Gailen Sets HR Record in 2-1 Win Over Ducks
Blake Gailen set the Barnstormers career home run mark on Wednesday evening but had to share the spotlight with a much newer arrival in Lancaster.
Justin Jackson retired the first 15 batters he faced and limited the Long Island Ducks to three hits and one run over seven innings, pitching the ‘Stormers to a 2-1 victory in the fourth game of a five-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Jackson (3-1) retired nine of the first 13 batters on swinging ground balls and one on a bunt. Trayvon Robinson kept the streak alive with a sliding grab of a Dan Lyons line drive for the second out in the fifth, and Jackson made it 15 straight with a strikeout of Ruben Gotay.
The bid for perfection ended there. Mike Dowd opened the sixth inning with a sharp single up the middle and scored when Mike Blanke lined a 3-2 pitch off the right field scoreboard to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
Instead of being deflated, Jackson fought back and retired the next three batters in the air.
The right-hander, making only his fourth career start, found trouble again in the seventh. Cody Puckett singled to right center with one out and Lyons was clipped by an 0-2 pitch. Jackson walked Gotay to load the bases. Manager Butch Hobson stuck with Jackson, who retired Dowd on a 2-0 pop up to first base and struck out Blanke looking to end the seventh.
Gailen picked up on the momentum and took Nick Struck (2-4) over the far side of the Clipper Magazine Stadium picnic wall to lead off the home seventh. It was the 62nd home run of Gailen’s career in Lancaster, snapping the tie with four-year catcher and Gailen’s former hitting coach, Lance Burkhart.
Mike McDade followed with a ground single up the middle and left for pinch runner Chase Patterson. One out later, Yusuke Kajimoto, the only player on either side with a two-hit night, yanked a single into right. Trayvon Robinson grounded into a force out at second. Struck was replaced by Danny Burawa, and K.C. Hobson ripped the reliever’s first pitch into right for the decisive base hit.
Pete Andrelczyk held the lead through the eighth inning, aided by a double play as Dean Wilson flagged a sharp one hopper to his right off Fehlandt Lentini’s bat. Cory Burns yielded a leadoff single to Delta Cleary, Jr. before getting three straight outs to earn his 24th save.
Lancaster will send newcomer Luis Gonzalez, a lefty, to the mound in the series finale on Tuesday evening. Gonzalez was 2-4 with the Joplin Blasters of the American Association earlier in the year. He will be opposed by left-hander Jarret Leverett. Leverett was 4-7 for New Britain before heading to the Ducks.
NOTES: Jackson is 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA as a starter…He has won his last two…Burns remained perfect at home, saving his 13th straight at Clipper Magazine Stadium…Hobson picked up his eighth RBI of the homestand…Thirteen of the 21 runs scored by Lancaster on the homestand have scored on home runs…Lancaster has clubbed 10 in the seven games…Gailen is batting .368 (14-for-38) since August 12.