The Bridgeport Bluefish opened up the 2015 Atlantic League campaign this past weekend by hosting the Camden Riversharks in a three-game set. On Friday, the ’Fish dropped their season opener by a score of 2-1 in 11 innings in front of 2,977 fans on a cloudy, cold and windy night at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Opening Day starter D.J. Mitchell threw five strong innings, allowing no runs on just one hit will striking out two.
The Bluefish broke on board first when, in the bottom of the opening frame, Nick Van Stratten led off the inning with a walk. He was eventually driven home by James Simmons’ sacrifice fly to left field staking Bridgeport to 1-0 lead.
That one-run advantage held up until the top of the eighth, when Camden knotted the score after Eddie Sorondo crossed the plate after Bridgeport reliever Erik Draxton threw a wild pitch. The ’Fish had a chance for a walk-off victory in the bottom of the ninth. Van Stratten led off with a single to center—the the first hit of the night for the Fish—but was left stranded at third base. Camden gained the advantage in the top of the 11th with a two-out rally that was capped by an RBI single by Sorondo, plating Joel Guzman in what would prove to be the winning run. Bridgeport had a chance to tie or win the game in the home half of the frame with the tying run in scoring position and just one out, but could not bring the runner home. Michael Click picked up the win, while Matt Gorgen got the save.
On Saturday, the Bluefish fell behind by five runs, but came storming back in the ninth. It proved to be too little too late, however, as Camden earned its second straight victory, 5-3, before 2,338 fans.
Trailing 5-0 in the bottom half of the ninth, John Alonso led off with a double to left field, his second extra-base hit of the night. Pinch-hitter Jovan Rosa delivered a key single, putting runners at the corners with one out. Then, with the ’Fish down to their final out, the Bridgeport bats finally came to life. Van Stratten belted a two-run triple to center field followed by an RBI single by Sean Burroughs to cut the deficit to 5-3. That sent Simmons to the plate representing the tying-run, but he flied out to center to end the ballgame. Wes Torres picked up the win, while Sam Gervacio was tagged with the loss.
In the series finale the Bluefish batted around and scored four runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning to defeat the Camden Riversharks 6-2 before 2,818 fans at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. With the `Fish trailing 2-1 in the bottom half of the fourth inning, John Alonso blasted a solo shot—his 100th career poke—to left field to the knot the game at 2-2.
The ’Fish loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, and Andres Rodriguez delivered a sac fly, plating Ildemaro Vargas and giving Bridgeport its first lead of the game. James Simmons then scored to double the lead on a wild pitch thrown by losing pitcher Eric Kline (0-1). Ryan Babineau completed the four-run rally with a two-run two-out single that drove home John Alonso and Prentice Redman.
The win in relief went to Luis Perdomo (1-0), who pitched 1.3 hitless innings. The Bridgeport bullpen threw five scoreless innings. Bluefish pitchers struck out 14.
Bridgeport starter Scott Maine allowed two runs in four innings. He gave up eight hits while striking out eight and walking three batters. Luis Perdomo picked up the win in relief, pitching 1.3 innings in which he did not give up a hit. Overall, the Bridgeport Bluefish was outstanding for the day, throwing five shutout innings. For the game, Bridgeport pitchers struck out 14.
Next up for the Bluefish will be a three-game series against the Somerset Patriots at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard starting Tuesday night. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available at the Harbor Yard box office, or by clicking HERE. All of Bridgeport’s home games and a select number of road contests are streamed at Bluefish.com.