At 24-years-old Ben Rice made his double-AA debut and right away he was already producing.
The Somerset at-bat marks the third team and level Rice has played this season. Starting at low single-A, it only took him 25 total games in A-ball to become a Patriot.
Being called up that fast wasn’t based on luck, it came down to pure production. Rice batted .286 with Tampa and .341 with Hudson Valley.
Approaching the plate for his first double-AA at-bat, Rice appeared emotional, but he did let anything change his game. A solid-contact swing led him to being beat on a groundout.
It did take some warming up to the change of scenery though.
Rice was hit-less in his first three at-bats, he had two groundouts and a strikeout.
Fourth time around, Rice would appear in the 8th inning as Somerset was trailing. On a 3-1 count, the pitch came from Yard Goats’ Nick Kuzia, it left faster than it came. Ben Rice’s first AA hit would drop into right field for a single, sending the tying run home.
Just an inning later Rice would come up clutch once again. A grounder through the gap to right field, sending home the go-ahead run to push Somerset to a 8-7 lead.
A multi-hit game for Rice would mark his AA debut, going 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs in the DH slot.