The Somerset Patriots beat the Sugar Land Skeeters 6-5 (box) in a see-saw game that opened the Atlantic League playoffs on Tuesday night.
Somerset took an early lead thanks to Jeff Baisley‘s second inning solo home run, but Sugar Land tied the game in the third and took a 3-1 lead in the fourth thanks to Brian Burgamy‘s two-run homer.
The Patriots drew closer in the fifth thanks to an unearned run, and went ahead for good in the sixth when Burgamy’s 2008 Newark Bears team mate Cory Aldridge hit a two-run homer of his own to make it a 4-3 game.
The Patriots and Skeeters traded runs in the seventh and eighth, with Aldridge adding a second home run, and the game went to the ninth with the Patriots leading 6-5. Patriots closer Jon Hunton struck out Josh Pressley and got Burgamy to fly out with the tying run on base.
Somerset and Sugarland will play game two tonight at 7:05 p.m. central time, while Long Island will host Southern Maryland at 6:35 p.m. to open the Liberty Division series.
Cory Aldridge got a cup of coffee the Atlanta Braves in 2001. He played in 8 games, but never got a hit.
Since 2001, Aldridge has played minor league baseball in the Atlanta, Kansas City, Chicago White Sox and New York Mets organizations.
This year, he started the season with the Newark Bears and he absolutely destroyed Atlantic League pitching. In 62 games, he batted .365 with 7 home runs and 54 RBIs. A week before the end of the first half of the season, Aldridge signed with the Kansas City Royals organization and went to AA Northwest Arkansas. This loss potentially cost the Bears the first half division title – they finished one game behind the Somerset Patriots.
At 29 years old, Aldridge is unlikely to become an impact player in the Major Leagues. If he continues to play well, he does still have a chance to get back to The Show.
The card pictured here is a certified autograph from the 2001 Leaf Limited set. I purchased it for $2 at a local baseball card show. There are 10 copies for sale on Beckett.com, ranging between $6-$10.