Community Cup Clincher Held Off
One of the beauties of baseball is its inherent unpredictability.
Twelve days earlier, Gray Fenter dealt four solid innings of relief, and Lancaster pounded Austin Nicely for 14 hits and 10 runs in a game won by the Barnstormers, 11-3.
Roles were reversed on Tuesday evening as Nicely gave the York Revolution a quality start while Fenter left in the fourth inning as the Revs defeated the Barnstormers, 9-4, in the opener of a three-game series at People’s Bank Park.
York’s win kept the team from the White Rose City alive for one more night in the chase for the Community Cup. Lancaster is up, 16-11, with five games left to play. In order for the ‘Stormers to wrest the club away, they need to take one more for an outright win.
Nicely (3-10) was tough on the Lancaster lineup for the first five innings, allowing only two hits and a run. Meanwhile, his batterymate Lenin Rodriguez clubbed a pair of homers off Fenter (2-1) to help the Revs break the game open.
The Barnstormers struck first on a double by Jake Hoover to lead off the third. He moved up on a grounder by Chris Proctor and scored on a sac fly to center by Melvin Mercedes.
After Fenter fanned five in the first two innings, Lenin Rodrigez took him over the 37 ½’ wall in left to open the bottom of the third, tying the game. J.C. Encarnacion yanked a double into the left field corner, and Yefri Perez followed with a walk. The pair executed a double steal, and Encarnacion scored the lead run on a grounder to short by Nellie Rodriguez.
The first two batters in the York fourth rolled grounders toward the middle, both tipped by Fenter on a behind-the-back reach. Hoover turned the out on Melky Mesa, but Connor Lien beat out the second, reaching ahead of a Mercedes throw from the left side of second base. Jack Kenley belted a double into right center, and Lenin Rodriguez again cleared the wall in left to make it 5-1.
Dominic DiSabatino replaced Fenter and allowed an unearned run later that inning. The right-hander walked the bases loaded in the fifth, and the catching Rodriguez came through again, this time with a two-run single off Mercedes’ glove for an 8-1 lead. Lancaster failed to turn a double play on Encarnacion as a ninth run crossed the plate.
Jacob Barfield singled home a pair of runs in the sixth, and Andretty Cordero whacked a solo homer in the eighth as Lancaster slightly narrowed the gap.
Erik Manoah (3-1) will take the mound for the Barnstormers on Wednesday against right-hander Duke von Schamann (5-4). Fans may tune into the game on the Barnstormers YouTube channel, starting at 6:25.
NOTES: Lancaster’s division lead in the North was cut to 2 ½ games over Southern Maryland as the Blue Crabs picked up an extra-inning win over Gastonia…Lancaster remains tied with Wild Health for the wild card lead…High Point is one-half game back…Ariel Sandoval singled in the ninth to extend a hitting streak to 11…Cordero’s homer gave him his 93rd RBI of the season, moving him within two of the league lead and within 10 of the franchise record…Cordero had his 42nd multi-hit game of the season…Donald Goodson threw eight straight balls to start his appearances, then got six outs in rapid succession over two scoreless innings