Portland, Maine – Niko Kavadas and Hudson Potts hit back-to-back homers in the second inning, but the Portland Sea Dogs (0-1) dropped the first game of the Northeast Division Championship series 9-4 to the Somerset Patriots (1-0) on Tuesday at Hadlock Field.
The Sea Dogs started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning against Patriots starter Randy Vazquez. Christian Koss led off with a single and, one out later, Niko Kavadas blasted a two-run run homer. Hudson Potts made it back-to-back long balls with a solo shot to left, giving Portland a 3-0 lead.
Somerset hit around in the top of the fourth inning, exploding for eight runs against the Portland pitching staff. It was headlined by RBI hits from Eric Wagaman, Austin Wells, and Elijah Dunham. Overall, Somerset recorded five hits and four walks in the inning and took an 8-3 lead.
Somerset added one more run in the top of the fifth inning. After a leadoff single from Jesus Bastidas, Tyler Hardman reached on a fielder’s choice. One out later, Trey Sweeney drove him in with an RBI single, giving Somerset a 9-3 lead.
Portland was able to get a run back in the bottom of the eighth inning. Wilyer Abreu put himself in scoring position, connecting with a one-out double. Koss followed with a single, driving in Abreu, and making it a 9-4 game. Both teams went scoreless in the ninth inning, with Carson Coleman closing out the game in a 9-4 Patriots win.
Vazquez (1-0, 4.76 ERA) tossed 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, and striking out six in his first win of the postseason. Shane Drohan (0-1, 0.00 ERA) worked through 3.2 innings, allowing five unearned runs while walking two and striking out five in his first loss of the postseason.
The Sea Dogs and Patriots play the second game of the Eastern Division Championship Series on Thursday in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey, at TD Bank Ballpark. Portland will send RHP Thaddeus Ward (0-1, 2.43 ERA) while Somerset will send RHP Clayton Beeter (0-0, 2.13 ERA).
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