Somer-Swept

(PR) Lancaster, PA – Somerset scored two runs in the 8th inning and had the tying run on in the 9th but the late rally fell one run shy as the Lancaster Barnstormers defeated the Patriots 3-2 on Sunday night at Clipper Magazine Stadium, sweeping a series from Somerset for the first time in franchise history.

A Bryant Nelson solo blast in the 1st inning against Jesse Darcy carried the Barnstormers all the way through the first five frames. Darcy scattered seven hits over that stretch, stranding all six men that notched a knock against him after the home run. But Darcy (1-8) had issues in the 6th when Ryan Mulhern led off the inning with a triple and Jed Morris drove in the second Barnstormer run to follow it up. After Vic Gutierrez singled Morris to third, Darcy exited giving way to Jerry Dunn. A fielder’s choice grounder from Octavio Martinez brought Morris home, giving the Barnstormers a 3-0 lead but Dunn would throw a shutout 7th to keep the margin there. Darcy finished 5.1 innings, allowing ten hits and three runs without a walk.

The Somerset offense had much difficulty against Jason Simontacchi who made his longest start of the season, throwing 7.0 innings of shutout baseball, yielding just four hits. With the help of two walks and a couple of Lancaster errors, the Patriots had chances to bring runs home but Simontacchi (3-4) stranded seven men on base through his seven-inning outing.

It wasn’t until Ross Peeples entered in the 8th that Somerset got on the board. Peeples was on to face a pair of lefties in the inning but Josh Pressley launched a one-out solo homer to right field off the southpaw while Pete LaForest smacked a two-out double. Peeples left in favor of all-star reliever Tim McNab but Michael Hernandez lined a base-hit to left, bringing LaForest home to cut the deficit to one. McNab began the 9th inning by surrendering an Elliott Ayala single but David Housel quickly grounded a one-hopper to Aaron Herr, initiating a double play. McNab retired Wayne Lydon to end the game, finishing off the first ever Barnstormer sweep of the Patriots.

Somerset (0-4, 36-38) begins a three-game series on Tuesday against their cross-state rivals, the Camden Riversharks. Coverage begins at 7:00 pm on 1450 WCTC-AM and online at http://www.wctcam.com and http://www.somersetpatriots.com.

NOTES: Lancaster notched double-digit hits in the final three games of the series…15 of 25 Lancaster runs in the four game set came with two outs…seven of 11 Barnstormer hits on Sunday came with two outs… the Barnstormers hit 12 home runs in the eight games against Somerset this past week…the Patriots were errorless for the first time in the second half…Hernandez’s RBI base hit was just his fourth hit in 31 at-bats…Jeff Nettles notched two more hits, closing out a solid 5-15 series in his return to the lineup…Ayala, after committing five errors in the last three games, started at second base for the third time in his Patriot career with Housel starting at shortstop…Ryan Houston pitched for the first time since the all-star game and tossed a scoreless 8th with two strikeouts.

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