Patriots Win On Drennen’s Dramatics
Added by Philip Mathew on May 5, 2012.
The Somerset Patriots extended their winning streak to four games with a 3-2 victory against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Friday night, on a Johnny Drennen two-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Drennen has been on fire the past three nights – hitting late game home runs against Lancaster on Wednesday (game tying) and Thursday night (game winner in extra innings) and then the game-winner tonight off Blue Claws starter Ben Moore.
Outside of that one pitch, Moore had the Patriots under control for most of the night, surrendering one run and two hits over the first 7 1/3 innings.
Southern Maryland would open the scoring during the top of the fourth inning. Brian Barton would hit a two-out double to right field. David Espinosa would follow with an RBI double to left-center field to take a 1-0 lead.
In the top half of the fifth inning, Southern Maryland added to their lead. Richard Giannotti hit a one-out triple after a miscommunication between center and right fielders Drennen and Deangelo Mack. Jeremy Owens would draw a walk to give the Blue Claws runners at the corners. Casey Benjamin came up with two outs and hit an RBI single to right field to increase their lead to 2-0.
In the sixth inning, manager Sparky Lyle went to Derell McCall and the righty pitched solidly out of the bullpen. Somerset would cut the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, with timely hitting from the bottom of the order. Lou Santangelo reached on a shortstop error to lead off the inning. With one out, Rex Rundgren hit an RBI triple to left field to cut the Blue Crabs lead to 2-1. While Freddie Bynum reached on a walk, the Patriots were not able to gain any further ground.
Somerset would take the lead for good during the bottom of the eighth. Jeff Nettles led off with a walk and Lyle called for Dan DeGeorge to pinch-run. Santangelo bunted DeGeorge into scoring position and Drennen came up next. Drennen would drill a home run to right-center field to give the Patriots a 3-2 lead.
On his performance tonight and in recent games, Drennen said, “Nettles had a great at-bat (by) drawing a walk. Lou (Santangelo) laid down the bunt and I was just going up tonight to square something up and have an RBI opportunity. I got a good pitch to hit, squared it up, looked up and it was a home run so I am just enjoying (the run).”
Travis Bowyer came in for the ninth inning to earn the save and give the Patriots a four-game winning streak. While Bowyer gave up two hits in the inning, Somerset held on for the victory.
McCall was credited with the win after throwing three shutout innings, striking out two. Moore took the loss after tossing 7 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits. Bowyer got his first save of the season.
The Patriots continue their home stand with a game tonight at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. against Southern Maryland. After the Blue Crabs leave, the Sugar Land Skeeters come in for a four-game series from Monday-Thursday, with an 11:05 a.m. game on Tuesday morning.
Adam Donachie (day-to-day), who was injured opening night with a sprained ankle, was running during batting practice on Friday and could be back during this home stand, according to General Manager Patrick McVerry.
Jonny Tucker was out of the lineup Friday night due to soreness from running into the wall fielding during the Lancaster series.
Jeff Nettles broke the all-time games (875) and at-bats (3,243) records Thursday night against Lancaster. He stands three hits shy of breaking the record currently held by Rolando Avila.