Kyle Davies would have preferred a better ending to a long, productive career.
The right-hander fell victim to a Southern Maryland power surge in the middle innings in his final start, as the Blue Crabs rallied for an 11-6 victory in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
It was Southern Maryland’s fifth consecutive win in the season series and ended a four-game winning streak for the Barnstormers.
After Lancaster built a 4-1 lead through the first three innings, the Blue Crabs opened their rally in the fourth. Joe Benson lifted a double off the right field wall to start the inning and, one out later, scored on a double belted into the left center field gap by Cory Vaughn. Vaughn took third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out by Charlie Valerio.
Davies (4-9) retired two of the first three batters in the top of the fifth, but Edwin Garcia was able to tie the game with a single to center, scoring Rubi Silva from second base. Benson walked, and Dean Green put the Blue Crabs in the lead to stay with an RBI single pulled to right. Benson scored on a wild pitch, Vaughn singled, and the inning ended only when Andrew Aplin made an impressive running catch into the left field corner on a deep opposite field fly ball by Valerio.
Lancaster answered with a run on a two-out RBI single by K.C. Hobson in the bottom of the fifth but were unable to score the tying run when Melvin Mercedes took a 3-2 pitch from Adam Choplick at the knees for the final out with the bases loaded.
Southern Maryland struck for five more before the first out in the sixth. Josh McAdams clubbed a two-run homer to left for an 8-5 lead. Silva chased Davies with his second double. Bryan Harper entered the game and walked two before allowing a base clearing double by Benson.
James Dykstra (3-1, 4-1), the fourth of five pitchers used by the Blue Crabs, was awarded the win after he threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
The Barnstormers and Blue Crabs meet in the middle game of the series on Saturday evening. Lancaster will throw Jared Lakind (3-4) against right-hander Dusten Knight (0-0). Fireworks will follow the game on Celtic Night at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Fans may tune into the game, beginning at 6:15 on the Barnstormers YouTube Channel.
NOTES: Five different Barnstormers had multi-hit games as the Barnstormers racked up 13 hits total…Joe Terdoslavich extended his hitting streak to nine games (18-for-35)…Andrew Aplin stretched his streak to seven (12-for-28) and Destin Hood to six (10-for-27)…Lancaster has scored five or more runs in five consecutive games…Darian Sandford stole two bases and is now the sixth leading base stealer in Atlantic League history with 169…K.C. Hobson became the third Barnstormer to reach 50 RBI this season with his RBI single in the fifth…He had his 20th two-hit game of the season.