New Britain Avoids Sweep, 2-1
Conor Bierfeldt slugged a two-out solo homer in the top of the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie and send the New Britain Bees to a 2-1 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers Thursday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
With the loss and a Southern Maryland victory, the Barnstormers trail the Blue Crabs by two games in the Freedom Division race heading into the weekend. Lancaster must make up one game over the next three days to force a meaningful makeup game at Southern Maryland on July 28.
Bierfeldt connected against Kevin Munson (1-3) following a pair of strikeouts in the top of the eighth.
It was the third solo home run of the game. Jovan Rosa gave the Bees a 1-0 lead with two outs in the third, also on a drive to right center. The Barnstormers waited until the seventh when Vladimir Frias lofted his fifth home run of the season to the front of the picnic deck to tie the game.
Mike Lee (2-5) worked seven innings for the Bees, allowing seven hits and four walks. He helped himself with the glove on two key plays with the Barnstormers threatening early in the game.
In the third inning, Lancaster put runners at first and third with one out. Caleb Gindl ripped a low liner toward the middle which was snagged by the 6’7” Lee who spun and doubled Lastings Milledge off first base.
Another opportunity blossomed in the fourth inning. Sean Halton led off with a double into the left field corner, and Garrett Weber followed with a perfectly placed bunt single down the third base line. Trayvon Robinson dropped a bunt down to the first base side of the mound. Lee fired to first, nabbing Robinson. First baseman Craig Maddox quickly returned the ball back home to double up Halton, taking the Barnstormers largely out of the inning.
Overall, the two clubs combined to go 1-for-20 with runners in scoring position for the game.
Jarrett Leverett worked seven innings for the Barnstormers, allowing seven hits and one run. He walked one and struck out nine.
Lancaster pitchers struck out a total of 14.
On Friday, the Barnstormers host the Somerset Patriots in the opener of a three-game series. Lancaster will send right-hander Brad Bergesen (4-5) to the hill against right-hander Will Oliver. The game will be aired on the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:15. Somerset has clinched the first half in the Liberty Division.
NOTES: The Frias homer extended Lancaster’s streak of games with a home run to 13, the third longest streak in franchise history…The Barnstormers have at least one extra base hit in all but one game this season…Lancaster has won or split every one of its 10 home series this season but still does not have a sweep…Lancaster has scored only seven runs in Leverett’s last four starts.