Long Island Takes 3-2 Decision
Austin Bibens-Dirkx had the Lancaster Barnstormers four outs from victory on Tuesday night.
It didn’t hold.
Long Island scored a two-out run on a wild pitch in the eighth and reached closer Cory Burns for four singles in the ninth to snatch a 3-2 victory on a dreary night at Bethpage Ballpark.
The loss was the sixth straight for the Barnstormers, who fell to 5-7 on the season.
With one out in the eighth, Mike Blanke singled and was forced at second by Anthony Vega. Fehlandt Lentini slapped a single to the right of second baseman Jeff Kobernus, sending Vega to third. Lentini stole second, then Vega scored on a wild pitch to Dan Lyons.
Scott Gracey threw one pitch to Lyons, completing a strikeout, to preserve the lead.
Burns (0-1) was summoned to start the ninth, and the former Padre and Ranger gave up a single to Lew Ford to open the inning and another to Nate Freiman with Ford taking third on a bobble by Michael Crouse in right. Sean Burroughs tied the game with a single pulled into right field. Cody Puckett advanced the runners with a bunt. Lancaster opted to walk Blake Tekotte intentionally. The strategy almost worked as Blanke struck out. Vega spoiled it, taking a 1-2 offering from Burns up the middle to knock home pinch runner Delta Cleary, Jr. with the winning run.
Lancaster scored an unearned run in the third following a walk to Kevin Ahrens to grab the early lead. Josh Whitaker stretched the lead with a line drive homer to left, his second in as many games. However, Lancaster was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position after that, unable to advance the lead beyond 2-0.
Bibens-Dirkx allowed five hits, all singles, in 7 2/3 innings. He walked none and struck out six. Long Island lefty Darin Downs yielded only one hit in six innings, issuing four walks and striking out seven.
Lancaster will send right-hander Bryan Evans (1-0) to the hill against right-hander Bobby Blevins (1-0) at 6:35 on Wednesday. Fans may tune into the Lancaster Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:15.
NOTES: Caleb Gindl went without a hit for the first time in the starting lineup…Mike McDade stretched his hitting streak to seven with a double in the fourth inning…Whitaker homered for the second straight game…The five hits was a season low for Lancaster…The Barnstormers have not won a game by fewer than three runs.