Joey Terdoslavich and Ryan Casteel each launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning, and the Lancaster Barnstormers were able to fend off a stubborn Sugar Land offense for a 6-4 victory over the Skeeters early Thursday at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
With the win, the Barnstormers were able to take two out of three from Sugar Land and climb to within one-half game of the frontrunners in the Freedom Division.
The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the third, but, with one out, Darian Sandford lined a single into left center. He took third when Tyler Bortnick banged a double off the right field wall. Blake Gailen produced the first run with a shallow sacrifice fly to left. Terdoslavich, batting left-handed against Logan Bawcom (1-1), slugged his two-run blast to left center, a rare opposite field homer by a left-handed batter in Lancaster. Trayvon Robinson added a single, and Casteel made it 5-0 with a towering fly to center which bounced off the top of the wall and out of the ballpark.
Lancaster spent the remainder of the game holding on to the lead. Joe Gardner (1-1) gave up two runs in the top of the fourth. The right-hander walked Kyle Kubitza and Derek Norris to start the inning. Matt Chavez singled inside the first base bag to produce one run. A second scored on Barrett Barnes’ two-out double ripped inside third.
The Barnstormers put their final run on the board in the bottom of the inning on a bases loaded force play grounder off Gailen’s bat.
Gardner allowed consecutive singles to open the fifth but escaped without a run. John Anderson yielded a one-out double to Rey Navarro in the sixth. Again the Skeeters failed to produce. A possible run scoring inning off Kevin Munson in the seventh was broken up by a double play.
Sugar Land busted through off Scott Shuman in the eighth. Chavez grounded a single up the middle to left off the inning. One out later, Navarro reached on a slow roller up the third base line. A walk to Barnes loaded the bags, and one run scored on a wild pitch. Courtney Hawkins also walked to reload the bases. Garrett Granitz took over and yielded a sacrifice fly to Colin Walsh before fanning Anthony Giansanti to end the threat.
The stubborn Skeeter offense worked out a walk and a hit batter in the ninth. Matt Reynolds struck out Rey Navarro after a lengthy battle to end the game. Reynolds earned his second save.
Lancaster heads to Somerset to open a three-game series against the Liberty Division leading Patriots on Friday evening. Jonathan Albaladejo (1-1) will make the start for the Barnstormers against left-hander Rick Teasley. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel, starting at 6:45.