Steve Carrillo did his best to keep the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader tied.
Sean Halton spoiled his plans.
The Barnstormers third baseman launched a two-out grand slam down the left field line to snap a 1-1 deadlock in the top of the 12th inning, sending the Barnstormers to a 5-1 victory and a sweep of the day-night doubleheader over the New Britain Bees.
Earlier, the Barnstormers struck for three runs in the top of the seventh for a 6-3 victory over the Bees.
Vladimir Frias picked up a leadoff walk off Chris Hayes (0-1) in the 12th. He was balked to second with one out. Darian Sandford followed with a ground ball to the hole at short. Carrillo made a diving stop to prevent Frias from scoring on the play. Sandford stole second, forcing the Bees to bring their infield in against lefty batting Caleb Gindl. Gindl laced a linder, destined for left. Again Carrillo made the diving snag to keep the Barnstormers off the board. New Britain walked K.C. Hobson intentionally to load the bases. Halton drove Hayes’ 1-2 pitch over the wall down the left field line to bust the game open.
Nate Reed and Casey Coleman each threw six scoreless innings in impressive starts. The Barnstormers snuck home a run off Nate Roe in the top of the seventh. Garrett Weber walked and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Vladimir Frias. Frias took off for second as Anderson De La Rosa rapped back to the mound. Roe opted to attempt a double play but missed getting Frias at second as a run scored.
Lancaster pitching protected the 1-0 and a one-hitter into the bottom of the ninth when James Skelton cranked an offering from Anthony Carter over the wall in right center, one of only three hits accrued by New Britain on the night.
Kaohi Downing (1-0) earned the win with two shutout innings of relief.
The Barnstormers head home to host the Sugar Land Skeeters in the home opener on Friday. Bryan Evans will make the start for Lancaster against right-hander Brett Marshall. Tickets are still available. Fans may also watch on the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:30.
NOTES: The sweep was the first by a visiting team against the Bees at New Britain Stadium…Lancaster pitching struck out 17 batters in the nightcap…K.C. Hobson has a six-game hitting streak.