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Patriots Capitalize on Lancaster Miscues

The Somerset Patriots took advantage of a rare off night for Lancaster’s defense to pick up a 4-2 victory over the Barnstormers in the series finale at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

With the loss, the Barnstormers have now dropped four out of their last five and are now tied with Sugar Land for second place in the Freedom division. Both teams are three games behind the York Revolution. Somerset’s victory tonight puts them a half -game ahead of Long Island for first place in the Liberty division.

Trayvon Robinson doubled into the right field corner with one out in the second inning.  Following a walk to Carlos Guzman, Rob Kral bounced out to first, advancing the runners.  With Scott Kelly at the plate, a Terry Doyle offering got through Charlie Cutler for a passed ball, allowing Robinson to race home from third base.

The Patriots added one run apiece in the following two innings. In the third Mycal Jones singled and Aharon Eggleston reached first on an error by Lance Zawadzki, who was guilty of three on the night. After Eric Harris flew out, Bryan LaHair was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Matt Fields, just learning to switch hit, was able to deliver Jones with a sacrifice fly to center. Kral hit his first home run of the year, a solo shot off Doyle (2-3) the next inning, stretching the Patriots lead to 3-0.

Doyle battled, pitching six innings, allowing five hits and four walks allowed, but he also had his bright spots and finished with eight strikeouts.

A fourth Somerset run, again unearned, scored with two outs in the seventh as Guzman rolled a perfectly placed single into left.  LaHair scored as Josh Whitaker’s throw was just to catcher Charlie Cutler’s right, and the receiver could not swing the tag around in time.

Lancaster was stymied for the first four innings by spot starter Donovan Hand.  The right-hander yielded only a first inning single by Cutler and struck out six of the 12 batters he faced.

The Barnstormers hit a pair of long-balls in the loss, striking first in the fifth inning with Josh Bell’s sixth home run of the season. Zawadski hit his fourth home run of the season after coming off of the disabled list two weeks ago.

However, Somerset’s bullpen held with the aid of a perfect relay throw in the bottom of the seventh.  With two outs, Bell singled up the middle.  Sean Halton followed with a double to left.  The ball kicked off the fence to Aharon Eggleston, who fired to shortstop Scott Kelly along the line.  Kelly fired a strike to Kral, who tagged Bell sliding to the back of the plate.

Mike Thomas (3-1) struck out the side in the sixth to earn the win.  All-time Atlantic League saves leader Jon Hunton only allowed a single to Caleb Gindl in the ninth for his 11th of the year.

Next up: On Tuesday night the Barnstormers will begin a three-game series with the Sugar Land Skeeters at Clipper Magazine Stadium. First-pitch is at 7:00 pm.  The game will be available on Blue Ridge Cable 11 and on the Lancaster Barnstormers YouTube Channel.  Jake Hale (0-1, 3.64 ERA) will make the start for Sugar Land against Bryan Evans (3-2, 4.20 ERA).

NOTES:  Mike McDade doubled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, two shy of Matt LeCroy’s franchise record…Charlie Cutler has hit safely in eight straight starts…The Barnstormers tied a season high by striking out 13 times…The three errors also tied a season-high…Pete Andrelczyk pitched scoreless baseball for the 15th straight time, though he needed last out help from Matt Reynolds in the eighth.