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Lancaster Edges Southern Maryland, 3-2

For two innings, the Lancaster Barnstormers had huge opportunities to take the lead on Sunday afternoon.

They finally did – on the eyes of Josh Bell.

Bell walked with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie and pick up their first win of the weekend against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, 3-2.

Lancaster advanced to 4-5 in the second half while the Blue Crabs fell to 3-7.

Mike McDade led off the Lancaster seventh with a bloop single into center off Robert Carson (1-3) and left for pinch runner Blake Gailen. Charlie Cutler pushed a sacrifice bunt up the first base line to move Gailen to second, and Jeff Kobernus singled Gailen to third with a smash into left field. With Kevin Ahrens at the plate, Kobernus stole second. Ahrens struck out against right-hander Orlando Santos for the second out. The Blue Crabs opted to pitch around Caleb Gindl, pitching to Bell instead with the bases loaded. Lancaster’s third baseman picked up the walk on five pitches to drive home the decisive run.

In the previous inning, the Barnstormers tied the game against starter Gaby Hernandez but failed to produce additional runs. Jeff Kobernus led off with a single to left center. He was put in motion and advanced to second on Ahrens’ groundout to shortstop, then stole third. Caleb Gindl laced a sinking liner into right center to drive home the run and raced to third with a triple when a diving try by Ryde Rodriguez came up short. Bell and Mike Jacobs both walked, but Hernandez retired to strike out both Sean Halton and K.C. Hobson to end the inning.

Earlier, Bryant Nelson, who has eight hits in the series, singled home go-ahead runs in both the third and fifth innings for Southern Maryland. Hobson homered for Lancaster leading off the bottom of the third to tie the game at 1-1.

Kelvin De La Cruz (3-1, 6-7) worked seven innings, giving up 10 hits and two runs. He walked none and struck out four. Pete Andrelczyk worked a perfect eighth, and Cory Burns followed suit in the ninth for his 16th save.

The series concludes Monday evening with Bryan Evans (3-5) making the start against Daryl Thompson (2-6). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel or Blue Ridge Cable 11, beginning at 7:00.

NOTES: De La Cruz has thrown four quality starts in five games since coming to Lancaster from York…Sean Halton went 0-for-4 to lose a 14-game hitting streak…Hobson extended his hitting streak to eight games…He has an extra base hit in seven of them…Kobernus had five steals in the first three games of the series…Burns remained an unblemished 8-for-8 in save opportunities at home.