The Somerset Patriots can claim a playoff win at TD Bank Ballpark on Thursday night.
The Patriots used an eight-run fourth inning to power a 9-4 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs in Game 1 of the Eastern League Northeast Division series in Portland, Maine , Tuesday evening.
The win was Somerset’s first playoff victory since becoming the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. The Patriots return home where they can clinch a spot in the Eastern League Championship Series with a win in Game 2 of their series with Portland at 6:35 p.m. Thursday.
Somerset trailed 3-0, when Niko Kavadas and Hudson Potts hit back-to-back homers for the Sea Dogs in the second inning.
Then in the fourth, the Patriots pieced together eight runs on five hits, four walks and an error.
Brandon Lockridge won the first inning on fielder’s pick, and Eric Wagaman followed by driving in the second inning on a fielding single.
Portland starter Shane Drohan then left the game with the bases loaded before Ryan Zeferjahn came on and retired none of the three batters he faced.
Zeferjahn threw back-to-back walks at Trey Sweeney and Jasson Dominguez to put the Patriots ahead.
Then, with the bases loaded, Austin Wells provided Somerset Insurance with a two-run single.
Elijah Dunham capped the eight-run inning with another two-run single to give the Patriots an 8-3 lead. Dunham had four hits, his second four-hit game of the season.
Jesus Bastidas added three hits, while Trey Sweeney had two. All 12 Patriots hits were singles.
Sweeney added the Patriots’ final run with an RBI single in the fifth inning.
Randy Vasquez took the win for Somerset, pitching 5.2 innings and allowing only the three runs on back-to-back home runs. Vasquez retired the next 12 batters he faced.
The Yankees’ No. 9 prospect, right-hander Clayton Beeter, will get the start for Somerset in Game 2 at TD Bank Ballpark. Beeter was acquired at the MLB trade deadline in a deal that sent Joey Gallo from the Yankees to the Dodgers.
Fans can follow the action live as Steven Cusumano calls play-by-play on MiLB.tv and FOX Sports New Jersey 93.5 FM | 2:50 p.m., the flagship station for Patriots Baseball, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:20 p.m.