Lancaster Stays Tied for First on Dramatic Comeback
The Lancaster Barnstormers survived an eight-run fourth inning on Saturday evening, rallying in the final two frames for a 9-8 victory over the Long Island Ducks at Bethpage Ballpark.
York also rallied in the ninth for a 5-4 win over the Sugar Land Skeeters, keeping the two clubs tied for first at 24-18 with 28 games remaining in the schedule.
The Barnstormers trailed 8-3 with Halton at second and two outs in the top of the eighth when Steve Clevenger connected against lefty specialist Patrick Crider for his third homer of the year. Lastings Milledge followed with a double inside the bag at first, and Nate Coronado made it 8-6 with a single to center.
In the ninth, Amalio Diaz (3-4) struck out Beau Amaral to start the inning, but Trayvon Robinson picked up his third hit of the night on a single to right. Diaz hit Cole Garner with a pitch, setting the stage for Sean Halton. The Atlantic League’s homer and RBI leader came through, driving a 1-1 pitch over three tiers of signs down the left field line, his 24th blast of the year for the 9-8 lead.
Lancaster had grabbed a 3-0 lead in the third on RBI singles by Amaral and Robinson and a sacrifice fly to center by Halton.
However, the Ducks stormed back in the fourth. Luis Gonzalez, making his first start since coming off knee surgery, made it through the first two outs with runners at first and second but could not cap the inning. Delta Cleary, Jr. and Elmer Reyes singled to left, each driving in a run. With runners moving up on a throw to the plate, the Barnstormers opted to walk Lew Ford intentionally. Left-handed batting Marc Krauss reached Gonzalez for a three-run double to left center for a 5-3 lead. John Kuchno entered the game and, after walking Ruben Gotay, gave up a three-run homer to Alex Burg.
Long Island loaded the bases against Kuchno the next inning, but Kuchno and Daniel Moskos got out of the inning unharmed. The Ducks never got another baserunner.
Anthony Carter (4-2) pitched the eight for the win, and Scott Shuman backed him up with two strikeouts and a fly ball in the ninth for his first save of the season.
Brad Bergesen (9-7) will take the mound for the Barnstormers on Sunday against Henderson Alvarez (2-1). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 4:45.
NOTES: The Barnstormers set a franchise record, winning for the fifth time this season when trailing going into the ninth inning…It was the second such win at Long Island…Carter threw his 20th straight scoreless inning…Lancaster is 8-1 in its last nine one-run games…Coronado had his 11th multi-hit game as a Barnstormer, his first with three hits.