Game 3: Atlantic League Freedom Division Series

Top 1st — Scott Grimes led off the inning with a clean single to right center field.  Joe Burke made a nice stop on a hard liner hit on the ground by Liu Rodriguez and threw from his knees to get Grimes out at second, but the relay throw on the attempted double play eluded Josh Miller and nearly trickled into the dugout, allowing Rodriguez to advance to second.  But consecutive flyouts by Ramon Castro and Jose Herrera ended the threat.  0-0.

Bottom 1st — Wayne Lydon singles to lead off the inning…and steals second with two outs.  But Josh Pressley hits a borken bat floater to second base to end the first.  0-0

Top 2nd — 1-2-3 inning for Josh Miller, making his first postseason start since the Division Series last year.  0-0 game.

Bottom 2nd — Matt Hagen with a one-out double off the top of the wall in left field to get things going here for the Patriots.  But he too is stranded on second.  Nobody’s gotten past second base through the first two innings off of Salberg or Miller…0-0, going into T3.

Top 3rd — York puts two unearned runs on the board in the third to take a 2-0 lead.  John Pachot led off the frame with a single, and Chuck Jeroloman laced a ground ball down the third base line that Jeff Nettles snared.  Nettles tried to make an off balance throw to second, but pulled Matt Hagen off the bag and was charged with an error…the play could have been scored either way.  Scott Grimes flew out to right field to advance Pachot to third, and Pachot scored one batter later on a Liu Rodriguez sac fly.  Ramon Castro drove in another run with a single and it’s a 2-0 game.

Bottom 3rd — Tough break for the Patriots right there.  Jeff Nettles appeared to have cut Somerset’s deficit to one with a hard-hit double to left center field…but the ball hopped over the wall and was ruled a ground rule double.  Joe Burke, who would have easily scored, had to go back to second.  Josh Pressley was walked to load the bases with two outs, but Noah Hall weakly grounded out to shortstop, and Somerset squandered their best chance yet.  2-0, York.

Top 4th — York strands runners on first and second…it remains 2-0.

Bottom 4th — Somerset cuts the deficit to one.  Wayne Lydon’s RBI single made it a 2-1 game…the Patriots had runners on the corners with two outs, but again could not capitalize any further.  Salberg is certainly giving them chances — 6 hits and 2 walks through 4.  2-1, York, however.

Top 5th — Ramon Castro hit a solo shot to left field off of Miller with two outs to put York up 3-1…

Bottom 5th — Noah Hall reaches first base on a two-out walk, but that’s about it for Somerset right there…they trail, 3-1, going into T6.

Top 6th — With one out and James Shanks on third base, the Patriots played the infield in.  It backfired.  Steve Haake hit a grounder just past a diving Matt Hagen to the right of second base to plate Shanks to make this a 4-1 game.

Bottom 6th — Wayne Lydon drives in another run on a sac fly to make it 4-2…Salberg’s out, Eric Ackerman’s in for the Revs.

Top 7th — Scott Grimes absolutely demolished a Jeff Kennard offering to deep left field.  5-2 game.  Absolute missile, that one was.  My goodness.

Bottom 7th — To this point, York pitchers have issued 10 hits and three walks.  And Somerset has just two runs to show for it.  Iggy Suarez had runners on second and third with two outs, but again…another weak groundout — this time off of Michael Nix — by a Patriot in a key situation kills the rally.  5-2.

Top 8th — Jerry Dunn in to pitch for the Patriots…1-2-3 inning for him.  5-2, York.

Bottom 8th — Jason Belcher led off the inning with a double.  He stayed at second base for the rest of the inning.  Somerset went down in order after that, including a pinch-hit flyout by Michael Hernandez for Joe Burke.

Top 9th — A lengthy ninth inning plates a run…Liu Rodriguez skips a ground ball just past Matt Hagen to give York a 6-2 lead going into B9.

Bottom 9th — Jeff Nettles walks.  A Josh Pressley double gives Somerset runners on second and third with nobody out.  Oh boy……..Jason Belcher draws a bases loaded walk to make it a 6-3 game.  Elliott Ayala with a two-run single to make it 6-5.  But Lydon grounds out.  It’s over.  6-5 loss.  Somerset’s down 2-1 in the best-of-five series.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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