Game 2: Patriots Bats Battle Back, Series Tied 1-1

(PR) York, PA – Matt Hagen drove in three runs and Bill Pulsipher tossed a quality outing as the Somerset Patriots defeated the York Revolution 9-2 on Thursday night at Sovereign Bank Stadium, leveling the Freedom Division Championship Series at one game apiece.

In a tight game over the first seven frames, Somerset took a lead in the 3rd on a Jeff Nettles RBI single, bringing an unearned run home against York starter Corey Thurman. But York answered back quickly when Chuck Jeroloman launched a two-run homer to left center against Pulsipher (1-0). In the 4th, Hagen went to work after Noah Hall walked on a close 3-2 pitch. The third-year Patriot sent a fly ball sailing over the 38-foot Arch Nemesis wall in left field to put Somerset in front 3-2 and that’s where the game would remain until the late innings.

Pulsipher and Thurman (0-1) battled through the middle innings with the former dancing out of trouble all night. With the one-run cushion in the 4th, Pulsipher gave up a leadoff single to Jose Herrera and saw James Shanks send a double off the bottom of the wall in left-center field. Herrera pulled up at third but, after noticing the ball had ricocheted away from Wayne Lydon, took off for home. Iggy Suarez fired a relay throw home, nailing Herrera for the first out. Shanks ended up at third but was left stranded after Pulsipher retired the next two men.

In the 5th, with John Pachot and Scott Grimes in scoring position, Suarez took a grounder from Rodriguez and, seeing that Pachot had gone too far from third, threw behind him for a big out. James Shanks ran into a double play in the 6th inning when Hagen caught an Ian Bladergroen pop-up and was doubled off at second base. All three men represented the tying run and were eliminated in scoring position as Pulsipher finished 6.0 solid frames, striking out four while scattering nine hits.

After allowing the Hagen homer, Thurman retired the next nine men he faced to finish his 6.0 innings with just four hits against him. Dustin Pease retired the Patriots in order in the 7th, making it a dozen in a row retired but the York bullpen scuffled after that. Somerset against Pease, one of the league’s top relievers in Sean Stidfole, and Jason Richardson, knocked four hits, drew a pair of walks, and got three two-out run-scoring hits from Hall, Hagen, and Elliott Ayala to bring home five runs in the 8th. A wild pitch from RJ Rodriguez allowed Josh Pressley to score in the 9th for the final margin while Ben Grezlovski, Andrew Dobies, and Travis Minix threw the final three frames scoreless for the victory.

Somerset (1-1) and York (1-1) each look for an advantage in Game 3 when Josh Miller (12-9, 3.65) squares off with Chris Salberg (1-1, 6.10) from TD Bank Ballpark. Friday night’s coverage begins at 7:00 pm on 1450 WCTC-AM and http://www.wctcam.com.

NOTES: The home run was Hagen’s third career Patriot playoff shot. He now has 15 career playoff RBIs…Ayala leads active Patriots with 19 career playoff RBIs…the Patriots are now 3-3 after losing Game 1, 3-1 since 2007…Somerset is 14-7 all-time at TD Bank Ballpark in playoff games and is now 28-19 overall in post-season contests.

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