GAILEN ENDS MESSY NIGHT WITH WALKOFF HOMER
A rain-soaked and messy evening ended with a beautiful, arcing rainbow.
That arc was the trajectory of a Blake Gailen home run that provided the host Lancaster Barnstormers with a 10-8, extra-inning victory over the Lexington Legends in the rubber game of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.The win moved the ‘Stormers (19-19) to within 1 ½ games of Long Island and Southern Maryland, who are tied for the lead in the North.
Lancaster and Lexington battled to a sloppy and bizarre 7-7 tie over the first five innings with the two clubs combining to walk 10 and commit seven errors over that stretch while producing only eight hits.
For the Barnstormers, the big inning was the third when starter Henry Owens either walked or hit seven batters, and the Barnstormers produced six runs on only one hit, a two-run single up the middle by Anderson De La Rosa.
Lexington battled back with a four-run fifth built on a bunt single, two walks, a hit batter and four Lancaster errors. The ball never left the infield in the nine batter stretch. It took reliever Garrett Granitz five ground balls in a span of six hitters to record the three outs.
Bullpens took control of the game with neither side budging an inch over the next four frames.
Then, with the runner, Roberto Baldoquin placed at second base in the top of the tenth, Lexington broke the deadlock as D.J. Peterson greeted Gabriel Moya (3-0) with a single to left. Moya retired the next three batters to get his club to the plate.
Cleuluis Rondon moved Nick Shumpert to third with a bunt. Lexington gambled and walked Caleb Gindl intentionally in an attempt to get Anthony Peroni to ground into a double play. Instead, Peroni rode a Derek Self (0-2) pitch to the warning track in right field to score Shumpert with a sacrifice fly. Gailen followed with his two-run blast over the tents for the Lancaster win.
Junior Rincon (0-0) will make the start for the Barnstormers in the opener of a three-game series against the Gastonia Honey Hunters on Friday evening at 6:30. Gastonia will counter with right-hander Jailen Peguero (2-1). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube broadcast at 6:25.
NOTES: Gindl scored for the 17th consecutive game…Gailen has now knocked home 42 runs in 38 games…He drove in 11 in the series…Lancaster’s bullpen allowed only three hits in six innings while walking none and striking out six…Lancaster was only 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in the game…Lancaster’s last walkoff homer was hit by K.C. Hobson against New Britain, August 30, 2019.