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LACKING DH, ‘STORMERS FALL

Bridgeport Scores Four in Seventh for 4-2 Win

The Lancaster Barnstormers are suffering from a lack of available bodies.

In fact, on Wednesday evening, the shortage was so dramatic, that Butch Hobson eschewed the DH and had starting pitcher Terry Doyle swing a bat.

Despite the fact that Doyle drove in a run, the Barnstormers still fell, 4-2, to the Bridgeport Bluefish in the third game of a four-game series.

Lancaster remained 3 ½ behind the York Revolution in the Freedom Division chase and still has the opportunity to take the division with four straight wins in the coming days.

The Bluefish scored all of their runs in the seventh inning. Josh Vitters led off with a single over the head of shortstop Kevin Ahrens and left for pinch runner Angelys Nina. Jose Gil advanced the tying run to second, and Adron Chambers walked against Doyle (2-4).

Luis Hernandez, who had already picked up three hits on the night, lofted a fly ball to medium deep center. Center fielder Caleb Gindl never picked the ball up out of the clear twilight, and it landed several feet to Gindl’s left for a single to load the bases.

The parade continued. Endy Chavez lined a single into right to tie the game at 1-1. Welington Dotel bounced a single past the outstretched glove of Justin Jackson to drive home two more. Newcomer R.J. Hively, a former Bluefish right-hander, entered the game. Jose Cuevas hit a ground ball toward the middle, which kicked off Jackson’s glove to his right, driving home the fourth run of the inning for a 4-1 lead.

It was enough for Jonathan Albaladejo and the Bridgeport bullpen. Albaladejo was reached for a solitary run in the fifth inning. K.C. Hobson singled up the middle with one out and took third on Sean Halton’s ground rule double inside the third base bag. Charlie Cutler was walked intentionally, and Doyle, who lined out to left on his first plate appearance, knocked home a run with a sacrifice fly to right.

The Barnstormers got to the bullpen with three singles in the eighth. Charlie Cutler greeted Eric Niesen with a grounder up the middle. Blake Gailen launched a one-out single off the top of the right field wall down the line. Gindl picked up the run with a line drive to left before Paul Demny struck out Josh Bell to end the threat.

Lancaster’s hopes for a ninth inning miracle were dashed as Taylor Thompson struck out two for his sixth save.

Kelvin De La Cruz (2-0, 5-6) will make the start for the Barnstormers on Thursday in the homestand finale against fellow lefty Mike Antonini (3-6). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45.

NOTES: The Barnstormers were without Lance Zawadzki and Mike McDade for the third straight day…Jeff Kobernus was activated from the DL and was on deck as a pinch hitter when the game ended…Josh Bell lost his 14-game hitting streak, going 0-for-3 with a walk…Halton’s double in the fifth was the game’s only extra base hit…He has 12 extra base hits among his last 18 hits overall.