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Rivers Double Produces Winner in Marathon

The Lancaster Barnstormers could not put away the New Britain Bees on Wednesday evening, and, in the end, got stung.

Kevin Rivers doubled high off the center field wall with two outs in the bottom of the 14th inning to lift New Britain to a 9-8 victory in the middle game of a three-game set.

With the loss, the Barnstormers fall three games behind both York and Sugar Land in the Freedom Division race.

Rivers’ blast scored Craig Maddox, who opened the inning with a single off Josh Wall (0-1).  Wall retired the next two without Maddox advancing but could not get through the ex-Stormer Rivers to send the game to the 15th.

Lancaster grabbed an early 2-0 lead on solo homers by Josh Whitaker and Charlie Cutler.  Austin Bibens-Dirkx retired the first 12 batters he faced in the game, but Maddox spoiled the string with a leadoff double in the fifth.  He would score from third on a passed ball.  Rivers plated Michael Crouse with a single and, in turn, scored on Jon Griffin’s double.  Brandon Chaves snuck a single up the middle, off shortstop Kevin Ahrens’ glove and legged out a double for a 4-2 lead.

Josh Bell and Griffin each drove in an unearned run in the sixth, and the Barnstormers tied the game in the seventh as second baseman Jonathan Roof made a wild throw on a bases loaded double play pivot.  Another error led to the lead run in the eighth, and the Barnstormers scored two more runs on four singles and a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

However, Cory Burns could not hold the lead.  Griffin slammed a leadoff homer in the ninth.  Jon Jones followed with a single, stole second and scored on a single to left by Chaves.  Jovan Rosa’s double sent Chaves to third.  Following an intentional walk to Maddox, Roof tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center.

The two teams meet again Thursday morning at 10:35.  Lancaster will send J.D. Martin (1-1) to the mound against fellow right-hander Brian Dupra.  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel beginning at 10:15.

NOTES:  The Barnstormers are 2-4 in extra inning games on the season and lost by one run for the ninth time…They have lost five road games on walkoffs…Sean Halton had three hits to extend a streak to six…Whitaker’s homer ended a 48 2/3 inning drought for the club…The game also took a season-long four hours, 25 minutes…Bell has 19 hits in his last 49 at bats for a .388 average.