York is built for the long ball. Lancaster is built more for the basepaths.
On Thursday night, the Revs clubbed a pair of home runs, and, while the Barnstormers stole three bases they lost two runners in the top of the ninth as York captured the season opener, 4-3, at People’s Bank Park.
Jared Mitchell led off the game against Joe Gardner (0-1) with a shot to right center, but the bigger blow came off Ryan Dent’s bat in the fourth inning. With one out, Michael Burgess drew a walk, his second of the night. Zach Wilson lofted a routine fly ball to left, but Trayvon Robinson was unable to pick it up against the twilight, and it fell in for a double. Gardner rallied to strike out Rubi Silva for the second out, but Dent took the first pitch of his at bat over the boards in left center for the 4-3 lead.
Lancaster scored all of its runs in the top of the second. Vladimir Frias and Noel each walked with two outs, and Darian Sandford drove a double into the right center field alley to score both. Sandford was able to scamper around with the third run on a pair of wild pitches from starter Jay Gause.
The Barnstormers did everything but tie the game over the final two innings. Pinch hitter Ryan Casteel banged a single through the left side to start the eighth against Robert Carson. Robinson also singled to left, sending pinch runner Keenyn Walker to second. Walker promptly stole third. Anderson De La Rosa hit a bounder to the left of third baseman Jose Cuevas. Walker never broke for the plate, and Cuevas started a 5-4-3 double play. Frias bounced to the mound to end the inning.
In the ninth, Noel singled but was thrown out trying to steal second. Sandford followed with a walk. He, too, was gunned down after leaving on Carson’s move to first. Tyler Bortnick flied to deep left to end the game.
Joe Van Meter (1-0) fired two hitless innings of relief to earn the win for York.
Former Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year Jonathan Albaladejo makes the start for the Barnstormers on Friday evening against long-time big league lefty Ross Detwiler. Fans may tune into the game on the Barnstormers YouTube Channel at 6:15.