BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – The Binghamton Rumble Ponies will open the Eastern League playoffs at home on Tuesday, with Game 1 of a best-of-three series against the Somerset Patriots.

This is the first playoff appearance for the franchise since 2017.

It is a familiar opponent in the first round, the Ponies and the Patriots have played 21 games against each other in the 2023 regular season.

First baseman JT Schwartz explained what the team will need to do in order to win the series.

“We know each other as teams relatively well, we’re both capable of beating each other,” Schwartz said. “We gotta trust our pitching, trust our defense, trust the at bats, runners in scoring position, all that and I think, what we’ve done in this second half that’s gotten us here, I think if we just trust that we’ll be fine.”

The Patriots had the best record in the division in the first half of the season, as well as the second half of the season and overall.

Rumble Ponies manager Reid Brignac gave his thoughts on the matchup.

“We know it’s gonna be a challenge,” Brignac said. “They pitch well, they got good physical pitchers that throw hard. From an offensive stand point they really do a good job of controlling the strike zone. They don’t really chase as a team, so we know we’re gonna have to compete in the strike zone and attack their hitters and put them in defensive counts, if we can work ahead and throw in the zone early and force them to swing the bats then we should be in a good spot.”

The excitement is building for the Ponies opening game of the playoffs.

Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. at Mirabito Stadium.