Barnstormers Club Blue Crabs to Remain Alive
The Lancaster Barnstormers took huge advantage of a rare defensive blunder by Southern Maryland and rolled to a 15-5 victory in the fourth game of the North Division series, advancing to a decisive fifth game on Sunday afternoon.
In the top of the second, with Lancaster already leading, 1-0, Jacob Barfield singled and Chris Proctor walked against Eddie Butler (0-1). Jake Hoover bounced a ball back to Butler, who fired to second to start a double play. Both shortstop Michael Baca and second baseman Michael Wielansky arrived to handle the throw, and Baca dropped the play in the confusion, allowing Lancaster to load the bases. Trace Loehr lashed a single under Alex Crosby’s glove at third to drive home two. Butler struck out Shawon Dunston, Jr. and retired Melvin Mercedes on a liner to third for the second out.
Andretty Cordero grounded a two-run single into left for a 5-0 lead and went to second on the throw home. Ariel Sandoval followed with a base hit to left center to knock in another. Sandoval swiped second before a walk to Anderson Feliz added another runner. Sandoval then grabbed third and scored when Ryan Haug’s throw deflected off Crosby’s glove and into left field. Barfield followed with his third homer of the playoffs, a blast to left for a 9-0 cushion.
The teams exchanged two-run innings, and Zach Collier tripled home a run in the bottom of the fifth off Cameron Gann to cut the lead to 11-3.
Lancaster still had to survive a scare in the bottom of the seventh.
Chase Johnson walked the first two and yielded another triple to Collier as the lead dropped to 11-5. The right-hander retired the next two, then walked Joe DeLuca and Jared Walker to load the bases. Lancaster brought Gray Fenter in to face right-handed batting catcher Ryan Haug, who cranked a long foul before striking out.
The Barnstormers struck for four hits and four runs in the top of the eighth to ice the game.
Oscar De La Cruz and Daryl Thompson will meet in a rematch of Tuesday night’s series opener, won by Southern Maryland, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at 2:05. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel, beginning at 2:00.
NOTES: Gastonia and High Point are tied at 2-2 in the South series…Cordero was 3-for-5 and drove in four runs…He and Barfield are tied for the most RBI in the series with seven…Barfield has homered in three straight games…Lancaster pitchers combined to strike out 14 batters in the game, nine by Gann in six innings…Fenter whiffed all four batters he faced…The Barnstormers are 1-3 in Game Five’s in franchise history.