Wednesday: Patriots Recover From Blown Lead

(PR) York, PA – After seeing a 7-1 lead disintegrate, the Somerset Patriots scored five runs in the 9th to defeat the York Revolution 12-7 on Wednesday night at Sovereign Bank Stadium. The Patriots notched the victory to even up the series and get back to within a half game of the first-place Revs in the Atlantic League’s Freedom Division.

Joe Burke capped off a four RBI night with a two-run single driving in Tim Raines Jr. and Noah Hall to give Somerset a 9-7 advantage. Jason Belcher finished off a three-hit game reaching base with an infield single to start the frame against York right-hander John Muller and was pinch-run for by Raines. Hall and David Housel each walked to load the bases to set up Burke’s bloop shot down the left field line. The assault continued after Wayne Lydon walked to load the bases for the second time against Muller (2-2). After a strikeout to Elliott Ayala, Michael Hernandez kept the line moving drilling a two-run double bringing Lydon and Burke home for his third and fourth runs batted in. Lydon came into score on a Josh Pressley groundout, putting the final touches on a five-run, three-hit, three-walk inning where Somerset batted around.

The Patriots had entered that 9th inning having not recorded a hit since the 5th, the same frame where they took a 7-1 lead after a Burke solo homer off of Justin Hampson. The southpaw had come in for relief in the 4th after starter Bob Zimmermann gave up six runs in 3.1 innings, walking a season-high five batters. Somerset would draw a season-high 12 walks with seven of those men coming home to score over the course of the game. The Patriots tallied runs in each of the first five innings of the game, getting on the board in the 1st with a Hernandez long drive to right field. But after the Patriots scored off of Hampson for their largest advantage, the Revolution began their counter-attack.

Tim Lavigne took the ball for Somerset in a spot start and despite a 34-pitch opening inning where he walked three, the former Met farmhand escaped three innings without allowing a run. After retiring the first two men in the 4th, Lavigne gave up just his third hit and his only run, a Steve Haake solo homer. Casey Cahill relieved Lavigne and after a run against him in the 5th on a Ramon Castro RBI, Cahill took a line drive off his right leg from James Shanks that skipped into left field, putting Shanks on second. Cahill was pulled from the game as Ben Grezlovski would come on and fail to record an out. Haake came back and blasted a two-run homer over the 38-foot left field wall, cutting the deficit to three. The Revs continued to roll, notching three consecutive singles to load the bases and push Grezlovski out of the game. Jeff Kennard took the reigns and got the lead runner at home on a force play when Scott Grimes rolled one back to him. But when Erold Andrus grounded a double play ball to Housel, Ayala’s relay throw to first was wayward allowing a pair of runs to score, making it a 7-6 game.

Kennard struck out the side in the 7th but saw John Pachot reach second base after a single and a sacrifice in the 8th. Brian Henderson took over but immediately gave up a looping single from Liu Rodriguez, bringing the tying run home. Somerset gave Ryan Houston the five-run cushion for a perfect bottom of the 9th, securing the Patriot win.

Somerset (33-25) and York (34-25) battle with first-place on the line in the rubber game on Thursday night. Josh Miller (5-3, 3.67) takes on Derell McCall (4-1, 2.60) as coverage begins at 6:55 pm on 1450 WCTC-AM and online at http://www.wctcam.com and http://www.somersetpatriots.com.

NOTES: The six-run lead the Patriots had ties the largest they have given up this season…one night after striking out 13, the Patriots walked a season-high 12 times (a York franchise-record)…Burke’s homer was his second in as many nights. He had not homered prior to Tuesday since May 9…all of Hernandez’s homers have come after May 29…the Patriots have homered in seven consecutive games, tallying ten long bombs in the stretch…five Patriots accounted for all 13 hits as Lydon and Matt Hagen each had a pair of knocks while Burke, Belcher, and Hernandez all had three-hit games…the four-RBI games by Burke and Hernandez were their firsts of the season. The Patriots had seen three four-or-more-RBI games already this year…Housel was activated before the game after Iggy Suarez was placed on the disabled list. Suarez re-aggravated his hamstring injury which kept him sidelined for three weeks until Tuesday night…the start was just Lavigne’s 13th in his career.

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