Barnstormers Excel in All Aspects in 8-2 Victory
The Lancaster Barnstormers need one more win to advance to the Atlantic League finals.
Lancaster erupted for seven early runs, and the pitching staff, with plenty of assistance from the defense held the lead the rest of the way for an 8-2 victory in Game Three of the Freedom Division Series.
The ‘Stormers now lead the best-of-five series, two games to one, with Game Four slated for Saturday at 6:05 CDT
Ryan Casteel led off the second with a ground single up the middle off Konner Wade. Conrad Gregor singled into right. The runners moved up on a wild pitch as Trayvon Robinson pulled off a bunt. Robinson then swung away and drilled a two-run double to left center. Denis Phipps lost a K.C. Hobson fly ball in the lights for another double. With one out, Vladimir Frias stroked a ground ball to first base. Albert Cordero fired home, but his throw was to the right of catcher Derek Norris. Robinson slid home ahead of the tag with the third run. A pop fly to left by Darian Sandford dropped between the defenders for an RBI single. Sandford would later score a fifth run on a passed ball.
Brooks Hall was only nicked in the second inning. Juan Silverio led off with a ground single to right. Matt Chavez followed with a bloop hit to right, and Cordero drove home one run with a double that the wind knocked down in front of Blake Gailen. Tony Thomas knocked a second run home with a grounder to second. Hall walked Phipps to bring up shortstop Alvaro Rondon. The lefty batter drilled a liner toward the middle, but Frias made a diving stop and doubled Phipps off first to end the inning.
Hobson doubled home two runs with a liner into the left field corner before the first out of the third inning was recorded. Lancaster’s offense went into a stall and produced only one hit over the next 6 2/3 innings.
However, Hall, with the help of three double plays, held off the Skeeters for 5 2/3 innings. John Anderson picked up four outs. Scott Shuman, in his return to the Barnstormers from Mexico, retired the side in order in the eighth inning.
Tyler Bortnick doubled home Sandford with an insurance run with two outs in the ninth before Ross Peeples handed the baseball to Huascar Brazoban. The slender right-hander struck out two and got a comebacker around a single by Thomas to nail the game down.
Joe Gardner (5-11) will start game four for Lancaster against Lucas Irvine (1-1). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45 EDT.
NOTES: Sandford stole his first two bases of the series after recording 18 multi-steal games during the regular season…Gregor has hit safely in all eight games with Lancaster…Lancaster starters have allowed only four runs in 20.2 innings in the series.