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Amaral Slam Leads Lancaster to Win

Beau Amaral is not generally known as a home run hitter, but the new Lancaster center fielder launched a grand slam on a 2-0 pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead the Lancaster Barnstormers to an 8-4 victory over the New Britain Bees Monday at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

The win, the Barnstormers’ eighth in their last nine games, put them three games ahead of the York Revolution in the second half race.

With New Britain leading, 3-2, Kyle Simon (6-9) hit Cole Garner with a pitch to open the sixth.  Sean Halton and Steve Clevenger, who was 4-for-4 in the game, also singled to load the bases.  Garrett Weber rapped a single up the middle to score the tying run.  Nate Coronado chased Simon with a flare to center, the Barnstormers’ fourth consecutive hit, scoring Halton for a 4-3 lead.

Casey Coleman was summoned from the bullpen.  The right-hander struck out Anderson De La Rosa on three pitches, but fell behind Amaral, 2-0.  The lefty batter took the next pitch out of the yard on a line drive to right center for the 8-3 lead.

New Britain had taken the lead in the top of the fifth in a marathon, 53-pitch inning.  Michael Crouse led off with a walk, eventually stealing second and third before riding home on a two-out single by Yusuke Kajimoto.  Jovan Rosa walked, and Craig Maddox launched a double to left center to score two.  Conor Bierfeldt would also walk before John Anderson (1-1) was able to come in from the bullpen and retire Jordan Hinshaw on a grounder to short to end the inning.

Halton and Clevenger had consecutive two-out RBI singles in the first, staking the Barnstormers to the early 2-0 advantage.

New Britain stranded 11 runners in the game, had three thrown out on the bases, and Hinshaw was ruled out when Jamar Walton’s fourth inning grounder ricocheted off his foot.

The Barnstormers will send lefty Rommie Lewis (6-7) to the mound on Tuesday evening against southpaw Greg Nappo (0-1).  Fans may tune into Blue Ridge Cable 11, beginning at 6:30.

NOTES:  Garner has been hit five times in the last six games…Amaral’s grand slam was the seventh by a Barnstormer this season, a new franchise record…The 2006 team hammered six…Clevenger lifted his average 75 points with his four singles…Halton has 10 RBI in the last five games…He has hit safely in seven in a row…The Barnstormers are now 15 games over .500 for the season, going 13-4 since the All-Star break…2B/OF Rico Noel’s contract has been purchased by the Houston Astros…He is the 11th player to leave the Barnstormers for a Major League organization this season, also a franchise record.