Barnstormers Cap Rally with Inside-the-Park Homer
The latest thrill provided by the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2017 came of the fleet feet of center fielder Beau Amaral.
Amaral hit the first Barnstormers inside-the-park home run in more than six years in the bottom of the seventh, finally putting the Barnstormers over the top in a thrilling, 12-11, comeback win at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
The win kept Lancaster two games ahead of York in the second half Freedom Division race.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the Barnstormers down, 11-9, Anderson De La Rosa reached base when a third strike from Felipe Paulino eluded the grasp of catcher Santiago Nessy. Josh Bell rapped a single to right center, chasing De La Rosa to third. Bell took off for second, and Amaral followed with a slicing fly ball down the left field line. Joe Benson raced over and made a diving effort. The ball skipped beyond Benson and rolled into the left field corner. The tying runs scored easily, and Amaral barreled toward the plate, sliding in as the relay throw bounced away from Nessy.
It was the third time on the night the Barnstormers had erased a lead.
Sugar Land jumped out to a 5-0 lead with five singles off Jarret Leverett in the first. Kevin Ahrens and Bryan Pounds each drove home two, and Derek Miller capped the inning with an infield hit to plate Pounds with the fifth run.
The Barnstormers inched back on a Trayvon Robinson RBI single in the bottom of the first and two more runs in the second, keyed by a Lastings Milledge double past third. Sean Halton tied the game with a two-run homer onto the picnic deck in the bottom of the third, but a double play kept the Barnstormers from taking the lead against Bobby Blevins.
Back-to-back RBI doubles by Anthony Giansanti and Cole Gillespie gave the Skeeters another two-run lead in the fourth. Again, the Barnstormers answered, this time on Cole Garner’s second blast to the left field hill in two nights.
Leverett was chased by Miller’s two-run shot down the left field line in the fifth. Three straight singles greeted John Kuncho in his relief appearance to extend the Sugar Land lead to 10-7.
It was Bell coming through with the two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to bring Lancaster to within a run. Gillespie made it 11-9 with his second RBI double of the night in the top of the seventh.
Daniel Moskos (5-1) picked up the win over Paulino (3-2). Anthony Carter recorded his 24th save.
The Barnstormers will look for the sweep on Sunday afternoon with Rommie Lewis (6-8) on the hill against right-hander Sean Gleason (1-7). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 1:45.
NOTES: Halton extended his hitting streak to 12 games, a new season high for the Barnstormers…He also stretched his RBI streak to eight, one shy of the franchise record…He has 14 RBI in those eight games and 18 in his last 10…Carter has recorded 23 saves in a row and has not allowed a run in his last 16 innings…There were 32 hits in the game, 13 for extra bases…The teams totaled 55 bases…The last inside-the-park homer by a Barnstormer before Saturday night was hit by Gilberto Mejia at Long Island, May 27, 2011.