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Barnstormers Drop York, 5-0

Every once in a while, Butch Hobson does something that appears outlandish on the surface.

More often than not, it works.

Saturday evening, the Barnstormers skipper penciled in Mike McDade as his catcher, something the switch hitting Nevada native had not done since high school.  McDade responded by receiving a shutout and slugging a three-run homer as Lancaster defeated the York Revolution, 5-0, in the middle game of a three-game series at People’s Bank Park.

The win gave Lancaster a 4-2 lead in the PNC War of the Roses and moved the Barnstormers to within three of the Revs in the Freedom Division race.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx had the honor of working with McDade, with whom he had played periodically in the Toronto system.  The right-hander allowed five hits and three walks in six innings while striking out nine to tie the club season-high.  It was the second win for Bibens-Dirkx (3-3) over York on the season.

In three of the first four innings, York had two runners on base with only one out.  In the first, Bibens-Dirkx struck out both Telvin Nash and Alfredo Marte.  Two innings later, following Isaias Tejeda’s second double, it was Andres Perez and Nash that went down on strikes.  Keith Castillo walked, and Bryan Pounds singled with one out in the fourth inning.  Josh Wlison flied to left, and James Simmons struck out to end that threat.

Bibens-Dirkx, along with relievers Pete Andrelczyk, Scott Gracey and Ryan Dennick, combined to check the Revolution on four scattered singles over the remainder of the game.

Micah Owings (2-2) was tagged with the loss despite never allowing a base hit.  The former Arizona and Cincinnati right-hander walked Lance Zawadzki and Travis Witherspoon in succession in the third inning.  Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, and Zawadzki scored on Kevin Ahrens’ sacrifice fly to center.

Owings was pulled after three innings and 69 pitches.  Lancaster reached Matt Neil for a run in the fifth as Zawadzki was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Caleb Gindl’s two-out single to left center.

However, it was McDade who put the game out of reach.  Following a walk to Josh Bell and single by Sean Halton, the switch hitter took right-hander Michael Click over the wall in left center, a blast that saved closer Cory Burns for another day.

Lancaster sends right-hander Mike Lee (1-1) to the hill on Sunday afternoon against right-hander James Simmons (not the center fielder of the same name).  Simmons is 4-1.  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 12:45.

NOTES:  McDade’s homer extended his hitting streak to 12 games, tying the longest by a Barnstormer in the last two years…Ahrens’ sacrifice fly produced his 12th RBI in six games, but his streak of success driving in runs died in the fifth inning when he struck out looking with Zawadzki and Witherspoon on base…Bibens-Dirkx threw the first quality start by a Barnstormer since May 22 when Bryan Evans fired six scoreless at Southern Maryland…Andrelczyk stretched his scoreless streak to 12 games and 11.2 innings pitched…Gracey has gone seven games and seven innings without getting nicked, and Dennick has covered six games and eight innings without allowing a run.