BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots swept a double header over the Lancaster Barnstormers at TD Bank Ballpark on Saturday night.
The Patriots defeated the Barnstormers 5-4 in the first game.
Aaron Laffey (1-0) struck out seven and allowed just two hits over five scoreless innings pitched to earn the win.
“I felt really good. It was good to get back out there for my first start of the year,” said Laffey. “ I seemed to be controlling my fastball just as I planned and had good location. I was able to throw some of my changeups and curveballs for strikes early and my slider late in counts. Yovan and I were on the same page throughout. That and the good defense behind me made for a successful night.”
The Patriots struck first with three runs in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run single by Justin Pacchioli in his first at bat of the season and an infield single by Darren Ford.
“Bases were loaded with one out and I’m just trying to get a guy in,” Pacchioli said. “I saw a couple of pitches, worked the count a little bit, and then with a 3-2 count I knew he was going to try to bring me something. He threw me a good pitch and I just tried to get the barrel on it to do the job and it found a hole.”
Somerset added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Olmo Rosario, who later scored on an error for a 5-0 advantage.
Lancaster made it a one-run game with four runs in the top of the seventh inning. Trayvon Robinson and Vladimir Frias hit RBI singles before K.C. Hobson’s home run (1) to right field made it a 5-4 ballgame.
Somerset’s Kyler Newby came in to record the final out, striking out Caleb Gindl to end the game and record his first save of the season. Romme Lewis (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Somerset took the second game over Lancaster 5-2.
The Patriots struck early in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Rosario for a 1-0 lead.
Lancaster answered with a run in the top of the second inning on a solo home run by Kevin Ahrens (1).
The Patriots regained the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. With the bases loaded, Jerry Sands delivered his first hit of the season, a two-run broken bat single to center field. Last night’s hero Yovan Gonzalez followed with an RBI single of his own for a 4-1 lead.
“He got ahead of me and flipped me a little slider. It broke my bat, but luckily it fell in up the middle and got a couple of runs home,” said Sands. “It’s good to get the first one out of the way with hopefully a lot more to come.”
Alfredo Rodriguez drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend the lead to 5-1.
The Barnstormers plated another run on a sacrifice fly by Robinson for the 5-2 final.
Patriots starter Mitch Atkins (1-0) picked up the win, giving up just the one home run to Ahrens in his five innings of work. Barnstormers starter Elih Villanueva (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on nine hits in 4.3 innings pitched.
The 2017 Somerset Patriots season will continue at home on Sunday afternoon with a 1:05 pm game against the Lancaster Barnstormers. The game features 20th Season Mini Bats for the first 1,000 kids in attendance courtesy of Ford. For tickets, visit www.somersetpatriots