by David F. Pendrys [Official Atlantic League Box]
BRIDGEPORT, CT- The Bridgeport Bluefish were thwarted in their attempt at a sweep of the Somerset Patriots Thursday night as the bullpen couldn’t hold a lead bolstered by Mike Antonini pitching 6 no hit innings.
Somerset starting pitcher Sean Bierman had had a few good innings, but in the 3rd, Ryan Babineau led off the inning with a single up the middle. Luis An. Rodriguez walked after that, and Ildemaro Vargas laid down the perfect bunt knocking it to the left side and giving the Patriots no play. Nick Van Stratten came up to bat and whapped a single driving in Babineau to give the ‘Fish a 1-0 lead. Despite their being no outs, Bierman escaped the inning by getting the Bluefish to hit a grounder leading to a force at home, and then a double play ended the inning.
Not much happened again until the bottom of the 6th. With 1 out on the board, James Simmons tripled to third. John Alonso came up and hit a grounder. The fielder tried to get Simmons out, but failed and Alonso made it to first. A Bierman strike out put two outs on the board, but Andres Rodriguez hit a grounder right at third. The ball hit the bag and flew upward confusing the Somerset third baseman. In the meantime Simmons score. That was all for Bierman and Edwin Quirarte arrived to pitch. He took care of the inning.
Antonini would lose his no hit bid in the top of the seventh when Thomas Neal singled. Soon Patrick Mincey was called in to relieve Antonini and he held the Patriots off from scoring.
In the top of the 8th though, Luis Perdomo took over for Mincey. Perdomo got one out, but Adam Donachie doubled to the corner. James Skelton came in to run for him. Perdomo got the next batter out but Skelton advanced as a pitch bounced off the catcher with Jonny Tucker at bat. Tucker would make it to first on a walk. Scott Cousins then belted the ball to right field scoring Skelton, but Tucker went for it as well and was thrown out by Welington Dotel throwing it hard to the catcher Babineau.
When the Bluefish came up to bat in the top of the eight, Simmons doubled to deep center left off Jon Hunton, the latest Somerset pitcher. Two outs followed, but Dotel made it to first on an error when a throw in the dirt flummoxed the first baseman. Hunton got out of the inning though safely.
Tim Gustafson was brought in to finish the Patriots off in the 9th, however Thomas Neal doubled. Scott Kelly was sent in as a pinch runner and an errant pitch allowed him to advance to third. Aharon Eggleston was walked, and Chris Marrero singled scoring Neal. The score was tied going into the bottom of the ninth. Despite getting some men on base the Bluefish were unable to score.
Matt Iannazzo pitched the top of the tenth but gave up a single to Scott Cousins singled with one out. Another out followed but Eggleston singled when their two outs scoring a fourth run. That would be it for the scoring after that. When all was said and ton Somerset had 4 runs, 8 hits, and 2 errors. Stratford put forward 2 runs on 6 hits with zero errors.
[Editor’s note: Went to the game as a Bluefish fan. Tried to write a fair article for both sides.]