LANCASTER, PA – Right fielder Brad Snyder clubbed a grand slam (1) to highlight an eight run 12th inning outburst as the Somerset Patriots (10-0) defeated the Lancaster Barnstormers (5-5) 10-3 in 12 innings Saturday night at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The win extended the Patriots best start in franchise history as they have won 10 straight.
“I was looking for a fastball,” said Snyder who was 4-for-24 on the year prior to his extra inning home run. “I figured he was going to try and get ahead with a get me over pitch. It was one of the few times this year I did what I wanted to do with the pitch.”
The 12th inning featured 13 batters coming to the plate. At one point, nine consecutive hitters reached base. With one out center fielder Trayvon Robinson laced a single. Left fielder Aharon Eggleston then coaxed a full count walk. With two strikes first baseman Bryan LaHair dinked a single to shallow opposite field as the runners went station to station.
Designated hitter Matt Fields batted with the bases loaded and drew a four pitch walk to move the Patriots to a 3-2 lead. The following hitter, shortstop Mycal Jones, pounded an RBI single setting up a situation where Snyder would dig in with the bags full.
“Hitting is contagious,” remarked Snyder of the team’s brilliant play to usher in 2016. “When you have guys all through the lineup getting going you just feed off one another. Winning is fun, hitting’s fun and we are having a lot of fun right now.”
Four batters after the Snyder grand slam, Eggleston stroked a two RBI single to cap the inning.
The scoring started early as Somerset grabbed a 2-0 lead with RBI hits from second baseman Eric Farris and LaHair in the second and third innings respectively.
“I’m kind of in between right now with my swing but it’s just fun to contribute,” said LaHair who was on base three times and tallied two opposite field two strike hits. “This is hands down the best team I’ve been on.”
Starting pitcher Scott McGregor was flawless hurling 64 of his 85 pitches for strikes but sustained the no decision. He tossed 6.2 scoreless innings, struck out seven and walked none.
The Patriots nursed a 2-0 lead heading into the ninth inning but Lancaster connected on back-to-back two out RBI singles by the bottom two hitters in the order in catcher Charlie Cutler and left fielder Michael Crouse. It was closer Jon Hunton’s first blown save of the season.
Arik Sikula (1-0) earned the win stranding five runners in his two scoreless innings of work. Al Yevoli (0-2) sustained the loss yielding three of the eight runs in the 12th.
Lancaster received a solo home run (1) by designated hitter Mike Jacobs in the bottom of the 12th inning to make the score 10-3 which would be the final.
Somerset has never trailed in the series.
“For us to have such a new team, this is the quickest I’ve ever seen a team gel over a two week stretch,” said fourth year pitching coach Cory Domel. “We have a lot of fight, a lot of heart and most importantly we play for each other.”