John Anderson struck out a season-high eight, and Andrew Aplin socked a two-run homer in the first inning to lead the Lancaster Barnstormers to a 4-1 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on Sunday afternoon.
For the Barnstormers, it was the sixth win in the last seven games and kept the club within four games of division leading York.
Anderson (6-5) yielded four hits in his 6 1/3 inning stretch with three of those coming in the seventh inning before his departure. The left-hander walked one and hit a batter to go with the eight strikeouts.
His effort beat that of Kyle Simon (1-3, 2-6) who settled down after a rocky beginning to, at one point, retire 15 consecutive Lancaster hitters.
Simon’s success came three batters too late. Caleb Gindl opened the game with a single to the base of the wall in right and took second on a bobble by Cory Vaughn. Joe Terdoslavich singled to center, sending Gindl to third. Travis Witherspoon, in his first start of the year, fumbled the pickup, allowing Gindl to score the game’s first run. Aplin followed with his third homer, a fly ball down the right field line, and the Barnstormers built the early 3-0 lead.
The right-hander got 18 of the next 20 batters before a Devon Torrence double to right in the seventh. Singles by Josh Bell, Terdoslavich and K.C. Hobson produced the insurance run in the bottom of the eighth before Simon retired Parker Morin to finish his second complete game of the season.
Southern Maryland fought back with a run in the second. Dean Green was hit by a pitch, and Vaughn walked. Anderson got Tony Thomas to ground into a force out at third and struck out Edwin Garcia. Josh McAdams won a lengthy battle with an RBI single to left center.
Anderson then took control, retiring 13 batters in succession until Green singled to right to open the seventh inning.
Pedro Echemendia took over with the bases loaded and struck out both batters he faced in the seventh. Scott Shuman allowed a one-out single to Kent Blackstone in the eighth before picking up two strikeouts as well.
Southern Maryland had a threat working in the ninth as Vaughn was hit by a pitch, and Thomas walked. Cody Eppley was able to work out of the danger on a 5-3 double play off the bat of Garcia. Aplin made a diving catch toward right center, taking a single away from pinch hitter Charlie Valerio to end the afternoon and give Eppley his 16th save.
The Barnstormers open a seven-game series at Sugar Land on Monday evening. Left-hander Nate Reed (0-1) will make the start for Lancaster. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 7:45 EDT (6:45 CDT).
NOTES: Aplin extended his hitting streak to nine with the home run…Gindl lost his seven-game walking streak…Terdoslavich is 20-for-43 (.465) in his last 11 games…Anderson threw his sixth quality start…The win was his third over Southern Maryland…Torrence started for the first time since injuring his knee on a slide into second base on July 19…Shuman threw his sixth straight scoreless inning…He has two wins and three holds in his last five appearances.