Lancaster struck for seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to overcome a five-run deficit and go on to defeat the host Blue Crabs, 9-8, at Regency Furniture Stadium.
The win kept the Barnstormers in first place by one-half game over the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Southern Maryland appeared to have the game under control. Shrugging off a two-run homer by Anderson De La Rosa in the second, the Blue Crabs roared back with seven runs off Rommie Lewis between the third and fourth innings.
Gary Brown got the barrage started with a single to left, his second hit of the night. Edwin Garcia singled to right, sending Brown to second. Michael Snyder knocked in the first run with a liner over the head of second baseman Garrett Weber, cutting the Lancaster lead to 2-1. After Zach Wilson bounced out in front of the plate, Cory Vaughn tied the game with a single into right. A wild pitch sent Vaughn to second, and Patrick Palmeiro extended the lead to 4-2 with a double smashed down the third base line.
Brown slugged a one-out homer to left to start the fourth, and Wilson later hit his fourth homer of the season at Lancaster’s expense for the 7-2 cushion.
Lefty Pat McCoy left after six innings, having allowed only three hits, but Sam Runion got into immediate trouble in the seventh. The right-hander hit Trayvon Robinson with a pitch to start the inning. Vladimir Frias walked, and De La Rosa loaded the bases with a single to right. Darian Sandford drilled a single off the top of shortstop Edwin Garcia’s glove to score one run.
Robert Carson entered and walked Caleb Gindl on a lengthy at bat to cut the lead to 7-4. Carson got two outs with only one additional run scoring, but Lastings Milledge delivered Sandford and Gindl with a double to left center to tie the game. Jesse Beal was summoned to pitch to Garrett Weber, but Weber spoiled the maneuver with a go-ahead two-run homer to left for the 9-7 lead.
Southern Maryland did not quit. Vaughn drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh and stole second. He scored when Devon Rodriguez singled into right. Kaohi Downing got two quick outs but could not finish off the inning, walking Ryan Wiggins before the rains struck.
Scott Shuman struck out Gary Brown after the delay, ending that inning. John Anderson pitched a scoreless eighth, and Cody Hall gave up only a one-out single in the ninth to pick up his fourth save.
The Barnstormers open a three-game weekend series at home against the New Britain Bees on Friday. Lancaster will send Elih Villanueva (2-1) to the hill against right-hander Mike Lee. Fans may tune into BRC-11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45.
NOTES: For the 23rd straight game, the Barnstormers scored at least three runs and posted at least seven hits…They did not have a hit outside of the second and seventh innings…De La Rosa’s homer was the first by a Barnstormer off a lefty in 165 at bats this season…Kevin Munson was entered into the game to pitch to Brown in the seventh, but did not come back after the rain delay…Southern Maryland stole six bases, tying the record for the most ever against the Barnstormers in a game…McCoy was only the second left-handed starter that Lancaster had seen in 22 games…K.C. Hobson lost an 11-game hitting streak.