Lancaster Takes Series Finale, 10-7
Sunday afternoon may have huge ramifications as the Lancaster Barnstormers strive to repeat as Atlantic League champions in 2023.
Joseph Carpenter slugged a pair of homers and went 3-for-5, leading a 14-hit attack as the Barnstormers defeated the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, 10-7, at Regency Furniture Stadium.
With the win, the Barnstormers return to first place in the North Division, one game ahead of both Southern Maryland and Staten Island. They also clinched the tiebreaker with Southern Maryland, taking two of three in the only series the division rivals play in the second half of the season.
Carpenter opened the second and fifth innings with homers to left center. His leadoff single in the fourth may have been the biggest of his three hits, however, triggering a five-run uprising.
Southern Maryland had just taken a 3-2 lead on an opposite field home run by Braxton Lee in the bottom of the third, but the Barnstormers responded quickly against Liam O’Sullivan (7-3, 9-5). Following Carpenter’s liner to center, Chris Proctor drew a walk. Anthony Peroni tied the game with a single to right center, and Shawon Dunston, Jr. put the Barnstormers ahead to stay with a sacrifice fly to center. Peroni took second on the throw home, and the next three batters all singled to drive home a run. Melvin Mercedes brought Peroni across on a grounder up the middle and took second on the throw to the plate. Yeison Coca singled to center to bring in Mercedes for a 6-3 lead. Coca swiped second and scored on a base hit by Andretty Cordero.
Jared Lakind (8-3) quickly recorded the first two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Alex Crosby, who struck out for the first out was then ejected from the dugout over ball-strike calls, leading to a lengthy break in the action. Play resumed as Crosby was walking off, and Ian Yetsko tripled to left on a wind blown fly ball. Isaias Quiroz lofted a fly ball to deep right on which Chris Proctor got turned around by the wind as well, and the ball fell in for a double, to cut Lancaster’s lead to 7-4. Wilson Garcia overran a foul pop up with Michael Baca batting, and the Blue Crabs shortstop walked. Lakind finally struck out Sundberg to end the inning.
Carpenter’s second homer, and Dunston’s second sac fly rebuilt the lead to 9-4, but Lakind had to survive another scare in the bottom of the fifth. The lefty walked the first two batters of the inning, then made a high throw to first on a comebacker by Jimmy Kerrigan. The lefty picked up the next two outs before Ian Yetsko singled into left, bringing Quiroz to the plate as the tying run. Quiroz struck out looking, ending the day for Lakind, who threw 117 pitches on the afternoon.
Garcia slugged a two-out solo homer in the top of the sixth for a 10-5 lead. Brandyn Sittinger and Dominic DiSabatino held the lead over the next three innings, but the Blue Crabs reached Garrett Granitz for a pair in the ninth. Jimmy Kerrigan led off with a homer to left. Fox Semones doubled into left center and took third on a single to left by pinch hitter K.C. Hobson. Granitz coaxed a double play out of Yetsko and a liner out of new catcher Ray Torres to pin down the victory.
Lancaster will open a three-game series at York on Tuesday evening. Nile Ball (6-6) will make the start against Revs’ right-hander Pedro Vasquez. Fans may tune into FloBaseball, beginning at 6:25.
NOTES: Mercedes went 2-for-5, reaching base for the 20th consecutive game…Carpenter had his 10th three-hit game of the season and took the club lead with his 13th and 14th homers…He hit five in the nine games at Southern Maryland…Lancaster pitching struck out 13 for the game…The first strikeout of a Barnstormer came with two outs in the seventh…Lakind has won eight of his last nine decisions.