Game 26: Post-Game Notes

How?!?! How does this team keep doing this? It seems like almost every game, they’re in this situation…where they’re down and either haven’t generated much offense the entire game or find themselves down a few runs at the end of the game.

And time…after time…after time…they find a way.

Noah Hall led off the rally with a one-out double to right field off of Barnstormers closer Scott Patterson, who made it to the big leagues after pitching with Lancaster several years ago.

Then…

Matt Hagen’s single essentially turned into a double and set the stage for…

Iggy Suarez, whose pop-up put Somerset down to their last batter, Jason Belcher. 

And Belcher delivered off of Patterson, whom he had not faced before.  Belcher said he studied Patterson’s unorthodox delivery more intently than he might usually with pitchers he’d seen before, and paid particular attention to Joe Holden’s at-bat in which Patterson threw Holden a curveball — something Belcher knew Patterson wouldn’t throw him because he knew Patterson wouldn’t risk a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

“That was my first at-bat (against him), with the bases loaded and two outs, and that’s a difficult position to be in as a pitcher, and I know that from being behind the plate,” Belcher told me.

“I tried to simplify things.  I kind of eliminated that he was going to throw anything in the dirt, because he didn’t want it get it past the catcher.  I was looking for a fastball.”

All in all, it was a big night for Belcher, who threw out his first baserunner of the season — he gunned down Bryant Nelson in the middle of the game — after a lengthy drought behind the plate.

“That was really big for him, I was very, very happy for him,” said Somerset manager Sparky Lyle.

It’s not unfair to say the knock on Belcher is his throwing arm, so getting the first notch in his belt this season should take some weight off of his shoulders.

“It had been (weighing on my mind), but that’s a team stat that the catcher gets credit for.  There’s a lot of moving parts to that,” Belcher said.

“As an organization, we’ve got a lot of new guys controlling the running game.  It starts with the pitcher and the catcher, so obviously he’s got to do his job and I’ve got to do my job.  He’s got to give me a good pitch to throw on, so there’s a lot of moving parts to that.  We never really worried about it, but it’s just something that with a lot of new faces, you’ve got to incorporate it throughout the season that we don’t really get a chance to do in spring training.  It’s something we’ll continue to develop throughout the year, and it keeps getting better and better.”

And as far as the team’s ability to come from behind…well, when you play for Somerset, you expect this to happen, it’s never a surprise.

“We put together good at-bats, we have a never quit attitude,” Belcher said.

“We’ve got a bunch of good baseball players.  It all started with Noah, knowing that we needed to get a guy in scoring position, and he hits a double.  That’s just as important as my base hit, because if he doesn’t do that, then we don’t have an opportunity to get the win.  We’ve got a good club.”

While Belcher was the clear hero of the night, a lot of contributions will get overlooked.  Jason Monti battled through six innings and kept Lancaster off the board, and the bullpen was outstanding, giving up only an unearned run on an Elliott Ayala error.

“Everybody did a great job tonight,” Lyle said.

“Hines did a great job, Hendu too.  When we’re down one run, I don’t feel like we’re going to lose.  Not at home, anyway.  Granted, you’ve got to get a guy on.  That’s why I brought Houston in to pitch the ninth, I figured (shoot), if we keep them off (the board) here, we might win this sun of a (gun) tonight.  This club just doesn’t give up.”

As for the Ayala error, it seemed to be an appropriate way to lose if that’s the way things were going to go down.  The left side of the infield — Ayala and David Housel — buried a few throws in the dirt tonight, leaving Joe Burke to try to pick as many balls as he could out of the dirt. 

“David, maybe it was because he hasn’t played enough…Elliott, when he gets down in here (sidearm), he doesn’t get the ball up in the air.  Those are things that happen during the course of games.  He might have gotten a little blocked by that runner or something there.  I didn’t exactly see what happened there.  That was a hell of a way to give up a run.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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One Response to “Game 26: Post-Game Notes”

  1. Douglas Taylor Says:

    chemistry… chemistry… chemistry… and believing in yourself and teammates. Winners and Champions have these two things.

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