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Lancaster Wins Rubber Game in Texas, 4-3

The Lancaster Barnstormers are still hanging around in the playoff chase.

Mike Jacobs belted a sacrifice fly to deep right field in the top of the ninth on Sunday evening to break a 3-3 tie and send the ‘Stormers to a 4-3 victory over the Sugar Land Skeeters at Constellation Field.

By winning two of three in Texas, the Barnstormers find themselves within 6 ½ games of the Skeeters with two weeks left on the schedule.

Josh Bell drew a walk off Jon Velaszuez (3-2) to open the ninth and went to second on a single to left by Sean Halton. With Jacobs at the plate, Velasquez uncorked a wild pitch high off the glove of catcher Wilfredo Rodriguez. Jacobs then took Jeremy Barfield back toward the warning track in right field, giving Bell the opportunity to score easily.

K.C. Hobson launched a two-run homer in the top of the first to stake the ‘Stormers to a 2-0 advantage. Sugar Land countered with a run of its own, stringing together three consecutive one-out singles with Delwyn Young’s liner to center plating Rene Tosoni.

Connor Root proved to be stubborn, stranding runners at second and third in the first inning and the bases loaded in the second.

However, Josh Prince reached the right-hander for a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, a towering drive to left off a 3-1 pitch, staking Sugar Land to a 3-2 edge.

The Barnstormers did nothing else against starter Brett Marshall through six innings, but, with two outs in the seventh, Kevin Ahrens torched a 3-1 delivery from Zech Zinicola deep beyond the left field wall to tie the game.

Pete Andrelczyk (8-2) picked up the win for the Barnstormers. Cory Burns recorded his 15th consecutive save and 26th of the season, yielding only a two-out single to Rodriguez.

Lancaster is off on Monday but will open a three-game home series and 10-game homestand on Tuesday against New Britain. Justin Jackson is scheduled to start against right-hander Nate Roe.

NOTES: Hobson has 11 homers in his last 22 games and is within one of the league lead…The Barnstormers won their fourth consecutive series…Bell has hit safely in eight straight games and Halton seven…The only error by the Barnstormers in the series was on catcher’s interference…Andrelczyk’s win was his 22nd as a Barnstormer.