With the annual Christmas in July promotion only three days away, the Lancaster Barnstormers got some early gifts from the Somerset Patriots on Tuesday evening.
The Barnstormers were all too glad to open them and put them to use.
Lancaster took advantage of a ninth inning fielding error and a 10th inning throwing error to rally past the Somerset Patriots, 5-4, in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
With the Barnstormers trailing, 4-2, entering the bottom of the ninth, Darian Sandford’s leadoff ground ball was bobbled by second baseman Scott Kelly to the backhanded side. Michael Martinez almost tied the game on his own with a line drive off the top of the right field wall that resulted in a long single. A walk to Caleb Gindl loaded the bases against closer Jonathan Cheshire. Joe Terdoslavich was retired on a fly ball to medium left for the first out, but Andrew Aplin was able to deliver a two-run single to right center to tie the game. Aplin tried to take second on the throw to the infield and was thrown out at second, rendering Destin Hood’s fly ball to center harmless.
Scott Shuman (2-1) retired the side in order in the top of the 10th, freezing the automatic runner at second base. It took the Barnstormers one batter to decide the game against James Pugliese.
With pinch runner Devon Torrence at second, K.C. Hobson looped a single into shallow center. Torrence stopped around third. Edwin Espinal tried to make a throw behind him but fired the ball past Will Kengor, allowing the winning run to score.
Hobson gave the Barnstormers a 2-1 lead with a two-run homer to right in the bottom of the second. Lancaster failed to extend that lead after loading the bases with nobody out in the third, and the Patriots recovered to tie the game in the fourth. With one out Michael Ohlman doubled inside the third base bag. He took third when Edwin Espinal grounded out to Gindl in right. Yovan Gonzalez drove home the tying run with a single off the right field wall.
The Patriots scored the two go-ahead runs in the top of the fifth without the ball leaving the infield. Nate Reed walked Kelly, and Ramon Flores followed with a perfect bunt single down the third base line. Alejandro Chacin came in. Alfredo Rodriguez bunted with two strikes and was safe on a fielder’s choice as Chacin’s throw to third was late, filling the bases. Jimmy Paredes bounced into a 6-3 double play as Kelly carried the lead run home. Kengor hit a weak grounder to first, but Chacin dropped Hobson’s feed for an error as the fourth Somerset run scored.
Somerset will throw left-hander Thomas Dorminy (5-4) against Lancaster right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo (1-6). Fans may tune into Blue Ridge 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 7:00. It is also Bark and the Park Night and Dollar Hot Dog Night.