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Club Loses Opener of Series, 2-1

The Lancaster Barnstormers simply could not score, despite numerous chances, on Friday evening.

Lancaster left runners in scoring position in six different innings, falling, 2-1, to Southern Maryland in the opener of a three-game series at Regency Furniture Stadium.

Brian Burres (2-2) threw seven shutout innings against Lancaster.  The left-hander yielded four hits, including doubles by Kevin Ahrens in the first and Josh Bell in the seventh.  He walked two and struck out seven.

His teammates supported him with just enough offense.

Terry Doyle (0-2) walked Eric Garcia to start the third, then hit Gary Brown with an 0-2 pitch to put runners at first and second with nobody out.  Steve Lombardozzi, the league’s top average hitter, looped a single into shallow left to plate a run.

Doyle would retire the next 12 batters before Michael Snyder greeted him with a single lined into left field to start the seventh.  D’Arby Myers advanced pinch runner Jon Dziomba with a bunt.  Angel Flores advanced the runner to third, and Garcia picked him up with a single to left for the 2-0 lead.

In the eighth, Ahrens singled to left off Justin Berg.  Caleb Gindl followed with a double inside the third base bag, and Lancaster had the tying runs in scoring position.  Josh Whitaker knocked in Ahrens with a grounder to third, but Berg struck out Josh Bell to protect the lead.

Sean Halton led off the ninth with a single to left on the ninth pitch of his at bat.  Garcia dropped Mike McDade’s grounder while trying to flip to second, giving Lancaster a second man aboard.  Acting manager Rich Rundles went to Charlie Cutler as a pinch hitter.  Cutler fouled off two bunt attempts before grounding into a force play.  With the tying run 90 feet from home plate, Eppley induced a double play grounder out of Jeff Kobernus, ending the night.

Bryan Evans (1-2) will make the start on Saturday against Daryl Thompson in the second game of the series.  Fans may tune into the Lancaster Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:15.

NOTES:  Whitaker extended a hitting streak to nine games with a single in the fourth…Doyle gave the club its fourth consecutive quality start…The Barnstormers lost their eighth one-run game of the year…For the 19th time in 28 games, the opponents scored first…Lancaster signed reliever Rob Wooten, then lost him within 24 hours…He returned to the Atlanta Braves…The Barnstormers sent outfielder Michael Crouse to New Britain for future considerations.