Barnstormers Unable to Overcome Three-Run Blast in First
The Lancaster Barnstormers had more hits than Southern Maryland on Wednesday evening, but a three-run homer by Zach Wilson before the game’s first out proved too much to overcome.
Lancaster dropped its third straight, a 5-3 decision to the Blue Crabs, despite rapping out 11 hits and playing an error-free ballgame.
Bryan Evans (1-2) yielded two ground singles to open the game before Wilson connected on his first pitch, driving the ball onto the hillside in left center for his second home run of the year and the rapid 3-0 lead. The right-hander would retire the next 16 Southern Maryland batters to keep his team in the game, but the Barnstormers bats could never get the right hit at the right time.
Caleb Gindl slammed a solo homer off with two outs in the bottom of the first. Two innings later, he stepped to the plate with two men aboard and struck out. Josh Bell followed the home run with a double blasted into right center. Again, in the third, he hit a comebacker to Jon Leicester (2-2) with those same runners on base.
The deficit remained at 3-1 until the sixth when the Blue Crabs parlayed a walk to Erik Garcia, a Wilson double and Fred Lewis’ sacrifice fly into a fourth run. Gary Brown reached on an infield single to start the eighth and scored on a wild pitch to increase the Lancaster deficit to four.
Lancaster moved one run across the plate in the eighth inning, and the ninth got quite interesting against closer Cody Eppley. Josh Whitaker led off with a double inside the first base bag and scored on a two-out single to right center by Charlie Cutler. Michael Crouse added a single bringing newcomer Logan Schafer to the plate.
Schafer, who had two hits on the night, could not extend the rally, instead bouncing back to Eppley to end the game.
Lancaster and Southern Maryland conclude the series on Thursday morning at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The Barnstormers will send Bryan Woodall (2-0) to the hill against right-hander Gaby Hernandez (0-1). Fans may tune into Blue Ridge Cable 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 11:00 AM.
NOTES: Gindl stretched his hitting streak to six games…He has batted safely in 16 of 18 starts…Whitaker’s double was his first hit of the series after three deep fly outs and a line drive to second…The Barnstormers have only won two of their last 13 games…Evans only allowed five baserunners in seven innings, but four scored…The runs in the first were the first Evans allowed to Southern Maryland in three career starts against the Blue Crabs.