LANCASTER, PA - A two home run performance from Jerry Sands led the way Wednesday night as the Somerset Patriots (25-15) defeated the Lancaster Barnstormers (22-17) 10-5 at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Somerset opened up the scoring in the top of the first on RBI singles from Jerry Sands and Yovan Gonzalez. Lancaster responded immediately, however, in the bottom of the inning with a Caleb Gindl sacrifice fly.
The Patriots increased their lead with a four-run second inning; all of which scored with two outs. Alfredo Rodriguez scored from third base after a fielding error on a double-steal to begin the rally. Aharon Eggleston then pitched in an RBI single before Sands (12) sent a long two-run home run to right center field to top off the second-inning scoring.
Lancaster made it a 6-2 ballgame in the fourth on a K.C. Hobson RBI single before two more Patriots runs on a fifth-inning Sands (13) solo home run and sixth-inning Scott Kelly RBI double extended the lead to 8-2.
Sands finished the day 3-5 with two home runs and four RBI.
“I’ve been fortunate not to miss some good pitches when I’ve been getting them,” said Sands after the game. “You just try to ride [his current streak] when you are in a groove like this. You don’t want to think about it too much; just get to the plate and try to keep it simple.”
Lasting Milledge brought the Barnstormers back within five on an RBI single in the sixth, but RBI base hits from Justin Pacchioli and Rodriguez in the eighth extended the Somerset lead out to 10-3. Lancaster added a pair of runs in the ninth, but their comeback effort fell short.
Mitch Atkins (3-3) earned the win after he allowed two runs on four hits over five innings of work. Rommie Lewis (2-4) took the loss, yielding eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits over six innings pitched.
The Patriots and Barnstormers conclude their series Thursday morning in Lancaster. Southpaw Rick Teasley (3-0, 1.45 ERA) takes the mound for Somerset against Barnstormers righty Elih Villanueave (4-1, 2.87 ERA). First pitch at Clipper Magazine Stadium is scheduled for 11 am.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots season, which includes the team’s 20th anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game July 12. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call 908-252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.