PORTLAND, Maine — The last time the Sea Dogs were in a baseball playoff game, Barack Obama was president and the world had never heard of COVID-19.
That was eight years ago, in 2014, when they dropped a season-ending game five to the Binghamton Mets in the division championship.
On Tuesday night at Hadlock Field, the Sea Dogs lost again, falling to the Somerset Patriots in game one of the Eastern League’s Eastern Division Championship Series by a score of 9-4.
The Patriots now lead the three-game series 1-0.
Though it ended in a loss, the game started well for the Sea Dogs.
Shortstop Christian Koss led off the second inning with a single and, one out later, first baseman Niko Kavadas blasted a two-run homer. Hudson Potts then hit another long ball, giving Portland a 3-0 lead.
But Somerset hit around in the top of the fourth inning, scoring eight runs against Portland’s pitching staff.
Somerset also added an insurance run in the top of the fifth inning.
The Sea Dogs managed to claw a single run back in the bottom of the eighth.
Left fielder Wilyer Abreu hit a one-out double, and Koss followed with a single, driving in Abreu, making it a 9-4 game.
Somerset starting pitcher Randy Vazquez tossed 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out six.
Portland’s starter, Shane Drohan, worked through 3.2 innings, allowing five unearned runs while walking two and striking out five.
Clockwise from left: Sea Dogs shortstop Christian Koss throws home but fails to prevent a run scoring Tuesday night during game one of the Eastern League’s Eastern Division Championship Series at Hadlock Field in Portland; first baseman Niko Kavadas fails to snag a looping fly ball in shallow right field; second baseman David Hamilton tags a Somerset Patriots runner out in the middle of the diamond. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN
The Sea Dogs racked up eight hits and two errors in the game, while the Patriots garnered 12 hits and no errors.
The Sea Dogs and Patriots play the second game of the Eastern Division Championship Series on Thursday in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey. Portland will send Thaddeus Ward to the mound, while Clayton Beeter will start for Somerset.
The Sea Dogs have only won the Eastern League title once, in 2006, since their founding in 1994.