The Somerset Patriots honored veterans before their final game against Reading on Sunday May, 21, 2023. Photo: Somerset Patriots Media.

The Somerset Patriots honored veterans of all U.S. Wars in a stirring ceremony at the 20th Annual Veterans of America Day an hour before the 1:05 first pitch between the Patriots and Reading Fightin Phils.

World War II Veteran, Matthew Yacovino, 98, spoke before the crowd breifly touching on his incredible war time experience as a combat air crewman during the Bay of Biscayne, who helped his crew sink four German subs, and even got a U541 to surrender.

“What better place to show appreciation for veterans; the name of the team, the Patriots. The team name was chosen because of its proximity to the Middlebrook encampment where the official flag of the United States was revealed.

“I would like to extend this honor to all my fellow veterans, thanking for them for their services. I represent all of you who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

“Today is a special day,” Co-Chairman Jonathan Kalafer said. “It’s about showing gratitude for our armed forces. Those true patriots, who made a commitment to our country. They are the best military in the world. They are the best of us, and deserve the best from us.”

The presentation included a presentation of colors, the singing of the national anthem, the playing of Kate Smith’s rendition of the God Bless America, a fly-over, and a reenactment of the the raising of the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.

As for the game, the Patriots fell to the Reading Fightin’ Phils 3-1. Somerset had nine hits total, but could only score one run, an RBI single by Austin Wells in the fifth inning.

The Patriots did have an opportunity with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, but couldn’t drive anyone in. Overall Somerset left 11 men on base and were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Blane Abayte was solid, allowing two runs over 5.2 innings of work while striking out seven batters.

The Patriots hit the road for Lake Erie to meet up with the Seawolves on Tuesday.

Somerset Patriots vs Binghamton 5.5.23