Four-Run Seventh Gains Split for Barnstormers
The 2017 Lancaster Barnstormers are not out of surprises.
Three outs from being swept in a doubleheader and on the verge of dropping two games behind the York Revolution in the second half, the Barnstormers rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to gain a split of a Wednesday night doubleheader with a 5-4 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
Earlier, Southern Maryland broke a tie in the top of the eighth inning on a Cory Vaughn sacrifice fly and went on to win the opener, 5-3 (see separate story).
With closer Cody Eppley having been used to seal the opener, the Blue Crabs brought Zack Thornton in to close out the nightcap. The right-hander was greeted by a Sean Halton single to left. Steve Clevenger followed with a second, and, after a lengthy battle, Lance Zawadzki rolled a single into left field to load the bases.
Josh Bell got one run home on a sacrifice fly, but Tyler Clark reloaded the bases on a five-pitch walk from Thornton (2-3). Anderson De La Rosa pinch hit for Bryan Hoover and singled to left to cut the Southern Maryland lead to 4-3.
Thornton almost worked out of the jam. Beau Amaral trickled a ball up the third base line, and catcher Luis Alen tagged Zawadzki for the second out, leaving the inning to Garrett Weber. Weber got the ball in play with a grounder to shortstop Jose Lozada. Lozada charged the ball, but it jarred loose from his glove as the tying run scored. Cole Garner took the next pitch over L.J. Hoes’ head in left to score the winning run.
Garner was chased, and eventually drenched, by multiple buckets of icy liquid.
Alen had singled home Vaughn with a run in the top of the second, but the Barnstormers matched it on an Amaral homer in the third. Vaughn, who knocked in five runs on the night, put the Blue Crabs ahead, 2-1, with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. The Southern Maryland center fielder also keyed a two-run sixth with a double past Halton in left.
John Anderson (2-1) pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the win.
The Barnstormers will send left-hander Luis Gonzalez (0-0) to the mound on Thursday evening in the series finale against right-hander Gaby Hernandez (9-3). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 6:15.
NOTES: The Barnstormers won for the sixth time this season when trailing heading into the final inning, a franchise record…Bryan Hoover picked up a single in game one, his first hit at home…Zawadzki was reacquired from Sugar Land as the player to be named later in a deal that sent Kevin Ahrens to the Skeeters earlier this season