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Somerset Trips Up Lancaster, 4-3

Bryan LaHair saved one last blow for the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2016.

The Somerset first baseman singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, his 21st RBI of the season series, as the Patriots defeated the ‘Stormers, 4-3, in the final meeting between the two clubs in 2016.

R. J. Hively (1-6) walked Vinny Zarrillo on four pitches to open the latter half of the 10th inning. Aharon Eggleston advanced the runner with a grounder to first baseman K.C. Hobson, a ball that was bobbled momentarily. David Vidal hit a comebacker, and Hively flagged it. He stared Zarrillo back to second, then lobbed the ball over Hobson’s head for an error, sending Zarrillo to third.

Jonny Drozd was summoned to face LaHair. The lefty batter dropped a soft liner in front of the charging Blake Gailen to produce the winning run and had the ice bucket dumped on him at first base in celebration.

The winning run came after the Barnstormers had missed out on a chance in the top of the 10th. Caleb Gindl rapped a single into center leading off and moved up on a bunt by Trayvon Robinson. Lancaster caught a break when Hobson’s pop up was allowed to fall in behind the pitcher’s mound, but Jeremy Bleich (1-2) coaxed a 1-4-3 double play, the fifth of the night for the Somerset defense, out of Josh Bell to end the threat.

A double by Mike Jacobs, deep lineout by Kevin Ahrens and single by Mike McDade combined to produce the first run of the night as Lancaster went up in the top of the second.

The Barnstormers added two more in the fourth. Jacobs led off with a left side roller for a base hit, crossing up the shift. Ahrens followed with an RBI double on a chopper over the head of third baseman Carlos Guzman. McDade singled Ahrens to third with a soft liner into right center. A big inning was thwarted when Chase Patterson rapped a wicked line drive into LaHair’s glove for a quick double play. The Barnstormers were still able to bring home the third run on a single to right by Dean Wilson.

Doubles by LaHair and Kyle Roller got one run back off Terry Doyle. Aharon Eggleston singled home Brian Van Kirk in the fifth to draw Somerset within one run. LaHair tied the game with a leadoff homer to right in the sixth.

The Barnstormers head home to face the Bridgeport Bluefish on Friday evening. Mad Chad, the Chainsaw Juggler, will perform before and during the game and fireworks will follow. Lancaster will send lefty Kelvin De La Cruz (9-9) to the hill against right-hander Ross Seaton. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 7:00.

NOTES: Gindl extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a bunt in the seventh…He can tie the franchise record with a base hit on Friday…Doyled worked 7 1/3 innings, the 16th time in his last 17 starts he has gone at least six…Hobson finished the night with four hits…Mike McDade finished the season series with 27 hits against Somerset…The Patriots won the season series, 13-7…Lancaster is 3-9 in extra inning games and 10-26 in one-run games.