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Lancaster Blasts Past New Britain, 7-6

Sean Halton finally found a way to avoid Michael Crouse’s glove. He put a ball in the parking lot.

Halton clubbed a one-out solo homer in the top of the ninth inning to snap a 6-6 tie and send the Lancaster Barnstormers to a 7-6 victory over the New Britain Bees Saturday evening at New Britain Stadium.

The win was Lancaster’s fourth straight on their current road trip, the longest winning streak since late June.

Halton took a 1-2 pitch from Rob Bryson (0-1, 0-2) over the boards in left, his first hit of the game. Crouse had previously made a running over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track in dead center and a diving grab in shallow left center to deny Halton hits, two of the 11 putouts recorded by Crouse in the game.

Lancaster had used a home run to tie the contest in the seventh as K.C. Hobson launched his 10th of the season to deep right center off Joseph Kuzia.

New Britain jumped to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Jon Griffin singled to left, and Jake McOwen doubled into the right field corner. One out later, Griffin scored on a slow grounder to third by Nick Murphy. Crouse followed with his fifth homer of the season, a two-run blast to left.

Lancaster batted around in the top of the third to tie the game. Yusuke Kajimoto tripled to left center and scored on a single by Caleb Gindl. Trayvon Robinson and Hobson followed with singles to load the bases. Halton knocked in one with a force play grounder to the hole at short. Consecutive walks to Mike Jacobs and Kevin Ahrens tied the game.

A pair of unearned runs, created by three Lancaster errors, scored in the bottom of the fourth, and New Britain again stretched its lead to three on Griffin’s RBI single up the middle in the fifth.

An RBI single to left by Kajimoto scored Ahrens with an unearned run in the sixth, and Lancaster drew within one run on a Kuzia wild pitch. Crouse, who displayed all the tools in the game, threw out Kajimoto at the plate on a single by Gindl, temporarily preserving the lead.

Pete Andrelczyk (5-2) threw a scoreless eighth to earn the win.

Lancaster will send lefty Kelvin De la Cruz (5-2, 8-8) to the hill on Sunday against Kyle Simon (5-5). Fans my tune into the broadcast on the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 1:15.

NOTES: Halton took the league home run lead with his seventh in the last 14 games…Hobson hit his third of the road trip…The Barnstormers have 26 hits in the series and 105 in the 10 games of the road trip…Lancaster has taken the league lead in team homers with 96…Cory Burns picked up his 18th save of the season and second in the last three nights.