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Former Lancaster MVP Homers in First Two AB’s of Season

Cole Garner introduced himself to the fans in New Britain in monumental fashion.

The former Lancaster Barnstormers Player of the Year belted homers in his first two at bats of the season, driving in a total of five runs to lead the host Bees to an 8-1 victory Sunday afternoon at New Britain Stadium.

Lancaster finished its 11-game road trip with a 7-4 mark.

Garner reached Kelvin De La Cruz (5-3, 8-9) for a two-run blast off the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning and added a three-run shot to left in the fourth to build a 6-0 edge.

Two additional runs scored on misfires between the pitching staff and catcher Mike McDade. The final New Britain run scored on an RBI single by Jon Griffin in the sixth.

The eight runs backed a superb performance by another ex-Stormer, right-hander Kyle Simon (6-5). Simon did not allow a runner past first base for the first eighth innings, scattering six singles and a walk. Two of the Lancaster runners were thrown out attempting to steal, and the Bees turned two ground ball double plays.

Lancaster avoided the shutout in the ninth. Trayvon Robinson picked up a one-out walk from Simon and went to second on a sharp single to right by K.C. Hobson. Sean Halton rolled a single through the shortstop hole to load the bases. Mike Jacobs was clipped by a 1-2 pitch to force in the run.

Shawn Gilblair recorded the final two outs to nail down the game.

The ‘Stormers are off on Monday and open a three-game series against Southern Maryland on Tuesday. Bryan Evans (3-7) will make the start for Lancaster against right-hander Gaby Hernandez (2-8). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel or Blue Ridge Cable 11 at 7:00.

NOTES: Lancaster has only been shut out once all season, a 1-0 loss at Long Island in the first game of a doubleheader on May 5…Caleb Gindl and Trayvon Robinson combined to reach base 17 times in the series out of the top two spots in the lineup…Fujie has now gone 11 innings without allowing a walk.