Patriots Bullpen Coughs Up Lead In Camden

(PR) Camden, NJ – The Camden Riversharks scored three runs in the eighth inning off the Somerset bullpen to snatch a 4-3 victory over the Patriots on Thursday night at Campbell’s Field, taking two of three from their cross-state rivals.

Carlos Hines came on for the eighth inning, nursing a two-run Patriot lead after Brian Henderson pitched a perfect seventh. However, Hines would only face three batters, recording an out and walking two. Casey Cahill relieved Hines and quickly gave up a Jason Botts single, loading the bases. After a Garrett Guzman fly out, Rene Rivera sent a liner through the hole at short for to bring in two runs, tying the game. Cahill (1-2) then saw Raul Padron follow up with a bouncing ball over the head of first baseman Joe Burke, bringing in the go-ahead run and capping the Camden comeback. Derek Loop would strike out the side in the ninth for his first save.

It was a pitcher’s duel through five innings as Tom Mastny and Steve Sharpe each pitched five scoreless innings. Both teams would score runs in the sixth inning off the starters. In the seventh, Elliott Ayala’s two-out double scored Iggy Suarez, giving the Patriots a 2-1 lead and putting Mastny in line for the win. Somerset added another run in the eighth off of Eddy Camacho (1-0) who entered in relief of Sharpe. The Camden starter allowed just five hits and a pair of unearned runs in seven frames. All three Patriot runs in the game were unearned, coming on three Camden errors.

Mastny escaped a couple of jams early in the game. With the bases loaded and no one out in the fourth, Mastny got Rivera to pop out and then induced a double play ball turned by Burke, ending the frame. Mastny got more help from his defense in the sixth. A run already across for Camden and runners at the corners, Rivera flew out to Joe Holden in right field who fired home to Jason Belcher. The Patriot backstop swept a tag across on Chris Malec to end the inning and keep the game tied at one. Along with his outfield assist, Holden was the bright spot of the Patriot offense, notching four base hits in four trips to the plate, scoring a pair of runs and stealing two bases.

Somerset (10-9) now travels down to Waldorf for a three-game series with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (11-9). Josh Miller (2-1, 5.40) takes the ball for Somerset against Dan Reichert (1-2, 5.66). Coverage begins at 7:00 pm on 1450, WCTC-AM and online at http://www.wctcam.com and http://www.somersetpatriots.com.

NOTES: The Patriots were 7-0 in games where they led after seven innings before Thursday’s loss…Holden made his third start of the season and is now 8-12 at the plate…in his return to Camden, Wayne Lydon went 0-12 for the series…the seven Patriot runs in the series was the lowest total for a set this season.

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