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Once Again, Close But Not Quite

Lancaster Falls, 7-6, as Ninth Inning Comes Up Short

For the second consecutive game, the Lancaster Barnstormers dropped a 7-6 decision after a ninth inning rally came up one base hit short.

Lancaster left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth after scoring one run as the Barnstormers lost to the New Britain Bees Tuesday evening at New Britain Stadium.

The loss left Lancaster trailing the York Revolution by one-half game in the Freedom Division race.

With the Barnstormers down, 7-5, Josh Bell led off the ninth with a triple.  One out later, Trayvon Robinson and Caleb Gindl walked to load the bases.  Cole Garner was hit by a pitch to force home one run.  Sean Halton stepped in and slammed the first pitch from Sean Gilblair foul down the left field line.  Two pitches later, Halton popped out.  Steve Clevenger grounded out to end the game as Gilblair picked up his 18th save.

Just like in the Monday loss against Somerset, the Barnstormers fell behind early as Jon Griffin singled home a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first.  Again, Lancaster caught up.

In the third, Nate Coronado tripled and scored on a ground out by Lance Zawadzki.  Garner doubled home the tying run in the fourth but then was thrown out at the plate on the ensuing single by Halton.

After Conor Bierfeldt singled home a run in the bottom of the fourth, the Barnstormers would take their only lead of the night in the fifth inning.  Zawadzki singled through the right side with one out and stole second with two gone.  Darian Sandford, in his first game back with the ballclub since his contract was purchased by the Washington Nationals in June, hit a sinking liner into right center.  Jamar Walton attempted to make a diving catch, but the ball skipped by for a triple.  Sandford scored on a single by Trayvon Robinson, playing in his first game since August 23.

New Britain scored four times in the bottom of the fifth inning, runs that proved to be just enough.  Craig Maddox, Griffin and Walton all drove doubles to the gaps off Luis Gonzalez (0-2).  R.J. Hively took over and allowed a one-out double inside the third base bag to Bierfeldt, who would later score on a throwing error.

The Barnstormers inched one run closer in the seventh as Garner walked with the bases loaded before Halton flied to center, ending the threat.

The series continues on Wednesday night with Tommy Shirley (3-5) taking the hill against Kyle Simon (10-11).  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 6:15.

NOTES:  Sandford, Robinson and Gindl marked their returns to the Barnstormers by reaching base on seven of 15 total plate appearaces…Sandford stole his 34th base, tying him with Rico Noel for the club lead…The game was the second this season in which the Barnstormers had three triples…Robinson has reached base in 35 of his last 37 games…Garner has nine doubles and ten overall extra base hits in his last 11 games.