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Lefty K’s 10 in 4-0 Win

Kelvin De La Cruz is becoming a dominant force.

The left-hander struck out 10 in 7 1/3 shutout innings on Tuesday evening, defeating the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, 4-0, in the opener of a four-game series at Regency Furniture Stadium.

De La Cruz (5-2, 8-8), took a no-hit effort into the sixth inning before Alfredo Marte flared a leadoff base hit into right center. Marte stole second and made it to third on Gary Brown’s one-out single under the glove of third baseman Josh Bell. De La Cruz fought back and got Antoan Richardson to foul out to first baseman K.C. Hobson. He struck out D’Arby Myers to end the inning.

Gustavo Molina added a single with two outs in the seventh, and De La Cruz left after yielding a one-out single to pinch hitter Angel Sanchez in the eighth.

He did not walk a batter all evening, but he hit Myers with a pitch in the third. With his 10-K performance, the southpaw became the first pitcher in Lancaster history to fan 10 batters in consecutive turns in the rotation.

Offensively, the Barnstormers accomplished very little on their own. In the fifth, Charlie Cutler singled to right center, only the second hit off Brian Burres (8-5). After Caleb Gindl flied to center, Jeff Kobernus scooted a ground ball on the right side. Brown, the second baseman, went to his left, spun and tried to make the play on Cutler at second. His throw was wild and eluded Eric Garcia covering the bag. Hobson advanced the runners with a ground out, and Bell produced both runs with a double to left center.

The Barnstormers scored their only earned run of the night in the sixth. Kevin Ahrens smashed a double inside the third base bag. Mike McDade walked. Trayvon Robinson moved both men ahead with a bunt, and Cutler’s fly ball to right scored Ahrens for a 3-0 lead.

Two infield singles, a walk and two errors provided the Barnstormers with their final run in the ninth.

The Barnstormers send right-handers Bryan Evans (3-6) and Justin Jackson (0-0) to the mound for an 11:05 doubleheader on Wednesday. Southern Maryland will counter with right-hander Gaby Hernandez (1-8) in the opener. The Blue Crabs have not declared their starter for the second game, a makeup game from the weekend of May 20-22 which will count toward the first half standings.

NOTES: De La Cruz fired his sixth consecutive quality start for the ‘Stormers…Eric Junge struck out 10 or more batters twice within 11 days in both 2009 and 2010…Dwayne Pollok did likewise in 2012…Sean Halton had a pair of infield singles to extend his hitting streak to nine games… Caleb Gindl (12), Jeff Kobernus (11), and Mike McDade (9) all lost streaks…The shutout was the eighth thrown by the Barnstormers this season…Lancaster is 3-2 on the current 11-game road trip.