All Southern Maryland needed on Sunday afternoon was one inning.
The Blue Crabs pounced on Kyle Davies for four runs in the bottom of the first, and the runs held as host Southern Maryland completed a four-game sweep of the Lancaster Barnstormers, 4-0, at Regency Furniture Stadium in Charles County, MD.
Darian Sandford made a dazzling catch against a Kent Blackstone pop fly to left center to start the bottom of the first, but the Blue Crabs did not let that slow them down. Edwin Garcia lined a single to center, and Joe Benson roped a double off the left field wall to put runners at second and third with one out. The torrid Dean Green ripped a single to center for a 1-0 lead. Tony Thomas followed with a three-run homer to put the Crabs up by four.
Davies (4-7) settled down, eventually working six innings to keep the Barnstormers in the game. The right-hander allowed nine hits and walked one while striking out four.
Meanwhile, Lancaster’s offense continued to struggle. Right-hander Brandon Cumpton (4-8), who had allowed 94 hits in 69.2 innings entering the afternoon, checked the Barnstormers on four mere singles over the first six. Lancaster’s best chance came in the fourth. Dan Gamache led off with a single inside the right field line that drilled the first base umpire Jim Clayton on one hop. Following a liner to right by Caleb Gindl, Joe Terdoslavich walked to add a second runner. K.C. Hobson grounded to first baseman Josh McAdams, who threw too late to second to get a force out.
Cumpton took matters in his own hands, striking out Andrew Aplin and Parker Morin to end the threat.
Lancaster put together a last gasp effort in the ninth. Gindl collected his third hit of the afternoon with a line drive to right center, leading off the inning. Ryan Chaffee retired the next two, but Aplin drew a walk. That created a save opportunity for Mat Latos, and skipper Stan Cliburn made the move. Latos got ahead of Morin, but the ‘Stormers catcher smashed a grounder on the right side. McAdams made a sprawling stop and fed Latos for the final out preserving the victory for Southern Maryland. For Latos, it was the ninth save of the season.
The Barnstormers will open a four-game series against High Point on Tuesday with a doubleheader beginning at 6:00. Fans may tune into Blue Ridge 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel at 6:00.
NOTES: The Barnstormers collected only 16 hits in the four-game series and have gone 26 1/3 innings without an extra base hit since Destin Hood homered to left in the sixth inning on Friday…Lancaster has scored only eight runs in Davies’ last five starts…Darian Sandford stole his 159th and 160th bases as a Barnstormer, placing him ninth in Atlantic League history.