BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Somerset Patriots (17-5) defeated the Lancaster Barnstormers (8-13) 12-2 on Friday evening at TD Bank Ballpark to kick off the weekend series.

The Patriots took an early lead in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Matt Fields, who finished the game with three RBI without recording a hit.

Somerset extended the lead with three runs in the third inning. With the bases loaded, Carlos Guzman drove a two-run single to right field. Darwin Perez then followed with a sacrifice fly. Guzman was 1 for his last 30 at bats before entering tonight’s game and recording three straight hits.

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“It felt good. I was thinking finally it dropped and found some grass and not a glove. First and foremost we want to win. That’s the most important thing,” Guzman said.

The game was broken open in the fourth inning with five runs for Somerset, who batted around to make the score 9-0. RBI singles by David Vidal, Bryan LaHair, and Guzman highlighted the inning that also included a bases loaded hit by pitch of Fields and an RBI groundout by Yovan Gonzalez.

Somerset plated another two runs in the seventh on an RBI fielder’s choice that allowed Vinny Zarrillo to reach safely and a sacrifice fly by Fields for an 11-0 advantage.

The Barnstormers got on the board in the eighth on a two-run blast by Josh Whitaker (3) to make the score 11-2.

The Patriots added one more run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI base hit by Farris for the 12-2 final.

LaHair reached base all five at bats, finishing 3-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. Guzman finished 3 for 5 with three RBI.

Patriots starting pitcher Efrain Nieves (3-0) went six scoreless innings, scattering three hits and striking out seven for the win. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-3) suffered the loss, allowing eight earned runs on nine hits in three innings pitched.

“Our pitching is just tremendous. If we don’t really hit, our pitching keeps us in the game and then we find a way to win somehow. That’s what great teams do,” Guzman added.

To purchase tickets for the 2016 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.