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Patriots’ Three-Run First Proves Enough

It was k-razy.

Lancaster and Somerset pitching staffs combined to strike out 27 batters on Friday evening with the Patriots coming out on top in a 3-1 decision at TD Bank Park.

Before the strikeout axe really started to fall, the Barnstormers grabbed a run in the top of the first on a homer down the right field line by Dan Gamache.

That would turn out to be Lancaster’s only hit off David Kubiak (2-0).

Somerset was able to respond off Jake McCasland (1-2) in the bottom of the first inning.  With two outs, Ramon Flores lined a single into right field.  Rey Navarro scooted a grounder up the middle, adding a second runner.  Michael Ohlman fell behind McCasland, 0-2, worked the count to full, then drilled a two-run double into the right field corner.  He would score the third run when Justin Pacchioli singled to left.

Hitters were stumped the rest of the night.

Kubiak worked seven innings on 88 pitches and struck out 11.  Lancaster had only two more runners against him, Caleb Gindl on a leadoff walk in the fourth, and Parker Morin on a third strike wild pitch in the second.  The Somerset right-hander retired the final 12 batters he saw.

Relievers Luis Cruz and Mike Antonini allowed one walk each, but the Barnstormers never advanced either runner.  Antonini was awarded his sixth save.

McCasland yielded two singles in the second and one in the third.  The right-hander, who fanned 10 in his last start, finished his six-inning stint with nine Patriots going down.  Andury Acevedo struck out two and Alejandro Chacin, in his Barnstormers debut, struck out the side in the eighth for a total of 14 K’s against the Somerset lineup.

The Barnstormers and Patriots continue the four-game weekend series on Saturday evening. Lancaster will send Kyle Davies (0-0), a 2018 Patriot, to the mound against lefty Brett Oberholzer (0-0).  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers’ YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45.

NOTES:  Somerset shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez and right fielder Justin Pacchioli were the only two batters in either lineup not to be infected by the strikeout virus…Gamache has hit safely in four straight…Chacin and infielder Michael Martinez were activated earlier in the day after arriving on Friday night…Matt Markberry faced one batter in appearing for a club-leading eighth time…McCasland has 25 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.