Big first inning helps Revs earn home-opening victory
- The Revolution won their home opener, 5-4, over Somerset, improving to 3-4.
- York scored all five of its runs in the bottom of the first.
- Alonzo Harris recorded a single to now have a hit in six of the team's first seven games.
The York Revolution didn't give its fans too many chances to cheer on Friday night, but when it did, those moments mattered.
Playing in their home opener, the Revs scored five times in the first inning and then made it hold up, as they knocked off the Somerset Patriots, 5-4, in front of 5,367 fans at PeoplesBank Park.
York won its second consecutive game to improve to 3-4, while the Patriots dropped their second game of the year and are now 6-2.
"We fed off the fans in the first inning," manager Mark Mason said. "We were down a run and the energy was good. (Alonzo) Harris was good. He starts off with a base hit and then steals a base and the next thing you know people can feel it building and it snowballed in the first inning for us."
Somerset did take a quick 1-0 lead, but it was short-lived, thanks to the monster bottom half of the frame for the Revs. The big thing for York in the inning is that all five runs came with two outs, as well. Angel Franco plated the first two runs with a two-run single, which was followed by an RBI single by Bryan Pounds. Then, Jared Mitchell followed suit with a two-run triple after the Patriots' center fielder, Darren Ford, and left fielder, Aharon Eggleston, collided with each other in left-centerfield trying to track down a deep fly ball.
From that point forward, however, the Revs struggled to really put anything together, manufacturing just three hits the rest of the game, but the runs in the first were enough to secure the win.
"Sometimes, when you have big innings, teams tend to die down," Harris said. "We kept it going, but some balls just didn't fall our way."
The Patriots did get a run back in the top of the second to get to within three runs, but that was all it could get off of York starter Steve Janas. Janas, despite allowing five hits and four walks in five innings, limited the damage nicely, allowing just the two runs before turning things over to the bullpen.
Somerset made the game interesting again in the top of the seventh, when it scored two unearned runs off of Julio DePaula to pull to within 5-4. The defense let down DePaula, who only allowed one ball into the outfield, but two errors by his infielders led to a Patriot run and forced Mason to go to Logan Westphal after DePaula secured just one out.
Westphal allowed a sacrifice fly on his first batter, leading to the second Somerset run in the frame, but he kept the lead in tact with a strikeout to end the frame. Westphal retired all five hitters he faced and then turned things over to Brad Allen, who earned the save, helped out by a game-ending caught stealing on a nice throw by catcher Isaias Tejeda.
"I'm still trying to figure out roles out of the bullpen," Mason said about his relievers. "I have ideas in my mind based on what I've seen to this point, but that was Brad Allen's first attempt to try and save a game. Westphal was phenomenal and DePaula had some bad luck."
Harris continued his hot start at the plate with the single in the first. He now has a hit in six of the team's first seven games, including four multi-hit games. Franco was the only player on the team to register a multi-hit game, going 2 for 2 before exiting the game with an injury in the fifth inning.
Despite the below average road trip to begin the season and only manufacturing offense in one inning on Friday night, Mason still likes what he's seen out of his team through the first week of the season as it looks to get back to .500.
"I think we're gelling a bit right now," Mason said. "We're having run. There's still some guys I want to see a little bit and this homestand I'm going to take the opportunity to do that and then I'll make some decisions after that."
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org