LANCASTER, PA – Six different pitchers combined to strike out a season-high 13 batters as the Somerset Patriots (28-22) doubled up the Lancaster Barnstormers (25-23) 4-2 Monday evening in the rubber match at Clipper Magazine Stadium
“The pitchers did a phenomenal job,” said catcher Rob Kral. “They were executing all their pitches. They established their fastball early and mixed in their off speed in and out of the zone well. Made my job easy just putting down fingers and letting them go to work.”
For the second straight game Somerset never trailed. They got a first inning run via a wild pitch from Terry Doyle as Trayvon Robinson crossed home. They added another run in the third inning without the benefit of a hit. They took advantage of an error which eventually led to an RBI sacrifice fly by Matt Fields.
With the score 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning, Kral slugged a home run (1) to deep right field. It was his 30th start and first home run in 125 plate appearances this year.
“It just felt nice to put a good swing on a ball and contribute because that run turned out to be pretty big,” said Kral who received the silent treatment when he arrived back in the dugout. His teammates avoided him for a few minutes then mobbed him with hugs and handshakes. “I haven’t had one of those since college, but getting them is a good thing because it means you did something good to help the guys.”
Josh Bell belted a home run (6) to cut the deficit to 3-1 in the fifth inning.
Carlos Guzman ripped an RBI single to provide insurance for the Patriots in the seventh inning as the score ballooned to 4-1.
Lance Zawadzki’s third home run (4) of the series made the score 4-2 in the eighth inning which would be the final.
Mike Thomas (3-1) earned the win in relief as he struck out the side in his lone inning of work in the sixth frame. Doyle (2-3) suffered the loss. He hurled 117 pitches and surrendered three runs in six innings. Jon Hunton (11) notched the save pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
The Patriots are 0.5 games up on the Ducks in the first half Liberty Division race with 20 games to go.