by Jake McDonnell
Club Records Biggest Win of Season
It had been building up for weeks, and the New Britain Bees were the victims.
Lancaster scored seven runs in the first two innings, all on three home runs, en route to a 13-3 victory over the Bees on Saturday evening, the largest margin of victory for the Barnstormers this season.
Each club now stands at 30-31 on the season.
The entire onslaught happened in just three innings. In the first, Kevin Ahrens, Caleb Gindl, and Josh Whitaker all reached base on respective singles. Lance Zawadzki worked the count to 2-2 before slamming a Cole Johnson (5-6) offering over the picnic wall in right field for a grand slam, Zawadzki’s sixth homer of the season.
In the next inning, K.C. Hobson led off with a home run to right center. Ahrens reached base again on a walk, and then Gindl crushed a home run to give Lancaster a 7-0 lead.
New Britain challenged Barnstormers starter Kelvin De La Cruz in the third inning, sending eight batters to the plate with six consecutive men reaching base. James Skelton and Steve Carrillo both scored on a Jovan Rosa double, and Rosa came home when Jonathan Roof singled. Greg Golson added a single to load the bases, bringing Jon Jones to the plate with a chance to tie the game and wipe out the early Lancaster advantage.
De La Cruz (5-6), however, induced a 4-6-3 double play to escape the jam. He only faced seven batters in the next two innings and struck out five Bees in a row at one point. He would finish his outing with seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched, walking two and allowing three earned runs. His effort was good enough for his second win with the Barnstormers in as many starts.
New Britain threw another scare into the Barnstormers crowd in the sixth, loading the bases when Jones fly ball to center was lost in the twilight by Gindl. Kevin Munson entered and hit Michael Crouse with a pitch. Jon Griffin singled through the left side, again loading the bases. Munson recovered to strike out both Skelton and Carrillo to end the threat.
Lancaster put the game away in a messy seventh. The ‘Stormers sent 11 men to the plate, and scored
six runs on doubles from Ahrens and Gindl, singles from Ahrens, Sean Halton, Charlie Cutler and Justin Jackson, a wild pitch, and two errors.
With the 13-3 win, the Barnstormers exited the game with season highs in runs (13), total bases (28) and
strikeouts of the opposing team. Barnstormer pitchers fanned 15 Bees at the dish on Saturday night. The Barnstormers also tallied 16 hits in the victory.
On Sunday, the Barnstormers will wrap-up this four-game series with the Bees at 5:00 pm at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The pitching match-up will be Lancaster’s Tanner Peters (2-2, 4.64 ERA) vs New Britain’s Shawn Haviland (2-1, 3.44 ERA). Fans may tune into Blue Ridge Cable 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning with the first pitch at 5:00.