Lancaster Upends Sugar Land, 4-3
Anthony Carter nailed down his 22nd consecutive on Thursday evening, but, unlike most, this one came with a scare.
Carter retired pinch hitter Josh Prince on a fly ball to center with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth to hold onto a 4-3 Lancaster Barnstormers’ victory over the Sugar Land Skeeters in the opener of a four-game series.
The win, Lancaster’s 12th in the last 15 games, kept Lancaster two games ahead of the York Revolution in the Freedom Division race.
Wilfredo Rodriguez beat out a one-out dribbler up the third base line to set the Skeeters up for a potential game winning rally. Carter struck out lefty swinging Caleb Ramsey for the second out. Hector Olivera singled to center, chasing pinch runner Cole Gillespie to third. Derek Miller picked up his third walk of the night, loading the bases. Prince, batting for Dickie Joe Thon, lifted the 1-1 pitch out to center fielder Beau Amaral to end the game.
Kevin Ahrens built two different leads for the Skeeters, driving in a run in the first inning with a sacrifice fly, then driving a two-run homer onto the right field tents in the fourth to put Sugar Land up, 3-1.
Amaral and Cole Garner both found the right center field gap with doubles in the first to negate the first inning run. In the fifth, the Barnstormers loaded the bases with one out but scored only on a force out grounder by Lastings Milledge.
The Barnstormers turned the game around in the sixth. Sean Halton reached Jake Hale (7-4) with a leadoff home run to right. Steve Clevenger followed, yanking Hale onto the tents down the right field line and giving the Barnstormers the 4-3 edge.
Brad Bergesen (8-6) worked six innings, allowing seven hits and three runs while walking one and striking out three. Daniel Moskos worked around a leadoff bad hop double by Ramsey in the seventh, and Scott Shuman faced three batters in the eighth, holding the lead.
Lancaster hosts Sugar Land in the second game of the series on Friday with fireworks following the game. Left-hander Tommy Shirley (0-3) will make the start for Lancaster against right-hander Brett Marshall (6-6).
NOTES: Halton and Clevenger hit the first pair of back-to-back homers for the Barnstormers since May 9…Nate Coronado had his ninth multi-hit game…He is 17-for-45 (.378) in his last 12 games…Amaral had his fourth consecutive two-hit game…De La Rosa threw out three base stealers on the night…Bergesen threw his seventh quality start of the year.