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Patriots Persistent Attack Leads to 12-2 Rout


That was the number of Somerset Patriots who batted with the bases loaded on Friday evening.

The Patriots had 27 different men reach base in a 12-2 rout of the Lancaster Barnstormers in the opener of a three-game series at TD Bank Park.

Somerset’s first two batters reached base in five different innings, and the Patriots loaded the bases with no one out in the third, fourth and sixth.

Altogether the Patriots amassed 16 hits, 13 of which were singles, seven walks and had two men hit by pitches.  Two additional runners reached as the result of late game Barnstormers fielding miscues.

Bryan LaHair was 3-for-3 with two walks to lead the attack while Carlos Guzman collected three singles and drove in three runs.

The Patriot with the weirdest night, though, was designated hitter Matt Fields, who had four chances with the bases juiced and drove in three runs despite going without a base hit.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-3) squirmed through the first two innings, yielding only one run despite giving up three hits, a walk, and a hit batter.  He could not hold the fort in the third as Guzman singled home two, and Darwin Perez followed with a sacrifice fly for a 4-0 lead.  Five more runs crossed in the fourth inning, four charged to the Lancaster starter who never recorded an out in the frame.

Meanwhile, Efrain Nieves (3-0) retired the first 11 batters he faced and did not allow a run over six innings, giving up three singles and hitting two batters.

The Barnstormers finally reached the scoreboard in the eighth as Josh Whitaker clubbed a two-run homer to center off lefty Brandon Sisk in an inning that was extended by an error.

J.D. Martin (1-1) will take the mound on Saturday in the middle game of the series.  He will be opposed by Mickey Storey (0-0).  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45.

NOTES:  Caleb Gindl extended his hitting streak to eight games…Kevin Ahrens has hit in six in a row…Tanner Peters made his debut for Lancaster, yielding two hits and a run after taking over for Bibens-Dirkx in the fourth…Lancaster has turned eight ground ball double plays in the last four games.