BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Lancaster Barnstormers (9-13) scored nine unanswered runs to overcome an 8-2 deficit and defeat the Somerset Patriots (17-6) 11-8 on Saturday evening at TD Bank Ballpark.
The comeback was completed in the final frame. Trailing 8-7 in the top of the ninth, the Barnstormers got to closer Jon Hunton with four runs to take their first lead of the game. An RBI double by Josh Bell tied the game and an error allowed Lancaster to jump in front. Logan Shafer followed with a two-run triple for the 11-8 final.
“The bullpen, which has been pretty solid for us, just wasn’t itself. You have to give credit to Lancaster though. They hit some balls hard, put some good at bats together and never gave up,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie.
Somerset took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run double by Matt Fields.
Lancaster answered with two runs of their own in the ensuing half inning. A Mike McDade double and a Chris Cutler single each plated a run to knot the game up at 2-2.
The Patriots wasted no time regaining the lead with two more runs in the bottom of the second inning. Scott Kelly drove in a run with a base hit and another scored on a groundout to double up on Lancaster.
A two-run blast over the scoreboard in right-center field by Brad Snyder (2) extended the lead to 6-2 in the third inning.
Somerset’s final two runs of the game came in the fourth inning for an 8-2 lead. Eric Farris hit an RBI single and Bryan LaHair drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to left.
The Barnstormers cut the lead in half on a two-run home run by Josh Bell (1) in the top of the fifth inning and it quickly became an 8-5 game in the seventh inning when the Barnstormers scored a run on a base hit by Caleb Gindl.
The Barnstormers continued to chip away with two runs in the eighth inning to move within a run. A groundout and an RBI double by Jeff Kobernus put the game in reach.
Matt Reynolds (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless inning pitched. Hunton (0-1) suffered the loss after blowing the save, allowing four runs (one earned) on three hits in an inning pitched. Cory Burns earned his third save of the season with a scoreless inning.
Patriots starting pitcher Mickey Storey remains winless for the season after a league high 12 victories in 2015. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits in five innings pitched and left with the lead in his fifth straight no decision.
“I actually thought Mickey threw the ball well, he just gave up four two-out runs and that was kind of the difference. His pitch count got up there so we took him out. We just couldn’t keep them off long enough. They did a good job out there, but we have to do a better job on the hill in a very winnable ballgame,” Jodie added.
The 2016 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford will continue at home on Sunday afternoon with a 1:05 pm game against the Barnstormers. The game includes Baseball Caps (first 1,000 Fans) presented by Advanced Power Equipment. To purchase tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.