Barnstormers Drop 3-1 Decision at Somerset
The Lancaster Barnstormers outplayed the host Somerset Patriots on Saturday evening, except for one four-batter long stretch.
Those four batters produced three runs in the bottom of the third, leading the Somerset Patriots to a 3-1 victory over the 'Stormers in the middle game of a three-game series.
After Tyler Bortnick jumped Lancaster to a 1-0 lead with a one-out solo homer to left in the top of the third, Somerset went to work against Nate Reed (6-3) in the home half.
Justin Trapp picked up a one-out walk and stole second. Justin Pacchioli rapped a single into right field to chase Trapp to third. Craig Massey lofted a fly ball to medium center, scoring the run. Ramon Flores followed with a two-run blast to right for the 3-1 lead.
Somerset did not get a runner as far as second base in any of the other seven innings and only managed two other singles and two more walks against Reed and the bullpen.
Meanwhile, the Barnstormers had at least one runner aboard in every inning beyond the first and left at least one man in scoring position five times.
David Kubiak (5-1) checked Lancaster on four hits and three walks over the first seven innings.
In the eighth, Rico Noel bunted for a single off Mike Antonini and stole second before the first out. Blake Gailen struck out against the lefty. With Ryan Casteel at the plate, Noel stole third, but Antonini fanned Casteel and induced a ground out from Trayvon Robinson to end the inning.
Lancaster put together an even bigger threat against reliever Ryan Kelly in the ninth. After K.C. Hobson blistered a line drive to first baseman Jermaine Curtis for the first out, Nate Coronado drilled a single into left. Pinch runner Carlos Garcia stole second and took third on a deep fly by Anderson De La Rosa. Bortnick, who was never retired in the game, picked up a walk and stole second, the Barnstormers' fifth swipe of the game. Kelly struck out Darian Sandford on a 1-2 pitch to end the night with his 13th save.
The series concludes late Sunday afternoon. Brooks Hall (6-2) gets the start for Lancaster against right-hander Cory Riordan. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 4:45.
NOTES: Reed was credited with his second quality start...The five steals gives Lancaster 146 in 68 games, ahead of league record pace...Four of Bortnick's five homers have been hit on the road...The 'Stormers bullpen pitched two more scoreless innings to extend its streak to 17 2/3 overall...Lancaster has averaged 2.65 runs over the last 17 games, going 6-11.
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