Logan Darnell took a shutout into the eighth inning on Saturday evening, pitching the Somerset Patriots to a 5-1 victory over the host Lancaster Barnstormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Lancaster, however, got much needed help from the Long Island Ducks, who rallied for eight runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and a 10-8 victory over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The combination kept the Barnstormers one game behind the Blue Crabs in the first half Freedom Division race with two games left to play.
Darnell (4-2) allowed only one hit, a first inning single by Lastings Milledge, over the first 5 1/3 innings. He survived mild jams in the sixth and seventh and left with the shutout intact after Vladimir Frias opened the Lancaster eighth with a bloop double to left, and Tyler Clark lined out.
The Barnstormers finally got on the board as Milledge dropped a single into shallow center.
Meanwhile, Somerset was able to put four runs on the board in the top of the second. John Anderson (0-1), making a spot start, faced five batters in a scoreless first inning, all putting the ball in play. The lefty could not repeat the success in the second. He loaded the bases with one out on two walks and a hit batter, then forced in two runs on bases loaded walks to Scott Kelly and Christian Marrero.
Ross Peeples went to his bullpen for Kaohi Downing. The right-hander picked up the second out on a Greg Golson sacrifice fly. Carlos Guzman knocked in the fourth run with a single to left before Downing could escape the inning.
From there, Lancaster’s bullpen was successful. Downing pitched scoreless innings in the third and fourth. R.J. Hively was nicked for a solo run in the fifth as former Barnstormers Olmo Rosario and Tyler Bortnick doubled and singled respectively.
Tommy Shirley went two scoreless innings in his first lengthy outing in over two months. Pete Andrelczyk was handed the baseball for the final two innings. Despite some rust and four walks, the local favorite did not allow a ball out of the infield and did not surrender a run in his first appearance of the season and 190th as a Barnstormer.
The Barnstormers will send Bryan Evans (5-2) to the hill on Sunday afternoon against David Kubiak (3-6) in a battle of right-handers. If the Barnstormers win, they will take the first half race in the Freedom Division to a makeup game at Southern Maryland on Friday, July 28.
NOTES: Lancaster pitching walked a season-high 11…Sean Halton doubled in the seventh, his 12th extra base hit in 15 games…The Barnstormers will need a win on Sunday to keep their streak alive of winning at least two games in each home series…Anderson was starting in place of Nate Reed, whose contract was purchased by the San Francisco Giants earlier in the week.