Wood and leather dominated the first seven innings. Arms took over the final two.
Daniel Moskos and Anthony Carter each dealt a 1-2-3 inning at the end to cool off the Sugar Land Skeeters and hold onto an 11-9 Lancaster Barnstormers victory at Constellation Field Saturday evening.
Lancaster’s win left the two clubs tied for first place in the Freedom Division.
The Barnstormers established an early lead off Brett Marshall (3-1) on an RBI single by Caleb Gindl and Sean Halton’s three-run homer in the top of the first.
Sugar Land counterpunched. Josh Prince singled, and Lance Zawadzki doubled off Jarret Leverett (1-0) to open the home first. Third baseman Garrett Weber snared a liner off the bat of Jeremy Barfield with a diving play along the line, but Travis Scott drove in one run with a lineout to right, and Chris Nelson sinlged home a second before Leverett could escape the inning.
K.C. Hobson drove in a run with an infield single in the second. Halton, who has nine RBI in two games was cheated out of two more on a brilliant play by Josh Prince up the middle, one of several dazzlers turned in by the Sugar Land second baseman on the night, that he turned into the final out.
Doubles by Trayvon Robinson and Weber got a two-run third underway, and it looked like the Barnstormers had pulled away in the sixth when Hobson greeted reliever Andrew Johnston with a two-run homer to extend the lead to 11-3.
The Skeeters just kept ripping away. Scott doubled to open the sixth and scored on a one-out infield single by Joe Benson. Derek Miller’s sinking liner skipped beyond Robinson for an RBI double, and catcher Jose Ortiz chased Leverett with a single lined off the left field wall. R.J. Hively entered the game and yielded a pinch single to Andy Wilkins and a two-run double to Prince before getting two grounders to get out of the inning.
While Lancaster’s offense stalled, Sugar Land kept up the attack in the bottom of the seventh. For the second straight inning, Scott opened with a double, this time blasted off the bullpen gate in right center. Benson drove a one-out single into right sending Scott to third, and he scored on a sac fly by Miller. Pinch hitter Albert Cordero lined to left to end the inning.
Moskos struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth, and Carter got two deep fly outs and a comebacker in the ninth to pick up his second save.
The two clubs wrap up the four-game series on Sunday afternoon. Lancaster will send Brad Bergesen (2-0) to the hill against Bobby Blevins (1-0). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 2:45 EDT.
NOTES: Lancaster reached the eight-hit mark for the 19th straight game, picking up their eighth before the first out in the third inning…The 11 runs were a season high for the Barnstormers as were the 11 strikeouts for the hitters…Halton and Caleb Gindl stand tied for the league RBI lead with 21…Darian Sandford tied for the league lead with his 15th steal…Hobson has hit safely in eight in a row.