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September 24, 2008 September 24, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Patriots Playoff Coverage: It’s more than four hours before game time, and yet here I am in the Somerset press box, reading over game notes and looking at stats.

Kip Bouknight takes the ball for the Patriots tonight, and it’ll be a good matchup…as he’s opposed by York’s own Patriots killer, Rolando Viera.

I’ll have lineups and any relevant news in the next few hours, and then will have some form of a game thread open as well.

3:50 PM — As Color Me Badd blares on the sound system here (what the hell?) there are a few things I need to address. One, the Patriots and Blue Crabs finished with the best overall record in the league this year. Apparently there was some confusion over some comments made regarding someone not having the best overall record. Two, I realize my preview sucked. That’s what happens when you write things in five minutes. Three, perhaps we could focus the comments to things that are happening on the field.

5:25 PM — Lineups are available…


Kennard Jones, CF
Keoni De Renne, SS
Chris Ashby, 1B
Jason Aspito, RF
Matt Esquivel, LF
Kenny Perez, 3B
Matt Padgett, DH
Luis Taveras, C
George Sandel, 2B
Rolando Viera, P


Sean Smith, CF
Teuris Olivares, 2B
Josh Pressley, 1B
Brandon Larson, 3B
Jason Belcher, DH
Matt Hagen, LF
Anthony Granato, SS
Travis Anderson, C
Elliott Ayala, RF
Kip Bouknight, P

6:45 PM — Bored, so here’s a stat. In his career, Rolando Viera has faced the Somerset Patriots ten times in the regular season, including five starts.

In the five starts, he’s 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA in 29.1 IP against the Patriots.

In the five relief appearances, he’s 0-0 with a 3.18 ERA in 5.2 IP.

In the two starts that came with York this year, he hasn’t allowed an earned run in 15.1 IP.

This marks Viera’s second postseason appearance against the Patriots, as he also faced them last season with Camden. In that game last year, he went eight innings, and allowed just two runs on two hits, but was ultimately matched by Brandon Knight…who I’m told has gone on to do big things.

7:40 PM — Pats are up 1-0 heading into the bottom of the 2nd…

7:55 PM — Things could get pretty ugly, pretty quick. 2-0 Patriots with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 2nd.

Buuuuuuut Josh Pressley weakly grounded to 2nd, so it remains 2-0. Big spot right there.

8:05 PM — Brandon Larson just hit a no-doubt laser over the left field wall to make it 3-0 in the bottom of the 3rd. Looks like Viera doesn’t have his Patriots-killing stuff today.

8:35 PM — And that will be all for Mr. Viera. Gave up nine hits in three and a third innings. Ouch. 3-0, B4.

9:00 PM — A pretty legit crowd of over 6,300 people here tonight. Not bad. Still 3-0, T6.

9:05 PM — Long home run by Kennard Jones cuts Somerset’s lead to two. It’s now 3-1, T6.

9:10 PM — Camden’s losing to Long Island, 2-1, in the bottom of the 8th…Randy Leek out after seven good innings.

9:35 PM — We’re TIED here. It’s 3-3 after Jason Aspito homered off of Kip Bouknight in the top of the 7th. Then Bouknight threw away a ball that Matt Esquivel chopped in front of the plate and Kenny Perez singled him to third. Yikes.

9:40 PM — Jason Richardson coming in after the Patriots had a collective meltdown and donated a three run lead to York. The Revolution now lead 4-3 in an incredible turn of events. The Patriots grounded into at least three double plays in this game that I can remember, so they’ve certainly had their opportunities to break this one open. Josh Pressley’s bases loaded groundout looks particularly big right now as well.

The Ducks still lead Camden, 2-1, heading into B9.

9:45 PM — Sean Smith just made a highlight reel, leaping catch on the warning track in center to keep this game close. 4-3, York (!), B7.

They’re tied in Camden on Nic Jackson’s second solo home run of the game. Wow. Good games all over the place tonight. Charlie Weatherby tossing the cookie.

9:50 PM — Long Island and Camden are going into extra innings. Meanwhile, it’s 4-3 York here…runner on second and nobody out for Somerset.

10:00 PM — One of the best games you’re going to see in this league…Travis Anderson hit a routine two-out grounder to George Sandel, who threw it away, which tied the game at four. Elliott Ayala then doubled to right, with the ball just escaping a diving Jason Aspito, scoring Anderson. Somerset LEADS 5-4, B7. Wow. The fans are certainly getting their money’s worth here.

10:05 PM — Camden and Long Island going into the 11th.

10:20 PM — Somerset now with a two-run lead in the bottom of the 8th. Camden has the winning run on 3rd base in the bottom of the 11th.

10:25 PM — 6-4, Somerset, T9. Bases loaded for Camden, two outs, B11.

10:28 PM — 3-2 Camden wins the game and the series, Sheldon Fulse is the hero with a bases loaded single through the middle. What a ridiculous, ridiculous upset. Unbelievable.

10:36 PM — Somerset wins it here, 6-4. It’s Somerset and Camden in the finals. Nobody would have guessed that.

Somerset Takes Series Lead: Recently, it seems like there’s been that pitcher who has come out of nowhere to make an impact in the Atlantic League postseason. The most recent example was Josh Stevens, who starred for Lancaster during their 2006 title run.

Now, it’s Joel Kirsten, who allowed two runs on seven hits through seven masterful innings to lead the Patriots to a 3-2 win over the Revolution and a 1-0 series lead.

Josh Pressley was the offensive catalyst, driving in two of the runs for Somerset.

Camden…Wait, Camden Wins Game One?: Nobody expected the Riversharks to have a chance in this series, no less win the first game in Long Island.

But here they are, one win away from advancing to the championship series after a great performance out of former big leaguer Kevin Walker.

Walker allowed just one run on six hits through seven innings, and Camden pitching held the Ducks potent 2-3-4-5 hitters to just two hits to give the Riversharks what may be one of the biggest upsets in recent postseason memory. – MA

Poll Results: What do you think of the quality of the league this year?

Better – 30 (30%)
Worse – 48 (48%)
The Same – 22 (22%)
Total Votes: 100



1. fishyfan - September 24, 2008

way to go Camden!! this Fish fan is rooting for them all the way.. maybe the Ducks got worn out this past weekend when the Fish took 3 of 4 games

2. bethany - September 24, 2008

What a glorious evening last night here in York for our first ever playoff appearance. There were a few thousand people waiting at the gate to get in beforehand all ready to cheer on our REVS. The game was very exciting, both teams and pitchers played well and in the end the Patriots earned a narrow victory. We are all proud of our REVS and will be at Somerset tonight to cheer them on.

To the man from Newark who wrote in the last couple of days about Patriots manager Sparky Lyle you will be happy to know that his poor behavior is not exclusive to Newark. He displayed the same insensitivity and abrupt behavior here last night to the many fans young and old who lined the left field wall in an attempt to see him or get an autograph. It’s a wonder how anyone in this league thinks this man is an ambassador. Hardly.
Well lets play ball and Go REVS–we luv ya boys!!

3. bethany - September 24, 2008

One final thought. As my father, husband, father and ourt vhildren sat in our seats in leftfield last night, directly behind us was a sixeable group of Patriots fans who had traveled down for the game. Welcome. Most were well behaved and enthusdiastic supporters of their team. To the few who were drinking too much and using abusive and profane language–folks this is a baseball game and lets all enjoy it. I can promise you the two van loads of REV fans driving down later to Somerset will be well behaved and courteous. It makes you stop and pause and wonder why so many people in this league deslike the Patriots. In fairness, its not the players.

Play Ball.

4. Trish98 - September 24, 2008

Just in reading the last several days, and weeks comments to this post, I’ve been compelled to write in and say maybe it’s time to change the theme of this blog to Sparky Bashing Blog because that’s all that seems to go on, enough is enough already – Get Over it! Sparky is entitled to turn down signing autographs if he wants to, how would you like somone asking you 20 times a day if not more to sign your name for the last 30 years? And I for one have never had any problems with Sparky Lyle, he’s always been extremely nice and genuine to me and my family. So please no more comments about Lyle, it’s just pathetic, let’s get back to talking about baseball!

5. jake - September 24, 2008

The problem with your argument Trish98–and by the way I love Sparky–is that it contradicts what this league claims to be about. He does not just turn down autographs he does it in a rude and insensitive manner and anyone who has spent anytime at the ballparks in this league has seen him do it. I wasn’t in Newark on Sunday or in York last night, but I have observed the same behavior in our own park. And if you read my response to the comments by Johnnie–I told him that there were avenues to get an autograph and that he had to accept that this was the way Sparky is. But don’t tell me that in a league that boasts that it is fan friendly and provides a more intimate relationship between players, coaches and fans–that it is appropriate to consistently treat people this way. You’re right in that he shouldn’t have to sign anymore autographs–then advertise throughout the league that he will not. Lets see how many fannys he puts in the seats then. This league and the Patriots promote his presence with the clear intimation that he is available. Please don’t suggest to me that anyone ever bought a ticket just to see him manage.
Andd finally I for one appreciate that this is an open forum about the league and that people who love the league can express opinions. Don’t like those opinions-fine-then say so. But lets not try and deprive people of them. Seems to me Trisha that you have been drinking the Patriots’ KOOL AIDE.

6. Jeff - September 24, 2008

I agree with Jake, You can’t say others shouldn’t discuss how Sparky treates fans. That’s what makes this forum what it is, a way to express how you feel about the league, fans, players, managers, coaches, GM’s, owners, stadiums, writers, etc. I don’t need someone telling me I shouldn’t discuss this, when it’s a ‘baseball’ topic (players/managers interacting with the fans)

7. jake - September 24, 2008

Thank you Jeff but in reading back my own comment it dawns on me that I inadvertently was too quick to cut off Trisha’s thoughts. Trisha I really do love Sparky and while he is certainly not the reason I go to Patriots games, its sort of fun that he is there and that he had a major league career. I know as we watch the pre-game tonight he will energize the crowsd when they do their traditional “Yankee Great” intro. But I don’t agree necessarily that it has been all Sparky bashing. I think there have been alot of opinions offered over the last weeks about players in Long Island and Somerset. Somerset has not traditionally been a point of discussion something that I have always regretted. Truthfully Somerset as an organization needs a bit of self reflection. I think criticism is a tool for improvement. A forum like this could be helpful to those interested in making things better. Not the anonymous blogs of a couple of weeks back who stressed that “they were not staff” but those willing to listen. I am willing to listen and you have the right to your opinion. Sorry if I implied otherwise.

8. SharkGirl - September 25, 2008

UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!! What a nail biter! I had to listen online to tonight's Sharks/Ducks game & it was sooooo hard to not be there rooting for Camden! I am so proud of our team, I didn't think we were going to pull it off let alone take it away from L.I. in 2!!!
Just wish we were playing York instead of Somerset. (A few of Somerset's fans (and I do mean only a few) can get pretty rude & obnoxious during playoffs…to the point I can't bring my daughter to the game because of their behavior & language. As a season ticket holder but a parent first, I have to make that decision for her sake. So we won't be going to Somerset but we will cheer our guys on in Camden (even if I have to change seats)! We deserve a championship! Despite all the changes we've had to endure this season-and we STILL made it to the finals!
P.S.-Just in case you think I'm bashing Somerset…in Sparky's defense-I have never had a problem with Sparky in Camden OR Somerset. He is ALWAYS very gracious to me & my family, signing autographs, posing for pictures, joking around, etc. I have not seen him be rude to fans in Camden, he just doesn't like to be bothered DURING a game. Who does?
And did I mention? GO SHARKS!!!!

9. jake - September 25, 2008

Camden v. Somerset promises to be very exciting. My Pats have all of the tools, momentum and talent. Sharks would appear to have a great deal of heart Could be a nail biter.

For the previous comment–I am sorry that you have had probems with some Patriot fans. I am a Patriots fans and have taken my family to games and yes at times there are problems with certain fans and abusive language. Unfortunately the shortage of ushers or attendants at games has made that difficult at times. Accept my apology for any problems you may have incurred.

As for your other comments–I am glad that you have enjoyed Sparky. He is a character.

I wonder Scott and Mike what you think the DUCKS loss may mean to LAPOINT. Perennial first rounder. Is he in jeopardy?

10. jake - September 25, 2008

On an entirely different note I am concerned with your comment directing that comments should be limited to play on the field. During the course of this season you have written on this page about a variety of dicey subjects involving player strikes on Long Island and fan dissention with the team and autograph sessions. Problesm with Von Hayes in Lancaster, Shea Hillebrand in York, and with the Southetrn Marylandf organization. Your comment only appears however when there is any discussion of a critical or intense nature about Somerset.
Guys this is a baseball club–not a cult or a golden calf. What has always made your page enjoyable was its lack of spin, and its ability to present information to spark discussion. Your page has always been reminicent of old style sports coverage and not the broaf brush strokes that so many sports reporters use today.
dditionally your comments forum has always been a place for fans to express their opinions. Afterall it is a public forum on the purest of public mediums–the internet. It doesn’t belong to any of the team owners in the Atlantic League or the public relations gals manufacturing and churning out dribbe and fluff for press releases or the team websites. It is is our public forum and we can trust it as we can trust what you give us. If a particular player or manager anywhere in the league is of issue then it should be disussed. Lets maintain the integrity of a public forum that belongs to all of us.

And for those who might object-if you cannot stand the heat then get out of the kitchen or try listening or in this case reading. You might learn something.

11. Johnnie Papa - September 25, 2008

Sharkgirl as someone who with his family endured the same type of abuse as you describe as we sat in Somerset rooting for our Bears last season, I most definitely feel your pain. As my wife and I, our son and daughter in law and our grandchildren joined with other Bear fans for last seasons championship we were treated to a variety of abusive and insensitive language. Siiting above the Bears dugout we were called names, as were the players that had no placxe at a baseball game or anywhere else. Assistance was not forthcoming from Patriot staff despite several requests. In fact team staff sent stadium security to our seats and we were instructed to keep our support to applause and to curtail from loud cheering of support. No similar instructions were given to Patriots fans or more importantly to those using disgusting and insensitive language.
You have made the right decision to avoid such abuse. We made a similar decision after those games never to return to that environment and to subject our grandchildren or any of our family to that type of behavior. Enjoy the games at home, root hardily and trust me that a number of long time Bears fans are with you in your quest to bring down the evil empire that is the Patriots.

12. Johnnie Papa - September 25, 2008

By the way, for those who do go to the games either in Camden or in Somerset. Please ladies and gentleman remember that this is a game. Whether you support the Riverharks or the Patriots be respectful of both teams–they earned their place in the series. And by all means be respectful of each other. Who knows you might even make a new friend along the way. Neither Sharkgirl or any of the people who were with us last year who had to be subjected to such behavior did anything to warrant it, nor is there ever an excuse for the use of such language.

13. jake - September 25, 2008

It seems lately that I have taken on the role of an apologist bur to sharkgirl and johnnie I do offer my apologies as a Patriots fan that you had to endure the abuse you did. Yes there are some zealous fans in Somerset–not that that is a justification. My family and I have heard them as well. We have moved our seats as space allowed a few times, and yes stadium staff can often be slow to respond. Johnnie makes agood point in asking that everyone conduct themselves in a decent respectful manner. And as for those in charge–here are two people who won’t be going to Somerset because of the way they were treated, maybe next time someone might listen to their concerns.

GO PATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

14. Mike - September 25, 2008

You know why I’m pissed off about all of this?

Because I spend eight hours at a ballpark busting my ass on game coverage, and I check the comments and all I see is people bitching about stuff that has nothing to do with what I’m writing about. It’s ridiculous.

This all stems from a situation that, if handled differently, would have never become a problem here. I had nothing to do with it, and I have to deal with it every day. It makes it annoying to check this site every day, and it makes it annoying to go to work every day.

I don’t care who you’re ripping…I don’t care if it’s Somerset or Newark or Long Island or whoever else. It’s the playoffs. The freaking playoffs. If you have a problem with a team, take it up with them.

It’s rather obvious I’m entirely fed up with the entire situation, and it seems very, very safe to say that you’ll see an announcement in the very near future regarding my involvement in writing here next season.

15. jake - September 25, 2008

Mike-try a decaf man. No one is attacking you or for that matter anyone else. I think you are missing a really key point here. If people were not comfortable with this site, if they didn’t enjoy reading it and talking about all of the issues relevant to the Atlantic League, they would simply not comment and never come back. I have been reading the page for a long time dating back to when my late father attended the games with me. Take a little pressure off yourself.

I don’t think its fair to describe the comments as “bitching” either. I didn’t think the woman from Camden was unreasonable, the man from Newark, the family from York or for that matter anyone else whether I agreed with them or not. An opinion is just that–an opinion. Relax. Alot of us work long hours. My brother and I work 14 hour days so that we can afford to take care of our families and go to ballgames. I am sure that is true of most of the people who comment on this page. What is so wrong with the exchange of opinions.

GO PATS!!!!!!!

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