By Anthony Caruso III
Camden, N.J. — For the early part of the game, both teams were battling back and forth with a close game in sight.
Then, in two short innings, the game was put out of reach. In those two particular innings, there was a total of 9 runs scored.
Yet, none of those runs came from the home team, the Camden Riversharks. They were all scored by the Lancaster Barnstormers. As a result, the Barnstormers went on to roll past the Riversharks, 12-3, yesterday afternoon at Campbell’s Field.
“Yeah, it was tough giving up those runs,” said Riversharks outfielder Wayne Lydon. “It allowed them to get all the momentum with their key hits, which allowed them to score those runs. Their pitchers used that momentum against us. It’s tough when you get behind a lot. It brings you down, but it’s apart of the game.”
The Barnstormers scored 5 runs in the 6th inning. And scored an additional 4 runs in the 7th inning.In the second-half of the season, the Riversharks are 5-12.
They are currently in last-place in the Liberty Division. Lancaster improved to 8-10 in the second-half.
They are currently tied in last-place with the York Revolution in the Freedom Division. The Barnstormers were 2-1 in the 3-game set with the Riversharks. The Riversharks won on Friday night, before Lancaster won both on Saturday and yesterday afternoon.
“Yeah, we came out and was able to win the first game,” said Lydon. “We got some key hits in the first game. (Saturday), they had guys that pitched well and they had some key hits – they reversed it on us. (Yesterday), they did much of the same as they did on Saturday – good pitching and key hits.”
In the top of the 9th inning, the Barnstormers added two additional runs to make the score 12-3. With a runner on base, Anderson Machado, a former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop, hit a 2-run home run over the right field wall off of Riversharks pitcher Kalen Gearhart. It is his second home run of the season.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Riversharks added two runs, their final runs in the game. Jon Knott, an outfielder, had a two-run single to make the score 10-3. Brian Burgamy and Lydon both scored.
“He’s (Knott) been playing well,” said Lydon. “He hit one in the gap and it was able to give us two more runs, even though it didn’t make a dent in the score.”
The Riversharks gave up 4 runs in the 7th inning. Ryan Mulhern drew a bases-loaded walk to score a run, then catcher Gerard Haran hit a single to left field to score Michael Campbell and Aaron Herr. Shortly there after, Lloyd Turner hit a single to allow Mulhern to score.
Riversharks pitcher Josh Newman pitched the entire 7th inning and gave up all 4 runs and another run in the 6th inning. Fellow pitcher Ryan DiPietro pitched 2.2 innings and allowed the other 4 runs.
Haran lead all Barnstormers with 4 RBI’s in the game. Machado also added 3 RBI’s.
In the 6th inning, it all started with a 2-base error. Matt Watson hit a single to right field, which the right fielder Brian Burgamy let get past him. Michael Woods scored an unearned run when Burgamy let the ball get past him.
After Watson advanced to third on the error, Herr hit an RBI flyout to score Watson. A few batters later, Haran hit an RBI double to score both Jed Morris and Mulhern. The very next batter, Machado, hit a double that scored Haran.
The Riversharks first got on the board in the 5th inning. Lydon hit a short pop up between the third basemen and left field that got in between the two players.
With the two-out hit, it allowed John Purdom, a new Riversharks player, to score. That made the score 1-1.
“Well, we had a good bunt by Dave Housel before my at-bat to get (Purdom) in scoring position. Their pitcher had walked the batter in front of me – and I think we had two outs at the time – I got behind in the count and got lucky with a curve ball. I was able to get it in between both fielders.”
Lydon and his teammates were only able to score 1 run against former Braves pitcher Trey Hodges. Hodges pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 hits and 3 walks. He also struck out 1 batter.
“I thought he pitched good,” said Lydon of Hodges. “I thought he did well with his pitches. Overall, he did well.”
Hodges was matched up against a new Riversharks pitcher. Brian Reith was pitching in his first game in Camden yesterday afternoon after signing on Saturday. It was the first-time Reith has been a starter in a game in nearly a year.
“I felt pretty good (yesterday),” said Reith. “It’s been a while since I had started (a game) since last summer with the Somerset (Patriots). I just wanted to get out there and get through it. I wanted to make my pitches and try to make outs to give my team a chance for the win. I feel like I did that for the most part while I was out there.”
Reith pitched 3 innings and was removed after he reached his pitch count – both Reith and his coaches agreed to the pitch count. He allowed 4 hits and 1 earned run in the 13 batters he faced. He also struck out 2 batters.
Reith was invited to spring training camp with the Milwaukee Brewers in February, 2009. He moved on to the Méxican League, and then to the Joliet Jackhammers, in the Northern League. Reith was placed on the inactive list by the Jackhammers on July 17th, before moving onto Camden.
“Playing in Cancún, México was great!” said Reith. “It’s a big city, as you can imagine. It’s a nice place to play. The League’s pretty good. It’s an eye-opening experience, with their culture. Joliet was also good, but it didn’t work out there either. That’s why I’m here.”
The only run Reith game up in the game was a home run. The home run came in the second inning by Herr.
“Well, the first pitch, I was trying to get in on him,” said Reith. “It was a ball to make the count 1-0. I tried to get in there again and he was ready for it. He put a pretty good swing on the fast ball and it went out of the park.”
The loss marked the final game as a member of the Riversharks of catcher Jason Jacobs. Jacobs is leaving the team today to go back to college. The Riversharks are expected to make a catcher signing at some point in the next few days to replace Jacobs.
“It’s tough losing him,” said Lydon. “He’s a good catcher and a good guy. It’s going to be tough not having him in the clubhouse anymore after (yesterday). Unfortunately, he’s leaving baseball behind to go back to college, in what has to be the best move for him and his family. We’re going to miss seeing him.”
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