Patriots Playoff Hopes on Hold After 5-3 Loss
Akron, Ohio - The Somerset Patriots (72-46) were unable to clinch a playoff spot Saturday night with a 5-3 loss to the Akron RubberDucks (72-46) at Canal Park.
A four-run sixth inning led the way for Akron. With the game tied at 1-1, the Brayan Rocchio led off the inning with a base hit and made it to third with no outs on a stolen base and wild pitch. After a groundout and walk put runners on the corners with one away, George Valera dribbled a check-swing groundball down the third-base line that stayed fair and put Akron in front.
Two batters later, with runners at first and second and two out, Bo Naylor popped up a breaking ball from Somerset starting pitcher Ken Waldichuk (L, 4-3) to second base. Unfortunately for the Patriots, Chad Bell dropped the ball, allowing two more runs to score. Waldichuk then exited, with one more run coming home after the pitching change on a Jonathan Engelmann RBI triple.
Somerset got a pair of runs back the next half inning on a Brandon Lockridge (10) two-run home run. But that was as close as the Patriots would get.
Somerset ultimately went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base in the night.
Akron reliever Ben Krauth (W, 3-2) got the win after allowing two runs over two innings of relief. Aaron Pinto (S, 5) recorded the final six outs to earn the save.
Somerset's magic number to make the playoffs stands at one over the Bowie Baysox, meaning either a Patriots win or a Baysox loss on Sunday clinches a playoff spot for Somerset.
The final game of the season gets underway at Canal Park at 2:05 pm. The Patriots bring right-hander Luis Medina on the mound against Cleveland Indians Cy Young Award-winner Shane Bieber for the RubberDucks.
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Somerset Patriots pitcher Ken Waldichuk
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