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Southern Maryland Takes Series Opener, 8-4

The Lancaster Barnstormers spent the entire evening playing from behind.  One glimmer of hope was dashed quickly by the Southern Maryland bats.

Jamar Walton and Eric Garcia slammed homers in the top of the eighth as the Blue Crabs pulled away for an 8-4 victory in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Down by four runs entering the home seventh, the Barnstormers rallied.  Justin Jackson, who was 3-for-3, led the attack with a leadoff double and moved to third as Travis Witherspoon’s roller went under Garcia’s glove at third.  Michael Crouse brought home one run with a grounder to second.  Caleb Gindl reached base on a throwing error by Garcia.  Mike McDade and Josh Bell each singled to left off Maine to drive home one run apiece.  Justin Berg jogged in from the bullpen and struck out a pair to quell the threat.

Walton then took Ryan Dennick’s first pitch of the eighth inning over the tents in right for his second home run of the season.  Steve Lombardozzi knocked a one-out single into right, and Garcia followed with a line drive homer to right for the 8-4 lead.

Kuan-Jen Chen gave the Blue Crabs an early 2-0 lead on a two-run single into center with two outs in the third.  Two batters later, Gustavo Molina also drilled a ball into center off Terry Doyle (0-1) to make it 3-0.

Caleb Gindl got Lancaster on the board with a bases loaded infield single in the bottom of the third, but single runs in the fourth and sixth innings stretched the lead to four.

Brian Burres (1-2) yielded three hits and one run in five innings to pick up the win for the Blue Crabs.

NOTES:  Jackson’s three hits were his first three since 2012…Bell had his first three-hit game of the season…The Barnstormers turned double plays three straight innings after converting only five in the first 17 games of the year…Lancaster hit into two…Doyle, fellow right-hander Tanner Peters and outfielder Logan Schafer were activated prior to the game.