The York Revolution returned home in a big way, breaking out with a huge 11-6 series opening win over the Somerset Patriots to snap a three-game losing streak in front of 5,504 fans at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Friday evening.
The Revs will go for their first series win of the year on Saturday, a night that will feature postgame fireworks shot from inside the stadium.
Friday marked the Revs' first comeback win of the year, as Somerset grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly to deep center by Jesse Hoorelbeke, but center fielder Stephen Douglas made a terrific play, turning and firing to shortstop Danny Gonzalez, who then relayed home to throw out Freddie Bynum, attempting to score from second base on the play.
Michael Hernandez quickly tied things for the Revs, smacking a first-pitch home run to right field with two outs in the bottom of the first, his fifth homer on a current nine-game hitting streak. The round-tripper also tied him for the league lead in home runs with five overall.
Revs starter Yunior Novoa retired 10 consecutive batters before Hoorelbeke launched a solo homer to left with two outs in the fourth, giving Somerset a 2-1 lead.
The Revs answered back with a big fourth, scoring four times and chasing Patriots starter Doug Arguello in the process. Chris Nowak drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a double off the left-center wall by Andres Perez. James Shanks then battled his way on base with a walk, loading the bags with none out. Ramon Castro drove in the tying run on a fielder's choice, Danny Gonzalez picked up his first Revs RBI on a single to left, and Salvador Paniagua extended his hitting streak to eight consecutive games with a laser up the middle for another RBI single. Douglas dove in at first beating out an infield single to end Arguello's night, and Liubiemithz Rodriguez did the same, diving in at first to beat a relay throw on an attempted double play, allowing the fourth run to score, as the Revs grabbed a 5-2 lead.
Novoa cruised into the sixth inning but exited after a one-out walk and a bloop double from Bynum. Freddy Sandoval's RBI groundout and a flare single by Hoorelbeke brought Somerset within 5-4, as both runs were charged to Novoa who finished with 5.1 innings, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out a Revs' season-best six.
Jeff Nettles led off the seventh inning with a game-tying home run, his record 600th RBI in the Atlantic League.
The Revs again responded in impressive fashion, however, ripping off their biggest inning of the season, en route to their largest offensive output in a game thus far on the year.
It began with a leadoff single to right field by Douglas, the first hit allowed by reliever Carlton Smith after 2.2 stellar innings. Rodriguez then bunted for a single, and with one out, Smith hit Nowak with a pitch loading the bases. Reliever Chase Wright issued a walk to Perez forcing in the go-ahead run, before the Revs took control on a two-run single to right by Shanks, and a three-run homer to left-center by Castro, his first of the season, capping the six-run outburst and effectively putting the game out of reach with an 11-5 lead. It capped a four-RBI night for Castro, who entered the game with just three runs batted in all year.
Nettles drove in one more on a single in the eighth inning to provide the final scoring.
Reliever Ian Thomas (1-0) earned the win for York despite allowing Nettles' game-tying homer in the seventh.
Smith (1-1) suffered the loss for Somerset, charged with three of the six runs in the seventh inning.
Every Revs starter either drove in a run or scored a run. Eight of the nine starters scored, and eight of the nine hit safely.
The 11 runs were not only a season-high for the Revs, but also the most allowed by Somerset in a game so far on the year.
York will look for its first back-to-back wins of the season on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. with Corey Thurman (0-1) facing Mike MacDonald (1-0) on the mound. It is Bike Night presented by Action Motorsports, with Postgame Fireworks presented by Sprint, launched from inside the stadium.