Homers Lead Lancaster to 7-5 Win
Kevin Ahrens jump started the Barnstormers with a two-run homer in the second inning, and Trayvon Robinson added a similar blast in the eighth to lead the Lancaster Barnstormers to a 7-5 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Thursday evening at Regency Furniture Stadium.
Lancaster took three of four in the series, the first series win for the ‘Stormers since early June.
Ahrens drove a Daryl Thompson pitch off the clubhouse roof for a quick 2-0 lead in the second. Both teams wasted numerous opportunities to score over the next few innings, but the Blue Crabs finally reached Terry Doyle (6-5) in the seventh.
Zach Wilson yanked a single into left field to open the inning, and Alfredo Marte grounded a base hit to center past Ahrens’ diving try with Wilson racing to third. Eric Garcia rapped a grounder on the right side. K.C. Hobson flagged it but made a wild throw to second as Wilson scored and Marte took third. Gary Brown tied the game with a sac fly, and Doyle was able to work out of the inning from there with the help of catcher Charlie Cutler, who threw out Garcia on a steal attempt.
Walks to Cutler and Caleb Gindl from Robert Carson (1-4) opened the seventh. After a failed bunt attempt by Yusuke Kajimoto, Hobson singled up the middle to score Cutler and chase Gindl to third. Josh Bell produced a second run with a sacrifice fly to left.
Robinson added his two-run homer in the eighth off Scott Maine, and it looked like the Barnstormers would breeze to the win.
In 2016, nothing seems to come easily.
Pete Andrelczyk opened the bottom of the eighth with a three-pitch strikeout of Wilson, but Marte drove an 0-1 pitch down the right field line for a triple. Garcia fought off numerous two-strike pitches before grounding a single into right. Brown fanned, but Antoan Richardson kept the inning alive with a single to center. Angel Sanchez snuck a ground single up the middle, scoring Garcia. Richardson caught the Barnstormers off guard and sprinted home as well to cut the lead to one.
Andrelczyk picked off Sanchez before working to Bryant Nelson, and Lancaster was able to add an unearned run in the top of the ninth.
Cory Burns was perfect in the bottom of the ninth to secure the victory and notch his 17th save.
The Barnstormers open a three-game series on Friday evening at New Britain. Lefty Anthony Fernandez (0-1) will start for Lancaster against former Long Island Ducks right-hander Kevin Vance. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 6:15.
NOTES: Sean Halton was 0-for-5, losing an 11-game hitting streak…Ryan Dennick has retired all eight batters he has faced on the road trip…Robinson’s homer was his first as a Barnstormer but his 10th of the year overall…Lancaster took a 9-8 lead in the season series…Doyle threw his seventh quality start to tie for the team lead…He is 4-1 in his last five starts…Josh Bell was 3-for-3 on the night and is 18-for-38 in his last 11 games.