Patriots Score Five in Crazy, Controversial Seventh
One problematic inning cost the Lancaster Barnstormers on Sunday afternoon.
The top of the seventh produced five hits, a walk, two errors, an injured catcher, controversy and, ultimately five runs, as the Somerset Patriots upended the ‘Stormers, 6-4, completing a sweep of a three-game series.
Scott Kelly opened the seventh on a five-pitch walk from Terry Doyle (4-5), who carried a 3-1 lead into the frame. Luis Mateo hit a high bounder to third baseman Sean Halton, who snapped a quick throw to Yusuke Kajimoto at second. Kajimoto was upended by Kelly on a slide to the centerfield side of the bag, and the Barnstormers argued that Mateo should have been called out on the new rules regarding takeout slides. Lancaster lost the discussion, and the door was open for Somerset. Mycal Jones followed with a single to center, adding a second runner. Vinny Zarrillo laid down a bunt to the third base side of the mound. Doyle fielded the play but made a high throw to first, allowing Mateo to score and Jone to head to third.
Pete Andrelczyk came on in relief and was greeted by a long double to left center by Bryan LaHair that scored both runners to give Somerset a 4-3 lead. David Vidal doubled home another run, and Kyle Roller slapped a single into left. Justin Jackson took over and got Carlos Guzman to hit a bouncer toward first. Mike McDade fired home, and Vidal scored the fifth run of the inning as Charlie Cutler lost control of the ball.
A foul tip on a 3-1 count to Yovan Gonzalez, jumped out of the dirt and hurt Cutler, knocking Lancaster’s regular backstop out of the game. McDade took over, handled the third strike and then promptly tagged out Roller on a single by Kelly to end the inning.
Lancaster had taken a 3-1 lead off Rudy Owens (2-2) in the fourth on McDade’s three-run blast to left. Owens ended up working seven innings, allowing six hits and those three runs. Doyle worked 6 1/3, giving up seven hits and four runs, two of which were unearned.
Sean Halton led off the ninth with a home run to left off Jon Hunton, but the league’s all-time saves leader retired three straight afterward for his 23rd save of 2016 and 16th in succession.
The Barnstormers open a three-game series against the division-leading Sugar Land Skeeters on Monday. Lancaster will send left-hander Anthony Fernandez (0-0) to the mound against right-hander Sean Gallagher (6-4). Fans may tune into Blue Ridge Cable-11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 7:00.
NOTES: McDade has four homers and 12 RBI in his last nine games…His streak of consecutive base hits ended at seven when he lined out to left field in the second inning…Doyle worked at least six innings for the 11th consecutive start…Halton’s home run was his 33rd extra base hit in his last 59 games…Somerset won nine of ten against the Barnstormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium this season…The Barnstormers were swept for the first time since May3-5 at Long Island.