Patriots Drop Second Half Opener

(PR) Lancaster, PA – Wayne Lydon’s 7th-inning two-run single cut the deficit to one but the Somerset Patriots could not bring another score home as the Lancaster Barnstormers held on for a 4-3 victory at Clipper Magazine Stadium on Thursday night, opening up the second half of the 2010 Atlantic League season.

Lydon’s base hit to bring home two, his third hit of the night, came off of right-hander Pat Overholt in the top of the 7th. Overholt, on in relief for starter Josh Hall, allowed the first four men he faced to reach, ending with Lydon bringing home Jason Belcher and Elliott Ayala. Overholt exited, giving way to Charlie Weatherby with two on and nobody out. But as Somerset was on the cusp of tying the game, three ground balls induced by Weatherby finished off the inning leaving Lydon at third and keeping the Barnstormers in the lead.

Hall (9-2) was very impressive after allowing a 1st-inning run, en route to his league-best ninth victory. After Michael Hernandez singled to bring Lydon home in the opening frame, Hall was just about spotless after that, allowing just two base hits over his next five innings. He finished 6.0 innings, allowing just four hits and the one run while striking out five.

Lancaster bounced back quickly after Somerset took an early lead. Reggie Taylor homered to lead off the 2nd off of Patriot starter Justin Jones, tying the game at 1-1. But the Barnstormers pushed further, getting a pair of two-out base hits from Octavio Martinez, and a two-run single off the bat off Bryant Nelson, giving Lancaster a 3-1 edge. The Barnstormers added a run in the 4th when Octavio Martinez drove in Ryan Mulhern with two outs, putting Lancaster in front by three runs, a bulge that remained intact until the 7th.

Jones (3-5) battled through 6.0 innings, yielding four runs on seven hits, but kept his team close enough to spark the rally. However, Weatherby and Tim McNab teamed up for a scoreless final two innings with the Patriots putting the tying run no further than first base as the Barnstormers beat the Patriots for the fourth time this season.

Somerset (0-1, 36-35) and Lancaster (1-0, 32-39) square off in game two on Friday night. Tim Lavigne (0-1, 2.76) will square off with Jose Sanchez (2-8, 5.30) when coverage begins at 6:55 pm on 1450 WCTC-AM and online at http://www.wctcam.com and http://www.somersetpatriots.com.

NOTES: The Patriots have lost nine of their last 12 games…the homer from Taylor was the first home run by a left-hander against Jones this year and just the fourth by a lefty since 2005…the three-hit game was Lydon’s sixth this year…Jonathon Ellis, the former Camden Rivershark, made his Patriot debut and pitched a scoreless 7th while Jerry Dunn tossed a shutout 8th inning…Jeff Nettles made his return to the lineup and smacked a 6th-inning double, going 1-4 in his first game since May 7..Belcher also notched a pair of hits..

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