Lancaster Falls, 5-4, and 5-2
The Somerset Patriots have continued their mastery of the Lancaster Barnstormers into 2017.
Justin Pacchioli delivered a two-run single in the second inning of the opener, and Jerry Sands matched it in the third inning of the nightcap, pacing the Patriots to a doubleheader sweep of the Barnstormers, 5-4 and 5-2, on a chilly, damp Saturday evening at TD Bank Park.
The Patriots have taken the first three games of the series.
In the opener, the Patriots built a 3-0 lead off Rommie Lewis (1-0) in the second. Carlos Guzman flared a single into left center, and Adam Donachie followed with a lined single into center. Alfredo Rodriguez laid down a bunt to move the runners to second and third, but also reached safely when Lewis’ throw yanked Jeff Kobernus off the bag at first. Scott Kelly tapped into a force at home, but Pacchioli, in his first Atlantic League at bat, grounded a single just out of Kobernus’ reach to drive home two. Darren Ford pushed home a third run with a bunt single past the mound.
Former Lancaster infielder Olmo Rosario singled to center in the bottom of the fifth to make it 4-0. He would later score on an error by first baseman Sean Halton.
The ‘Stormers surged back with four runs in the top of the seventh. Lastings Milledge belted a long double to left and scored on a single by Trayvon Robinson. The Patriots allowed Robinson to take second, and Vladimir Frias drove him across with a base hit into center. Manager Ross Peeples went to his bench for K.C. Hobson, who took Hassan Pena over the right field wall for Lancaster’s first homer of the season. Kyler Newby was summoned to face a second pinch hitter, Caleb Gindl. Newby won the battle, coaxing a partial swing on a 2-2 pitch to strike out Gindl for the final out.
In the nightcap, with the score tied at 1-1, Somerset loaded the bases on two walks from Elih Villanueva (0-1), bookending an error by shortstop Vladimir Frias. Villanueva shattered Sands’ bat, but the Patriots DH was able to muscle the ball into center for the tiebreaking single. Yovan Gonzlaez drove a two-out single into right for a 4-1 lead. A bases loaded walk to Rodriguez in the fifth tacked on a fifth run.
Lancaster had a chance in the sixth, loading the bases against right-hander David Kubiak, but Robinson and Blake Gailen both hit fly balls to center, producing only one run.
The two clubs wrap up the series on Sunday afternoon at 1:05. Former Baltimore Oriole Brad Bergesen will make the start against right-hander Lucas Irvine. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 12:45.
NOTES: Robinson has an RBI in each game…Somerset starters have allowed seven hits and one run in 15 innings in the series…Kevin Ahrens homered in the second inning of the nightcap, the only hit allowed by Mitch Atkins (1-0) over his five frames…Aaron Laffey threw two-hit shutout baseball for five innings in Game One. ..Somerset stole six bases in the opener, tying the record for the most steals ever against the Barnstormers in one contest.