Barnstormers Take Series Finale at Somerset, 6-4
Josh Whitaker gave Lancaster a lead in the sixth inning with a solo home run.
That advantage did not hold, so the Barnstormers left fielder produced another, singling home two runs with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Cory Burns held that lead as Lancaster took the rubber game of the series from the Somerset Patriots, 6-4, on a chilly Sunday afternoon at TD Bank Park.
Michael Crouse led off the ninth with a double down the left field line and stole third after Chase Patterson pulled back a bunt attempt. Kyler Newby (0-1) retired Patterson on a pop up to second. Logan Schafer was walked intentionally to set up the possibility of a double play. Newby got the second out as Jeff Kobernus tapped back to the mound on a check swing. Somerset again went to the intentional walk, putting Caleb Gindl on board to load the bases, but Whitaker ruined the strategy with a two-run single to left.
Burns came on and survived a leadoff scratch hit by Scott Kelly, striking out two and getting a shallow fly to left to earn his fourth save.
Lancaster erased a 2-0 Somerset lead in the top of the fifth. Mike McDade lashed a single up the middle, just the second Barnstormers’ hit of the day off starter Jeremy Horst. Crouse hit a smash toward the middle. Kelly made a diving stop to his right, but Darwin Perez fumbled the feed to second, keeping the inning alive. Patterson blooped a single into center to load the bases. One run came home as Schafer was hit by a pitch. Kobernus plated two more with a single into left field.
Somerset drew even in the bottom of the inning on Eric Farris’ one-out RBI single into right, but Whitaker answered that with his solo homer one out into the sixth.
The Patriots responded off Scott Gracey (2-0) in the eighth. Rob Kral picked up a leadoff walk and advanced on Yovan Gonzalez’ sacrifice. Perez lashed a single through the left side, chasing Kral to third. Following Perez’ steal of second, Mycal Jones got the tying run home with a grounder to short.
Lancaster returns home to face the division leading York Revolution in a four-game series beginning Monday at 7:00. Right-hander Bryan Evans (1-2) is slated to face lefty Kelvin De La Cruz. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45.
NOTES: Whitaker has game-winning hits on back-to-back Sundays…Three of his four homers have come against Somerset…Gracey is now 7-0 as a Barnstormer…Gindl went 2-for-4 to stretch his current streak to 10 games…Kevin Ahrens has hit in eight in a row…McDade is 7-for-17 in the last four games…The Barnstormers have won four of seven series this season.