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Somerset had a season high in attendance in an exciting series with Binghamton (Somerset Patriots)


Somerset Splits Exciting Series with Binghamton

Game 1: Chase Hampton (1-1, 4.43 ERA) vs. Dominic Hamel (5-5, 4.43 ERA)

The Patriots returned home for a 6-game homestand with the new look Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Somerset had some new faces coming into the series, as well. Hours before the game, the Yankees announced they had promoted Agustin Ramirez from High-A Hudson Valley. Along with Ramirez, Drew Thorpe and Jack Neely also were called up and the Patriots were loaded with some new exciting players. 

As for the game, Chase Hampton took the ball and was not his normal self. Hampton struggled to find the zone (personally, I thought he was getting squeezed) all night and let up some big hits en route to his worst outing of the year.

The offense jumped on Binghamton starter Dominic Hamel early. Elijah Dunham drove in the first run of the game with an RBI double in the first inning. The very next inning Jasson Dominguez ripped an RBI double off the wall in left. Ben Rice followed with a double of his own driving 2 more to extend the lead to 4-0. 

Hampton began to unravel in the 3rd inning; with 1 out and a runner on first, Hampton allowed 5 straight batters to reach base. In the inning, he allowed 2 walks, 2 singles, a double and a triple. The Rumble Ponies had stormed back to take the lead 5-4. 

Jack Neely came in for Hampton and made his Double-A debut. Neely looked impressive in his first inning; however, Binghamton was able to get to him in his second inning of work. After getting the first 2 outs of the inning, Neely allowed a walk and then a 2 run shot to Hayden Senger and it was 7-4 after 6 innings.

Both teams tacked on a run in the 7th, and Binghamton tacked on a run in the 9th to push the lead to 9-5. In the bottom of the 9th, Somerset was able to bring the tying run to the plate after Elijah Dunham doubled home 2 runs. Mickey Gasper stepped in with a chance to tie it up with a long ball. He would, however, strike out—swinging to end the game and Somerset dropped game 1. 

Final: 9-7 Binghamton (Binghamton leads series 1-0)


Game 2: Yoendrys Gomez (0-1, 2.62 ERA) vs. Blade Tidwell (0-1, 6.75 ERA)

Wednesday paved the way to an early 11:05 start and featured two high end starters. Yoendrys Gomez has pitched very well this year, even though he does not have the record to show it. Gomez would go against the Mets top pitching prospect Blade Tidwell in what looked to be a sure thing pitchers duel. 

Somerset once again got on the board first when Anthony Seigler (2-for-4, HR) drilled a solo shot to left field. Siegler was playing second base in this one as Somerset, overloaded with catchers, had 4 of their 5 catchers in the game today.

That was the only blip on the radar for either pitcher until the top of the 4th inning. After getting the first 2 outs of the inning, Gomez gave up a double to JT Shwartz and then a 2-run bomb to Jeremiah Jackson. Gomez was then lifted the very next inning after allowing a 1 out 2-run home run to Mateo Gil and finished his day with a pitching line of: 4.1 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 K. The 4 earned runs are the most he has allowed in a game all year

The Patriots were able to get a run back in the bottom of the 5th when Josh Breaux (1-for-3, HR) hit a solo shot to gut the lead to 4-2. The score would remain the same for the rest of the game as Blade Tidwell was spectacular, going a career high 7.2 innings pitched. Somerset did make things interesting in the bottom of the 9th when they loaded the bases with only 1 out. The struggling Max Burt came to the plate with a chance to either tie or win the game. Burt, however, hit a ground ball to short and Acuna was able to step on second and fire to first for a game-ending double play. 

One note for the game was that Jasson Dominguez continues to stay hot. Dominguez (2-for-4, 2B, 2 SB) registered his team-leading 27th multi-hit game of the season and fourth straight multi-hit game. The multi-hit performance was also Dominguez’s seventh in the last 12 games.

Dominguez extended his season-long hit streak to eight games and on-base streak to 18 games. The Yankees top prospect is now hitting .441 with 6 RBI and 4 2B in eight August games. Over his last 26 games dating back to 7/7, Dominguez is slashing .360/.427/.523 with 3 HR, 21 RBI and 13 SB. Dominguez swiped two bases for the sixth time this season, and his 35 SB on the season place third in the Eastern League.

Final 4-2 Binghamton (Binghamton leads series 2-0)


Game 3: Richard Fitts (8-5, 3.56 ERA) vs. Tyler Stuart (2-0, 2.16 ERA)

A rainy day turned out to be a beautiful night in Bridgewater, and Somerset looked to get back to its winning ways. The right man was on the mound for them in Richard Fitts, who has been the best starter by far this year for the Patriots. 

The offense helped him out early in this one and jumped on Binghamton starter Tyler Stuart right away. Agustin Ramirez reached on an error that scored a run and Anthony Seigler drove in another one with a sac fly in the first. That alone proved to be all Richard Fitts (6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 7 K) needed as he earned his fourth consecutive win and team-leading ninth of the season in his fourth scoreless outing of the year.

The performance marked Fitts’ 13th quality start of the season, leading all pitchers in Minor League Baseball. Fitts ended the night with an Eastern League-leading 130 strikeouts, which tied him for the 6th-most in Minor League Baseball. His 1.09 WHIP is also the lowest in the league, while his 3.38 ERA ranks 2nd and his .224 AVG ranks 4th.

Offensively, the Pats flexed their muscles; Ben Rice and Elijah Dunham each went deep, Max Burt also had an RBI double and Jasson Dominguez  (2-for-5, 2 R, SB) registered his team-leading 28th multi-hit game of the season and fifth straight multi-hit game.

The multi-hit performance was also Dominguez’s eighth in the last 13 games. Dominguez extended his season-long hit streak to nine games and on-base streak to 19 games as he continues to impress and should be promoted soon. 

Final: 14-0 Somerset (Binghamton still leads series 2-1)


Game 4: Drew Thorpe (Double-A Debut) vs. Luis Moreno (7-4, 4.48 ERA)

Drew Thorpe allowed only 2 hits in his Double-A debut (Somerset Patriots)

Friday night lights in Bridgewater returned once again as Somerset looked to even up the series against Binghamton. There was extra excitement in the air tonight as the Yankees #2 pitching prospect Drew Thorpe was set to make his Double-A debut. 

The offense once again jumped on Binghamton pitching early in the game. Josh Breaux (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) got the scoring started in the 2nd with a two-run homer, his 6th of the season. Breaux extended his hit streak to seven games, hitting .385 with 4 HR and 7 RBI over that span. 

Ben Rice then stepped up in the bottom of the 3rd inning and launched a 3 run bomb to right, extending Somerset’s lead to 5-0. Over the first four games of the six-game series vs. Binghamton, Rice is 9-for-17 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, and 7 R.

The real story, though, was Drew Thorpe—who looked right at home in his debut. Thorpe went 8 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 9 K, 0 BB and earned his first Double-A victory. After allowing a lead off hit in the 1st on the second hit of the game, Thorpe went on to retire 20 (!) straight Rumble Ponies, striking out 9. Friday marked the third time this season that Thorpe has gone 8+ scoreless innings, making him the only pitcher in the minors to accomplish this. 

Somerset’s offense continued to flex with both Elijah Dunham and Jesus Bastidas also going deep in the game. Somerset would roll in this one behind lights out pitching and elite offense.

Final: 9-0 Somerset (Series tied 2-2)


Game 5: Matt Sauer (2-2, 3.26 ERA) vs. Christian Scott (3-3, 3.00 ERA)

Frank the Tank was on hand Saturday night for game 5 of the series between the Rumble Ponies and Patriots. Matt Sauer took the ball and looked to give the Pats their first lead in the series. Rain delayed the start of this one but when we finally got underway it was proving to be a pitchers duel early on. 

Ben Rice led off for the Patriots with a double but back to back strikeouts and a ground out stranded him right there. Sauer and Scott kept putting up zeros through 4 innings with neither team being able to break through. Binghamton broke through in the 5th when Hayden Senger led off the inning with a solo shot, putting the Ponies up 1-0. 

After getting the first out in the top of the 6th, Sauer would allow a lead off single to Drew Gilbert, and a walk to J.T. Schwartz before being lifted for reliever Ryan Anderson. Jeremiah Jackson dug in and, just like he has done all series, hurt the Patriots. Jackson drilled a 3 run bomb to center to give Binghamton a 4-0 lead.

Looking up at the scoreboard, it was quickly realized by the fans Somerset had been shut down offensively. The lead off double by Ben Rice in the top of the first inning was the only base-runner Somerset would have all game. Christian Scott and reliever Tyler Thomas combined to throw a 1 hitter against a Somerset offense that had put up a combined 23 runs the past 2 games. As John Stirling would say: “That’s baseball, Susan”.

Final 4-0 Binghamton  (Binghamton Leads Series 3-2)


Game 6: Blane Abeyta (6-6, 6.01 ERA) vs. Dominic Hamel (6-5, 4.53 ERA)

Sunday baseball in Bridgewater always draws a big crowd, and this game was no different. A beautiful 5 pm start saw Blane Abeyta toe the slab and try to earn a series split with the Rumble Ponies. 

Both pitchers were strong through the first 3 innings and the game remained scoreless going into the 4th. Somerset came to bat in the bottom of the 4th inning and looked to finally make some noise. Jesus Bastidas singled with 1 out and, after a Jeisson Rosario fly out to center, Aaron Palensky dug in and launched a go-ahead 2 run bomb to give the Patriots a 2-0 and knocked Rumble Ponies starter Dom Hamel out of the game.

The scoring continued for Somerset in the 6th when Max Burt broke the game open with a 3 run shot of his own, extending the Somerset lead to 5-0. 

That was all Blane Abeyta needed, as he posted his best start of the year by far in this one. Abeyta went 6IP allowing only 1 base-runner (a Drew Gilbert single in the 1st) and struck out 7 en route to his 7th win of the year. The combination of Jesus Liranzo, Danny Watson and Alex Mauricio held it down the rest of the way and secured the shutout. 

Both Palensky (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 3 R, 2B) and Burt (1-for-4, HR, RBI) both had much needed big offensive games. 

Final: 8-0 Somerset (Series Ends Tied 3-3)


After dropping the first two games of the series, it was great to see the Patriots offense come to life in each of the last 4 games. There has been a lot of turnover for on roster this year; however, they have never truly lost their way. 

Even with 5 catchers on the roster, every single one of them care about the team and leave their egos at the door. Whether it is Breaux playing 1B or Anthony Seigler going out to left field (as a lefty, nonetheless) this is the chemistry and grit that any fan would want out of their team. 

Somerset hits the road next week to take on the Reading Fightin’ Phils. 

Written By

Father, Husband, Baseball Writer

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