On Friday night and Saturday night the Barnstormers lost a pair of one-run games to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Sunday afternoon’s game was yet another one run game, but this time the Barnstormers came out on top by the final score of 3-2.
Moving runners over, especially in scoring position, has been a challenge for the Barnstormers all season long. The sixth inning was a perfect example of this struggle. Jeff Kobernus had singled and scored the tying run on a Caleb Gindl triple. With Gindl on third, both Josh Bell and Mike Jacobs walked to load the bases with only one out. However, both Sean Halton and K.C. Hobson struck out to end the inning. You could sense the frustration from a mile away.
After leaving the bases loaded in the sixth, the Barnstormers faced the same challenge in the seventh inning. Mike McDade got things started with a single, and Blake Gailen came into the game to run for him. Gailen got to second base on a Charlie Cutler ground-out, and then moved over to third when Kobernus singled. Kobernus stole second base during Kevin Ahren’s at-bat. Ahrens would strike out, and then Gindl was intentionally walked to load the bases.
With two outs and another chance to take the lead, the Barnstormers finally came through. Orlando Santos, who came into the game with a 7.03 ERA in 27 appearances for Southern Maryland, walked Josh Bell and allowed Gailen to score from third. The bases-loaded walk would turn out to be the bullet that punctured the Blue Crabs’ chance of sweeping this four-game series.
Southern Maryland’s 42-year-old third baseman Bryant Nelson continued to produce in this series, collecting two RBI’s on two singles. The first run came in the third inning and gave Southern Maryland a 1-0 lead. The second single gave the Blue Crabs a 2-1 lead after Hobson’s third-inning home run.
Starting his fifth game with the Barnstormers, Kelvin De La Cruz gave Lancaster a gutsy performance on the mound. He went seven innings and allowed two runs on 10 hits and four strikeouts. The Blue Crabs made contact with his pitches, but De La Cruz did not allow a walk and got out of trouble several times. Earning the win on Sunday, De La Cruz is now 3-1 with Lancaster.
Pete Andrelczyk pitched the eighth and Cory Burns got his 16th save of the season. Both recorded a strikeout.
The loss was given to Blue Crabs reliever Robert Carson, who allowed the McDade single in the seventh inning that eventually led to Gailen scoring. He is now 1-3 on the season. Blue Crabs starter Gaby Hernandez went six innings in his no-decision, allowing two runs on four hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
The Barnstormers have a chance to tie this series tomorrow night in the game four finale. The pitching match-up will be Southern Maryland’s Daryl Thompson (2-6) vs Lancaster’s Bryan Evans (3-5, 4.06 ERA). First pitch is at 7:00 pm at Clipper Magazine Stadium.