For 7 2/3 innings, the Lancaster Barnstormers bats were suppressed by Bridgeport pitching on Tuesday evening.
Then, they found their spark.
The ‘Stormers rallied for four runs over the final two frames to topple the Bluefish in the second game of a four-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium, 4-3. With the victory, the Barnstormers climbed into a first place tie with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs atop the Freedom Division.
Danny Burawa struck out the first two batters he faced in the eighth, and the Barnstormers, who had mustered only three singles to that point appeared lifeless. They got their spark from center fielder Darian Sandford who punched a single into left and promptly stole second. He scored when Caleb Gindl lined a single into right center, and the Barnstormers slashed the deficit to 3-1.
Burawa picked up the final out in the eighth as K.C. Hobson grounded out on a 3-2 pitch, but the Barnstormers went back to work against Manny Delcarmen (0-1) in the ninth. Sean Halton led off the inning with an opposite field home run, bringing Lancaster within one. Blake Gailen backed the homer up with a single to right and went to second on a wild pitch.
Gailen only picked up one base as Delcarmen retired the next two batters, but Vladimir Frias ripped a single into right to tie the game. Frias swiped second with Anderson De La Rosa at the plate. The Lancaster catcher slapped a ground ball on the right side. First baseman Sean Burroughs made the backhanded stop, but his throw back to Delcarmen ticked off the glove and rolled toward the Lancaster dugout, allowing Frias to scoot home with the winning run.
Starters Brad Bergesen of Lancaster and Bridgeport’s Tyler Badamo both were working on gems into the middle innings. Lastings Milledge picked up the game’s first hit, a ground single into center to open the home fifth. Badamo shut it down, eventually getting a double play out of Frias.
Bergesen retired 16 of the first 17 batters he faced before 20-year old third baseman Yefry Reyes lined a one-out solo homer onto the picnic deck in the sixth to snap the scoreless deadlock. Luis Hernandez followed with a deeper homer to right center, and the Bluefish stayed on the attack with singles by Jose Cuevas and Alberto Callaspo. Sean Burroughs struck out, and the Barnstormers were awarded the final out of the inning on batter’s interference as Burroughs was ruled to have impeded De La Rosa’s pickoff attempt on Cuevas at second.
Bridgeport added an unearned run off Daniel Moskos in the seventh to grab the 3-0 lead.
Anthony Carter (1-0) faced three batters in the ninth to pick up the win.
The two clubs meet again on Wednesday evening. Left-hander Nate Reed (0-0) will square off against right-hander Cory Riordan (1-1). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers’ YouTube Channel (Go Barnstormers Baseball) at 6:15.
NOTES: Milledge’s single extended his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest by a Barnstormer this season…Gindl’s single was his ninth hit on the homestand…Sandford has nine steals in the last eight games…Frias has driven home four runs in the last two…Bergesen recorded his second straight quality start…The game was the fifth this season decided in the last scheduled inning or extra innings.