The Lancaster Barnstormers put on a furious rush to force extra innings on Tuesday evening, only to fall on Wednesday morning.
Lancaster struck for four runs in the top of the eighth and added a go-ahead run in the tenth for a 6-5 lead, but the host Sugar Land Skeeters scored twice in their half of the inning for a 7-6 victory in a game that ended at 12:49 CDT. It had been held up for two hours, 12 minutes by a heavy thunderstorm that passed over Constellation Field just after the schedule 7:05 start time.
With the Barnstormers down, 5-1, Melvin Mercedes opened the eighth with a single into left center off Josh Martin. Martin retired the next two, but Joe Terdoslavich kept the rally alive with a single up the middle. Andrew Aplin grounded a single into right to cut the lead to 5-2. Destin Hood crushed a three-run tying homer to left for the 5-5 deadlock.
Scott Shuman had to dance his way through a perilous bottom of the ninth, built on an error, a single and a walk, but he escaped with a strikeout of Denis Phipps and a deep fly ball from D.J. Peterson, sending the game to extra innings.
The Barnstormers scored their extra inning runner from second base as Zach Shank sacrificed Mercedes to third, and pinch hitter Caleb Gindl brought him home with a sacrifice fly to left.
Cody Eppley (1-4) picked up the game in the bottom of the tenth inning. Sugar Land played it safe, bunting Peterson to third. Anthony Giansanti singled past Shank to tie the game. Cody Stanley also singled up the middle, moving the winning run to second. A passed ball sent the runners to second and third, and the Barnstormers opted to fill in first with an intentional walk of Rico Noel. Wynton Bernard also spanked a single up the middle for the winning tally.
The teams exchanged single runs in the early innings, but the Skeeters broke through with three runs in the sixth. Phipps led off with a single and went to third on Juan Silverio’s double inside the third base bag. Peterson drilled a double over Darian Sandford’s head in center for a 3-1 edge ,and Albert Cordero greeted Pedro Echemendia with a double to left center for a 4-1 edge.
Zach Borenstein added a homer in the seventh for the 5-1 lead.
Nick Rumbelow (3-0) worked the top of the tenth for the win.
The Barnstormers take on the Skeeters again on Wednesday. Left-hander Buddy Baumann (4-7) makes the start for Lancaster against right-hander Troy Scribner (2-3). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 7:45 EDT.
NOTES: Aplin extended his hitting streak to 11, the third longest on the club in 2019…Lancaster is 3-4 in extra inning games…Gindl has driven home a runner from third base with fewer than two outs 19 of 22 times…Hood has four homers and 12 RBI in his last eight games…Shuman threw his seventh straight scoreless inning of relief.