Lancaster Upends York to Extend War of the Roses Lead
Blake Gailen launched his first home run of the season on Saturday evening, but it was an inning built on errors and baserunning that enabled the Lancaster Barnstormers to defeat the York Revolution, 6-4, in the middle game of a three-game series at People’s Bank Park.
The win gave Lancaster a 6-3 lead in the 2016 PNC Bank War of the Roses.
In the bottom of the fourth, Jeff Kobernus led off by rolling a ground ball to shortstop Josh Wilson. The routine throw to first was dropped by converted catcher Salvador Paniagua. Justin Jackson bunted toward pitcher Frank Gailey (2-1). The throw sailed right through second baseman Brandon Chaves covering the bag. Lancaster ended with runners at second and third. Kevin Ahrens grounded a single into right field for the Barnstormers’ first run.
Lancaster’s second tally came when Ahrens bolted for second on the first move by the left-handed Gailey. Paniagua fired toward second, but Wilson cut the throw and fired home, just missing Jackson. Sean Halton later singled home Ahrens for a 3-0 advantage.
Keith Castillo homered off Mike Lee (4-2) with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, but Jackson’s RBI double and a wild pitch produced two more Lancaster runs in the fifth for a 5-1 cushion.
That lead almost evaporated in the lower half of the fifth. Josh Wilson walked leading off. With one out, Paniagua hit a cracked bat soft liner toward Kobernus. The second baseman charged the ball, but the hop spun away from him. Runners ended up at first and third. Michael Rockett singled home one run, and after Chaves walked, Kevin Rivers slammed a long sacrifice fly to left center on a running catch by Gailen. Michael Burgess followed that with a double to left, scoring Rockett. Chaves was caught around third for the final out of the inning.
Gailen’s homer stretched the lead back to two, and the Barnstormers combination of Scott Gracey, Pete Andrelczyk and Cory Burns fired four shutout innings to pin down the win.
The two clubs conclude the series on Sunday afternoon. York will have right-hander James Simmons (4-3) on the hill. The Barnstormers’ starter is to be determined.
NOTES: Gailen’s homer was his 60th of his Atlantic League career, one shy of the franchise career record held by Lance Burkhart…Halton and Jackson have each hit safely in seven of the last eight games…Lee took the team lead with his fourth win…Kobernus made his first start since May 28…Burns’ save was his 14th, good for fourth in the league.