By: Jake Levy
CAMDEN, NJ – Baseball’s a game of inches. One or two more on a fly ball Chris Walker, who represented the go ahead run, in the eighth and this story is written entirely differently.
Instead the ball lands harmlessly in the glove of left fielder Johnny Drennan and the inning is over and the Camden Riversharks fall 3-2 at the hands of the Somerset Patriots for their fourth consecutive defeat.
The Patriots (19-20, 54-55) jumped out to an early lead thanks to a Jesse Hoorelbeke RBI ground-rule double. They added to it in the fourth when Freddie Bynum singled home Joe Holden.
Roy Merritt was untouchable through the first four innings, facing the minimum, but the Riversharks (14-22, 48-57) got to him in the fifth. Pedro Feliz and Eduardo Perez hit back-to-back singles to kick off the frame.
Jake Eigsti tried to sacrifice them over, but Merritt (7-8) tried to cut down Feliz at third. His throw sailed into the left field corner, allowing Feliz to score and putting two more in scoring position. Lloyd Turner singled home Perez, his fourth RBI in four games against the Patriots to tie the game.
Steve Doetsch came to the plate with a chance to put the Sharks ahead. He hit a bullet line drive to first but right at Hoorelbeke, who caught it and simply tagged Lloyd Turner for the double play that couldn’t even score Eigsti from third. It was the first of two devastatingly bad luck plays in the game for the Riversharks.
Keith Weiser continued to battle through seven innings. Weiser (6-8) gave up the game winning hit in the seventh on an RBI double from Corey Smith, chasing home Yunesky Sanchez. Weiser allowed 12 hits but just three runs in the game.