Hammes blows the lead, as the Freedom Division beats the Liberty Division

By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: July 12th, 2012 at 2:15 AM EST

Camden – The Camden Riversharks had the spotlight on them.

However, it was the wrong kind of spotlight. There were six Riversharks playing in the game at Campbell’s Field, which is their home field.

The home team talent cost the Liberty Division the All-Star game. The Freedom Division were able to come from behind to defeat the Liberty Division, 9-5, last night in front of 7,619 fans.

Atlantic League All-Star logo

Atlantic League All-Star logo

It is the second straight win for the Freedom Division over the Liberty Division. Liberty Division last beat the Freedom Division in 2010 at Long Island.

The Riversharks in attendance were Ricky Brooks, Zach Hammes, Brian Burgamy, Jake Eigsti, Chris Walker, and Eduardo Perez. Walker was the lone Riversharks member that had a good night going 2-for-2.

“That’s the game of baseball,” said Hammes. “Walk (Walker) has been doing good lately. But there were likely situations, where Burgie (Burgamy), Perez, and Eigsti didn’t see the ball like they were used to. As to the other pitchers, I can’t say.”

Hammes, the Riversharks closer, received the loss in the game. He pitched one inning of play; however, he gave up 6 runs in the inning.

“They gave me the opportunity to close the door being that we were at home,” said Hammes. “I just didn’t get it done. I appreciated the opportunity, but I didn’t take advantage of it. I wish I could have done better.”

The game was blown in the 9th inning when Hammes started to struggle. Jesse Hoorelbeke and Fehlandt Lentini had back-to-back singles. Emerson Frostad singled and knocked in Hoorelbeke.

Frostad advanced to third base on a throwing error over the catchers’ head. Brandon Haveman walked and Bubba Bell singled in Lentini and Frostad.

Freddie Bynum doubled in Haveman, then Bell advanced to third base. Jeff Nettles walked. Ofilio Castro grounded into a double play that allowed Bell to score.

Bynum scored on a wild pitch to end the nightmare for Hammes.

“Well, it was disappointing for myself,” said Hammes. “I let the team down after they had give me the lead. It was my job to shut the door, and I didn’t do it. I have to move on and learn from it.”

In the bottom of the 9th inning, the Liberty Division attempted to make a comeback. Riversharks’ Chris Walker singled and immediately was erased from the base paths when Christian Lopez grounded into a double play.

Riversharks’ Jake Eigsti advanced on an error by the Freedom third baseman Jeff Nettles. Kraig Binick doubled and Eigsti scored.

Adam Thomas, who was making his second straight All-Star game appearance, received the win in the contest. He pitched the 8th inning for the Freedom and allowed a hit, and didn’t give up a single run.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, a scary moment happened when Eduardo Perez lost control of his bat after receiving a pitch from Thomas. As the bat went through the air, it struck a lady in the fans.

There were different accounts as to what happened with some saying she was hit in the head, while others say she was hit in the shoulder. One thing is for certain is that she was hit by the bat and was injured. She threw up in the stands.

A few minutes later, she left the stadium on a stretcher.

“I don’t know,” said Perez. “That’s a bad thing that happened. I’m going to try to make it up to her. I’ll do anything – sign a bat for her.”

Perez said it just slipped. He added that it happens about three times a season.

“I never hit somebody before this, but I feel really bad right now,” said Perez.

In the top of the 4th inning, the Freedom Division got back on the board. Nettles hit a solo home run to make the score 4-2.

After a Brian Burgamy ground ball, Casey Benjamin singled. Brock Peterson reached base on a fielder’s choice and Benjamin advanced to second base.

Luis Lopez singled and Peterson advanced to second base. Benjamin scored for the 3-1 lead. Prentice Redman doubled and scored Peterson for the 4-1 lead.

“The team played good for 8 innings and they gave us the chance to win,” said Hammes. “I think the most of the members of the team would have thought we would have given up at least one run, but again, it comes back to me and I didn’t get the job done.”

The Freedom Division struck first. They struck just two batters into the game.

Adam Godwin walked to start the game. Then, he stole second base., And Blake Gailen singled Godwin in for the 1-0 lead.

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