Mike Carp belted a one-out grand slam in the top of the sixth, and it proved to be too much for the Lancaster Barnstormers to overcome as the New Britain Bees captured a 5-3 decision in the third game of a four-game series Saturday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
The loss kept the Barnstormers from winning their third straight for the first time since the end of July.
For the second consecutive game, the Barnstormers and Bees battled to a scoreless tie for a large chunk of the contest. Nate Reed (4-3) picked up his fourth strikeout of the game, punching out Darren Ford looking, to open the inning. Ryan Jackson dropped a single in front of a charging Devon Torrence in left, and Bijan Rademached followed with his second, and his team’s fourth, bunt single of the night. Jason Rogers worked out a walk to load the bases before Carp battled back from an 0-2 count to drive his fifth home run of the season over the right field tent for the 4-0 lead.
Caleb Gindl slugged his third homer of the series with one out in the sixth against Devin Burke (2-5) to begin a Lancaster comeback. In the seventh, K.C. Hobson picked up a leadoff walk, and Melvin Mercedes lofted his first Atlantic League homer to right to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The Barnstormers had a chance to get all the way back in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Gindl nailed a double into the right field corner, barely beating Rademacher’s throw. Joe Terdoslavich sent Gindl to third with a base hit to right, then took home when Rademacher’s throw bounced away from catcher Logan Moore. Brandon Fry kept the lead, getting Anderson De La Rosa to foul out to Rogers and striking out Hobson on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat.
Rademacher drove home an insurance run in the top of the ninth, and Jim Fuller protected the lead with a perfect bottom of the ninth for his 19th save.
Lancaster will host New Britain in the finale of the four-game series on Sunday afternoon. Jared Lakind (6-6) will make the start for the Barnstormers against right-hander Rainy Lara (6-10). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 12:45.
NOTES: Gindl now tops the club with 49 extra base hits…Lancaster finished August with a 14-16 record…Mercedes’ homer was only the fifth of his eight-year pro career…Lancaster has only nine hits in the last two games…All the team’s runs have scored on homers…Gindl joined Terdoslavich in the 20-HR club…It is the eighth time that Lancaster has had two or more players slug 20 home runs in the same season with a high of four in 2010.