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Seven-run Inning Ends Lancaster’s Playoff Hopes

The Lancaster Barnstormers own 75 wins in the 2017 season.  They needed a 76th on Saturday night, and it did not come.

York scored seven times in a bizarre bottom of the seventh inning, just after the Barnstormers had taken their first lead of the night, to race past Lancaster for a 13-7 win, clinching the second half and a playoff meeting with Southern Maryland beginning on Wednesday.

Darian Sandford paced the Barnstormers comeback from an early deficit, then scored the go-ahead run on his own in the top of the seventh.  The speedy leadoff hitter drew a walk from Grant Sides, took second on a balk, stole third and scored when the throw from Isaias Tejeda sailed into left field.

Then the game took a downward turn for the Barnstormers.  Daniel Moskos (6-3) hit Jared Mitchell with a pitch leading off the bottom of the inning.  Rubi Silva bounced a single into right, chasing Mitchell to third.   Kaohi Downing was brought on in relief and got Telvin Nash to pop out.  Silva stole second, and a passed ball allowed Mitchell to score.  Lancaster walked Tejeda intentionally.  Dayron Varona lofted a pop fly to shallow right which was dropped by Lance Zawadzki, allowing Silva to score the lead run.  Zawadzki recovered and got the second out at second base.  Travis Witherspoon beat out an infield single, and Downing made a wild throw to first, putting runners at second and third.  Lancaster walked Ryan Dent intentionally and brought Scott Shuman on to face switch hitting third baseman Chase Simpson.  Simpson connected on a 1-2 pitch for a grand slam.  Alonzo Harris followed with a solo blast for the final margin of victory.

York reached starter Brad Bergesen for eight hits and five runs in the first two innings, but Sandford, Beau Amaral and Steve Clevenger all singled home runs over the next two innings to bring Lancaster within 6-3.  Sandford scored on another bad throw from Tejeda on a double steal attempt.  Amaral came home on the ensuing sac fly, and Sean Halton hit a towering home run over the 37-foot wall in left field to tie the game.

Tommy Shirley (3-5) will start the season finale on Sunday afternoon at 1:00.  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 12:45.

NOTES:  The Barnstormers sealed having one of the top two records in the Atlantic League for the regular season…The other top two club, Bridgeport, was also locked out of the playoffs on Saturday…Halton tied Southern Maryland’s Michael Snyder for the league lead with his 25th home run…A Barnstormer has at least shared the Atlantic League home run title in five of the last seven seasons…Sandford has 43 stolen bases, 10 since coming back on September 5…That is the second highest single season total in club history…Nate Coronado was 2-for-4, boosting his road batting average to .411…York also clinched the War of the Roses, leading the series, 10-8, with one to play.