewater and the game was called due to weather. Somerset was in the lead at that time so they escaped the rain with a series opening win.

Final: 6-0 Somerset (Somerset leads series 1-0)

Game 2: Chase Hampton (1-0, 4.15 ERA) vs Ryan Long (1-1, 6.14 ERA)

A beautiful Wednesday night paved way for Game 2 of the series. It was Anthony Volpe bobblehead night at TD Bank Ballpark, and a capacity crowd was on hand. While 7,216 fans filed into the park to get their hands on a Volpe bobblehead, only 1,000 fans got one. Nevertheless there was a baseball game to play and Chase Hampton, now ranked the Yankees top pitching prospect per Baseball America, got the nod. 

We finally got our first look at top MLB prospect Jackson Holliday (son of former big league player Matt Holliday) and he did not disappoint. In his first at back, he roped a double off Hampton. Hampton (5 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 8 K) threw a career high 101 pitches in his seventh Double-A start. Hampton has struck out 8+ in ten of his 16 starts this season between High-A and Double-A. He recorded the first four outs of his outing via strikeout.

Chase Hampton and Ben Rice (Chris McComack)

Max Burt (3-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB) put the Patriots on the board with an RBI double in the 2nd, later bringing home another run with a single in the 4th. Wednesday marked Burt’s fifth multi-RBI game and eighth multi-hit game of the season with the Patriots. In the month of July, Burt is 7-for-23 (.304) with a 1.128 OPS and 5 RBI in 8 games.

The Patriots took the lead in the 4th when Mickey Gasper (2-for-4, RBI, 2B, R) smacked an RBI single that put Somerset up 3-2. Later in the game, the score was tied at 4 when Jeisson Rosario (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) broke a 4-4 tie to put the Pats up 5-4 with an RBI single.

The Patriots bullpen let up 2 runs in the 8th, however, and it led to a heartbreaking loss in game 2 of the series.

Jackson Holliday looked very much like the MLB’s top prospect Wednesday night.

Final: 6-5 Bowie (Series tied 1-1)


Game 3: Yoendrys Gomez (0-0, 1.26 ERA) vs. Alex Pham (3-3, 2.14 ERA)

Thursday night was Copa Night at TD Bank Ballpark and the the Patriots once again showed off their Zorros de Somerset orange uniforms. The game did not disappoint as Yoendrys Gomez looked to keep his hot start to the year going.

Gomez went 2.2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 K and threw a season-high 62 pitches in his 11th start of the season, taking a no decision. Jasson Dominguez (3-for-5, RBI) put Somerset on the board with an RBI single in the 1st inning as part of a three-hit game. The night was just getting started, however, as Bowie put up 2 runs in the top of the 2nd to take the lead.

OF Jasson Dominguez (Chris McCormack)

Bowie tacked on another run in the 4th and the lead remained 3-1 as the Somerset offense struggled to push a run across the board. Along came the bottom of the 9th and, after an Anthony Seigler walk, Josh Breaux launched a game-tying 2-run bomb. Just like that, we had a ballgame. 

The score remained tied at 3 until Mickey Gasper stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 10th. Gasper had entered the game for Max Burt, who was rung up in the 7th inning. Mighty Mick did not disappoint, as he sent the crowd home happy with a walk off single that scored Tyler Hardman. With a thrilling win after a heartbreaking loss the night before, the series lead once again belonged to the Bridgewater Bombers.

Final 4-3 Somerset (Somerset leads series 2-1)


Game 4: Nestor Cortes (0-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. Connor Gillispie (5-3, 3.61 ERA)

Nestor Cortes continued his rehab with Somerset on Friday. After only throwing 42 pitches the game before, he was slated to pitch around 50 this time out. Cortes went 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 5 K and took the no decision, throwing 49 pitches and looking very sharp.

The offense was able to get hot in this one, as well, and lit up the Bowie pitching staff. The main offense was provided by none other than Tyler Hardman. Hardman (4-for-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI) drove in 6 runs and went yard twice. He is by far the hottest hitter in the Yankees system and now leads all (yes, I do literally mean ALL) Minor Leaguers in home runs with 26.

This was Hardman’s fifth multi-homer game of the season and sixth of his career. The performance marked Hardman’s first four-hit game of the season and 14th multi-hit game. Hardman’s six RBI are a career high. He’s the second Patriot with 6+ RBI in a game this season.

Other than Hardman, Jeisson Rosario continued to remain hot at the plate going 3-for-3, 3 R, BB and reaching base in all 4 plate appearances. Somerset rolled to a Friday night win with ease in this one and took control of the series.

Final: 10-0 Somerset (Somerset leads series 3-1) 


Game 5: Richard Fitts (6-5, 3.75 ERA) vs. Kyle Brnovich (0-0, 1.29 ERA)

Richard Fitts took the ball in game 5 of the series as Somerset looked to clinch a series win against Bowie. Fitts once again was brilliant going 6 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 10 K and earned the win, matching a season high with ten strikeouts. The Yankees No. 8 prospect cashed in his 11th quality start of the season, tied for the most in MiLB. Over his last 12 starts dating back to 5/24, Fitts is 6-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 73.1 IP with 82 K. Fitts has now struck out 7+ in ten of his 18 starts this season.

The offense stayed hot when Ben Rice went deep once again for the Pats. Rice 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI hit his 4th long ball in 7 games for Somerset with his 2 run bomb in the first. Elijah Dunham (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, SB) stayed hot as well, going back-to-back with Rice and putting Somerset ahead 3-0 with a solo blast in the 1st inning.

Rosario had yet another big day at the plate, going 1-for-2, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB. The 3 RBIs came on a 3 run double in the 6th to extend the Somerset lead to 7-3. Jasson Dominguez also tacked on to the lead with a pair of RBI doubles. Dominguez (3-for-5, 2 RBI, R, 2 2B) extended his on-base streak to nine games, over which he’s hitting .310 with 7 RBI. In the month of July, the Yankees top prospect is hitting .303 with 11 multi-hit games.

The Patriots offense rolled once again getting Richard Fitts his 7th win of the year. 

Final: 10-3 Somerset (Somerset leads series 4-1)


Game 6: Matt Sauer (2-3, 3.73 ERA) vs. Carlos Tavera (2-6, 4.82 ERA)

Sunday’s series finale was a rare 5pm start as Matt Sauer looked to put the nails in the coffin of a dominant series. Sauer (5 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 7 K) threw a season-high 79 pitches, also registering season-highs in strikeouts and innings. Sauer concludes the month of July with a 2.45 ERA over 18.1 IP with 24 K and a 1.15 WHIP.


The big offense burst in this one came from Aaron Palensky as he went 2-for-4, 2 RBI, HR, 2 R putting Somerset on the board with a two-run blast in the 5th inning, his 5th homer with Somerset. No surprise that Jeisson Rosario was also a factor in this one offensively going 1-for-3, RBI, 2B, R. Somerset was down by a run when Rosario drove in the tying run with an RBI double in the 6th inning. He later scored on a balk to give the Patriots the lead.

Bowie did take the lead back in the top of the 8th inning going up 5-4 however in the bottom of the inning Somerset fought back. Jasson Dominguez grounded out to first but a throwing error allowed 2 runners to score and give the Pats a 6-5 lead. Danny Watson came on in the 9th and locked down the save. 

Final: 6-5 Somerset (Somerset wins series 5-1)


As the dog days of Summer arrived, the Patriots were as hot as the weather. They now have an overall record of 58-36 on the year and are 16-10 in the second half. With the deadline looming, we may see a different team when they take the field in Akron on August 1st.


A 5-1 series win has Somerset rolling right along to start August (Chris McCormack)

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Father, Husband, Baseball Writer

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