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Lancaster Hangs on for 6-5 Win

The Sugar Land Skeeters took Friday night’s game at Clipper Magazine to a suspenseful finish after the Lancaster Barnstormers built a large early lead.

However, Cory Burns struck out Jeremy Barfield with the tying run at third base to nail down a 6-5 victory for the host Barnstormers in front of a Salute to Veterans Night crowd of 4,818.

With the win, the Barnstormers gained a game on Sugar Land but still trail the York Revolution by three games in the Freedom Division.

The Barnstormers struck for all six of their runs in the first three innings.

Caleb Gindl homered in the first to tie the game at 1-1.  An RBI single by Mike McDade and Jeff Kobernus’ sacrifice fly produced a 3-1 lead through two.  Josh Bell doubled home one run in the third, and Sean Halton followed with a two-run triple off the center field fence as the Barnstormers went up, 6-1, over Roy Merritt (1-1).

Lancaster produced only two more singles on the rest of the night, and Sugar Land, which came in on a four-game winning streak, began to fight back.  Rene Tosoni launched a leadoff homer in the fourth, and three runs scored off Terry Doyle (1-2) in the sixth on a single by Barfield, a double by Kent Matthes and Johan Limonta’s ground out.

In each of the final four innings, the Skeeters moved the tying run to third but could not get him home.  The biggest scare came in the eighth when Barfield and Travis Scott greeted Scott Gracey with singles.  One out later, Johan Limonta walked to load the bases.  Gracey was able to fight back and get Brooks Conrad to pop out to second base.  He fanned Albert Cordero to end the threat.

That brought Burns out for the ninth.  The right-hander struck out Jeff Dominguez, but Rick Hague ripped a double to left.  Tosoni bounced back to the hill, and Burns took the safe out at first.  Barfield stepped in, and, after the Skeeters left fielder barely fouled off one 2-2 pitch, Burns got him with the next to preserve the victory and earn his seventh save.

Lancaster will host Sugar Land again on Saturday with right-hander Bryan Evans (2-2) matching up with right-hander Barret Loux.  There will be a souvenir baseball giveaway while supplies last, and fireworks will follow the game.  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel at 6:45.

NOTES:  Logan Schafer extended a hitting streak to seven games…The triple by Halton in the third was Lancaster’s first multi-run hit in nine days…Bell’s double to right in the third was his sixth two-bagger in six games…Matt Reynolds struck out Tosoni in the seventh, his 10th strikeout in his last five innings…Burns has not allowed a run at home.