Club Wins Fifth Straight, 2-1
The blast was outweighed by the bloop.
Joel Guzman’s solo home run to left in the top of the second inning came up a run short of Michael Crouse’s two-run double in the bottom of the inning as the Lancaster Barnstormers inched past the York Revolution, 2-1, in the third game of a four-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
The win, Lancaster’s fifth straight, moved the ‘Stormers to within 1 ½ games of first place in the Freedom Division.
Guzman took Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-3) over the left field wall and Crouse’s leaping attempt for the 1-0 lead in the top of the inning, York’s only edge in the series.
In the bottom of the inning, Sean Halton drew a one-out walk from Jorge Martinez (1-2). One out later, Charlie Cutler reached on a four-pitch walk. Crouse hit a looper to center. James Simmons charged in but missed the shoestring attempt. The ball glanced off the center fielder, kicking toward right. Halton scored easily. Third base coach D.J. Boston never hesitated to wave Cutler home, and the Lancaster catcher beat the relay to the plate with the second, and final, Lancaster run.
Bibens-Dirkx yielded only three hits and a run in six innings, walking just one and striking out seven. It was the right-hander’s first win since he defeated Southern Maryland on April 22.
Martinez deserved a better fate. The York righty retired 16 of the final 18 batters he faced on the night and checked the streaking Barnstormers on only two hits.
Josh Wall pitched a perfect seventh for the Barnstormers. Scott Gracey allowed a two-out single to Michael Rockett in the eighth, and Cory Burns gave up a two-out scratch hit to Guzman in the ninth before nailing the game down for his fifth save. Each struck out two.
The series concludes Thursday evening at 7:00. J.D. Martin (1-1) will get the start for Lancaster against right-hander Matt Neil (1-0). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45.
NOTES: Both Kevin Ahrens (10 games) and Caleb Gindl (12) lost hitting streaks…The three hits for Lancaster was the club’s low total on the season…York has scored only three runs in the three games after plating 22 in the final two games against Sugar Land…Bibens-Dirkx threw his third quality start of the season…Burns struck out two for the fifth consecutive one-inning appearance…The 13 strikeouts tied a season high for the Lancaster staff.