On Saturday night the Barnstormers lost another one-run game to the Maryland Blue Crabs, this time by the score of 3-2.
Lancaster is 8-20 on the season in one-run games.
The ‘Stormers were able to out-hit the Blue Crabs 7-4, but left eight runners on base. That has been a reoccurring theme for Lancaster as of late, and they now find themselves 3-5 in the second half of the 2016 Atlantic League season.
Lancaster had a daunting task at hand from the start, going against Southern Maryland ace Brian Burres. Coming into the game, Burres was the statistically fifth-best pitcher in the Atlantic League.
The Barnstormers were not able to score off of Burres until the fourth inning after going nine consecutive innings without scoring a run. They came through in the fourth inning, when left-fielder Sean Halton blasted his seventh home run of he season to left-center field.
Lancaster added another run in the fifth inning when Jeff Kobernus scored off of a Caleb Gindl single. Kobernus had reached first on a fielder’s choice that ended with Halton being forced out at second. Halton got on base via single. That would be the last true offensive production for the Barnstormers for the rest of the game.
The Blue Crabs scored all three of their runs before the Barnstormers even got on the board. In the first inning lead-off hitter Antoan Richardson was walked by Mike Lee. Richardson would steal second base and then scored on a fielder’s choice. Bryant Nelson hit a ball to second baseman Kobernus, who threw to Hobson at first for the putout.
In the top of the fourth inning first baseman Zach Wilson hit his ninth home run of the year, a two-run bomb that also brought Gustavo Molina home. At the time, that gave Southern Maryland a 3-0 lead, and they did not need to score anymore. The damage had been done.
Barnstormers starter Mike Lee pitched seven innings, which he also did in his last start. He allowed three earned runs on three hits, four walks and a strikeout. He pitched into the eighth inning, but was taken out after allowing the first two batters to reach base. The lead-off hitter, Garcia, reached via error, but Richardson was walked. The loss was given to Lee, who is now 4-3.
Burres earned his seventh win of the season, tossing six innings and allowing two runs on six hits, a walk and five strikeouts. He is now 7-4. Cody Eppley earned his 15th save of the season.
Tomorrow the Blue Crabs and the Barnstormers will tangle in a Sunday afternoon game beginning at 2:00 pm at Clipper Magazine Stadium. For Southern Maryland, Gaby Hernandez (1-6) will take on Lancaster’s Kelvin De La Cruz. De La Cruz is 2-1 with a 3.47 ERA since coming to Lancaster from the York Revolution. On the season, he is 5-7 with a 4.65 ERA.