Lancaster Drops Southern Maryland, 3-1
Two balls that barely stayed fair were enough for the Lancaster Barnstormers to sneak past the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Tuesday evening at Regency Furniture Stadium.
An infield single by Anderson De La Rosa in the seventh and a two-run homer by Trayvon Robinson in the ninth led the Barnstormers to the 3-1 victory in the opener of the three-game series.
The win moved Lancaster back into a tie for first place in the Freedom Division.
Starters Nate Reed and Brian Grening kept the game scoreless into the bottom of the fifth inning. Cory Vaughn became the Blue Crabs’ first baserunner of the night with a ground rule double just beyond the reach of center fielder Darian Sandford. Devon Rodriguez followed with a single into left. Vaughn was sent and barely beat Blake Gailen’s throw home for the game’s first run.
Grening maintained a three-hit shutout into the seventh. Gailen led off with a single to left center and took third on a one-out single to right by Vladimir Frias. Frias was thrown out stealing second for the second out, but De La Rosa spun a grounder along the third base line that hugged the chalk and spun back fair for an RBI single to tie the game.
The Barnstormers escaped a mess in the bottom of the seventh. Singles by Vaughn and Rodriguez, along with an error by Sandford on the Vaughn base hit, put runners at the corners with one out. Kevin Munson walked Patrick Palmeiro on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. He went to another full count on Jose Lozada as well before getting the Southern Maryland second baseman to ground into a 3-2-3 double play to end the threat.
Both sides went down in order in the eighth before Sean Halton reached to open the ninth when Edwin Garcia sailed a high throw on a grounder into the hole. Gailen moved Halton to second with a bunt to bring up Robinson. The switch hitting right fielder lofted a Cody Eppley (0-2) pitch down the left field line. It started to fade foul but caught the pole in the process for the decisive two-run homer.
Scott Shuman (1-0) worked the eighth for the win. Anthony Carter allowed only a two-out single in the ninth for his third save.
The Barnstormers and Blue Crabs meet again on Wednesday morning with the start time moved up to 10:05 AM due to anticipated high heat. Bryan Evans (1-1) makes the start for Lancaster against Gaby Hernandez (1-0). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 10:00 AM.
NOTES: The Barnstormers have now won five games in their final at bat…They scored at least three runs for the 21stconsecutive game…Robinson’s homer kept the Barnstormers from being held without an extra base hit for the first time all season…Reed retired the first 13 batters he faced, the third time in four starts the lefty has had a no-hitter through at least the first four innings…He has not allowed an earned run in the first four innings all season…The Barnstormers have a 3-1 lead in the season series.