Lancaster Tops Somerset, 3-2, in Series Opener
Joe Gardner gave the Barnstormers a badly needed big start.
Gardner (1-3) worked seven innings, allowing seven singles and just one earned run, pitching the Lancaster Barnstormers to a 3-2 win over the Somerset Patriots Monday evening at TD Bank Park.
That win, combined with a York loss at Long Island, brought the Barnstormers back to a first place tie in the Freedom Division race with 19 games left in the second half.
Lancaster scored an unearned run in the second, and Gardner shut Somerset out on two hits over the first 4 1/3 innings before Aharon Eggleston grounded a single past third base. With Eggleston in motion, Yovan Gonzalez slapped a ball back to the mound. Gardner tried for the out at second, but made a wild throw that second baseman Lance Zawadzki could not save as Eggleston charged to third with the tying run. Carlos Guzman singled to left to tie the game, and a base hit to right by Alfredo Rodriguez loaded the bases. Gardner escaped further trouble, coaxing a 5-4-3 double play out of Olmo Rosario to end the inning.
Still, the Barnstormers trailed Will Oliver (5-6) entering the eighth inning, having managed only four singles against the Somerset right-hander. With one out in the eighth, Garrett Weber drilled a triple to right, just out of the reach of Greg Golson. Cole Garner was hit by a pitch, giving Lancaster an additional runner. League RBI leader Sean Halton singled to left center to tie the game, and, after a walk to Steve Clevenger, Nate Coronado delivered the eventual winning run with a sacrifice fly to left.
R.J. Hively pitched a perfect eighth inning. Coronado gave the Patriots a brief opening in the ninth with a throwing error on Justin Trapp’s leadoff ground ball, but the threat was quickly snuffed out as Anthony Carter got two weak grounders to third and a strikeout to pick up his 27th save of the year.
Somerset hosts the Barnstormers again on Tuesday with left-hander Luis Gonzalez (0-1) taking the hill for Lancaster against right-hander Lucas Irvine (8-3). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45.
NOTES: Coronado extended a hitting streak to eight games with a single in the fourth…Lancaster won for the first time this season at Somerset, on the first visit since dropping all four in the season opening series at TD Bank Park…The Barnstormers are 10-2 in one-run games since the All-Star Break.