WP: R. Merritt (3-0). LP: T. Sexton (1-1), SV: J. Hunton (2), TIME: 2:42
(Waldorf, MD)— Somerset came into the night leading the Atlantic League Championship Series 2-1, and was looking to win their sixth Atlantic League Championship in their franchise history. Somerset received late runs, and great pitching to send them to the 3-1 victory.
LHP Roy Merritt has been dominant in the postseason, registering two wins and an ERA of 0.60. Roy got the start tonight for Somerset, going seven innings, allowing a run on seven hits, striking out six and walking just two.
Southern Maryland had their opportunity to score early, putting runners at second and third with nobody out. The next two hitters Zach Wilson, and Reggie Abercrombie both struck out swinging, and the threat was ended when Jovan Rosa popped out to the left fielder Aaron Eggleston to end the threat.
Somerset got on the board in the top of the second, on Thomas Neal’s solo homerun over the wall in left to make it 1-0. It was just the third hit of the series for Neal and his second run batted in.
Fred Lewis stepped to the plate in the bottom of the frame with two runners on and two outs, and lashed a single to left allowing Walton to score from third to tie the game at one.
Both starting pitchers were on cruise control at this point. RHP Tim Sexton started for Southern Maryland, and at one point retired 12 straight hitters that he faced.
In the top of the seventh, Somerset reclaimed the lead and never looked back. David Vidal and Matt Fields both singled to put two runners on, thus ending the evening for Sexton. RHP Orlando Santos was summoned out of the pen, and walked the next hitter Mike Wilson to load the bases. Thomas Neal came back up the the dish, and ripped a single to left allowing Vidal to score to make it 2-1. The Patriots added one more run on a wild pitch to extend their lead to 3-1.
The bullpen combination of RHP Andrew Carignan, and RHP Jon Hunton finished off the job for the Patriots who recorded the final two outs on a 6-4-3 double play hit into by Fred Lewis.
It’s the second time in the Blue Crabs franchise history that a loss has come in the championship series at the hands of Somerset. While Southern Maryland out-hit Somerset 8-6, the Blue Crabs left 11 runners on base, and at least one runner on base in every inning.
Southern Maryland will head into the offseason as the 2015 Freedom Division Champions, and with 73 wins overall combined between the regular season and the postseason.