Special To The Press
NEW BRITAIN - A bobble by Somerset Patriots pitcher Kyler Newby gave the New Britain Bees their third walk-off win of the year, as they downed the Patriots 5-4 in a Wednesday night thriller.
Tsuyoshi Fujiwara, who pinch hit for Michael Baca, got things going for the Bees in the ninth with a leadoff single. He advanced to second a sacrifice bunt by James Skelton.
A walk to Jake McGuiggan and a hard single by Jovan Rosa loaded the bases for Wednesday night’s hero Craig Maddox, who hit a grounder to Newby.
The pitcher could not handle the ball, allowing Fujiwara to score the winning run.
Greg Nappo made his first start of the season for the Bees after signing with the team on July 1. He was solid, throwing four innings of one-run ball on three hits in the no-decision. The left-hander did not record a strikeout in the outing.
The Bees got on the board early against Somerset starter Will Oliver.
Skelton got things rolling for the offense with a leadoff walk. McGuiggan followed with a double to right to put runners on second and third for Jovan Rosa, who drilled the first pitch he saw over the wall and off the scoreboard to give the Bees an early 3-0 lead.
It was Rosa’s first three-run homer of the season.
Somerset tagged Nappo for a run in the fourth. After an out to start the inning, Christian Marrero hit a double to left and advanced to third on a single by Olmo Rosario.
Kyle Roller hit a sacrifice fly to cut the Bees’ lead to two runs.
In the bottom of the inning, with the bases loaded and one out, the Bees had an opportunity to blow the game wide open.
Baca struck out for the second out of the inning, but Skelton worked a five-pitch walk to force in a run, bringing their lead back up to three runs.
That is all the Bees would get, as McGuiggan grounded into a fielder’s choice to leave the runners stranded.
Brandon Shimo came on in relief of Nappo in the fifth inning, pitching a 1-2-3 inning.
Shimo was also able to work himself out of a mini-jam in the sixth inning, after an error by Baca to allow Scott Kelly to advance to first with one out.
With two outs, Kelly advanced to third all the way from first on a wild pitch, but Kelly stayed right there as Shimo struck out Rosario to end the sixth.
Brandon Fry could not do the same, as he came on in the seventh inning trying to preserve the Bees’ 4-1 lead.
After allowing back-to-back singles to put the tying run at the plate, Yovan Gonzalez lined an RBI single to cut the Bees’ lead in half, still with nobody out.
Nate Roe came in and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Justin Pacchioli, cutting the Bees’ lead to 4-3.
The Bees were not in the clear yet, as Tyler Bortnick hit a double to right to put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position.
An intentional walk to Aharon Eggleston loaded the bases, but Kelly hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at four.
The Patriots threatened in the eighth inning with runners on second and third and only one out, but Brandon League got Adam Donachie to ground to third and Pacchioli grounded right back to League to keep the game tied.
Shawn Gilblair threw a scoreless ninth for the victory.
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12