Lancaster Tops New Britain, 3-2
For the first time in 10 days, the Lancaster Barnstormers saw the sun.
For the first time in 11 days, they tasted victory.
The Barnstormers scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on Saturday night to hold on to a 3-2 victory over the fledgling New Britain Bees Saturday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Bryan Woodall (2-0) worked six innings to earn the win for Lancaster. The right-hander tied his Lancaster high in walks with four but allowed only five hits and a pair of unearned runs in piecing together his 12th quality start in his last 13 Atlantic League outings.
New Britain jumped ahead, 2-0, in the top of the second. Jon Griffin led off with a single to center and advanced to second on a walk to James Skelton. Woodall fanned Anthony Hewitt for the first out, but Jon Jones reached when his slow grounder toward third base was bobbled by Josh Bell for an error. Brandon Chaves produced the first run with a sacrifice fly sliced to left. One-time Barnstormer Greg Golson hit a smash toward the middle. Second baseman Jeff Kobernus flagged the ball to his right, but a quick feed to shortstop Kevin Ahrens was too late to get Jones. Skelton raced all the way home from second, beating the relay for the 2-0 lead.
The Barnstormers responded with a single tally off another ex-Barnstormer, Kyle Simon (0-1), in the third. Travis Witherspoon walked with one out, and Kobernus followed with a single to right, chasing Witherspoon to third. Kobernus stole second, and Witherspoon was able to score when Michael Crouse grounded to short.
Charlie Cutler triggered the winning rally in the fifth with a double inside the first base bag. Witherspoon picked up his second walk, and Kobernus reached on a squibber to the third base side of the mound to load the bases. Crouse rolled a grounder to the left of second baseman Jonathan Roof. Roof gloved the ball, but fired wildly to second in an attempt to force Kobernus. Cutler and Witherspoon both scored on the play as Lancaster grabbed a 3-2 lead.
Josh Wall allowed a walk and a single to open the seventh but struck out Jovan Rosa for the first out. Matt Reynolds retired the next two batters to protect the lead. Scott Gracey allowed a walk in a scoreless eighth, and Cory Burns survived Rosa’s two-out single in the ninth to earn his second save.
The Barnstormers and the Bees will square off in a Sunday afternoon doubleheader on Mother’s Day. Right-hander J.D. Martin is scheduled to go in the opener against right-hander Brian Dupra. In game two, Austin Bibens-Dirkx will go against lefty Josh Outman. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:00. Both games will be seven innings. The action will be carried on Blue Ridge Cable 11 and streamed on the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 2:00.
NOTES: Lancaster won its first one-run game of the season…Woodall won a game while allowing a run for the first time as a Barnstormer…New Britain was held without an extra base hit in the game…Wall, a former Dodger, made his Atlantic League debut.