Third Baseman Goes Deep in 10th for 3-2 Win
Josh Bell slammed a two-out solo home run in the top of the 10th inning as the Lancaster Barnstormers tripped up the Long Island Ducks, 3-2, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Bethpage Ballpark.
The second game is scheduled for 6:35.
Bell connected on a 1-1 pitch from Amalio Diaz (4-2) after the first two batters of the inning had struck out against the right-hander.
While Bell decided the game in the late innings, Sean Halton and K.C. Hobson had not only provided the early offense, they kept the Barnstormers alive with their defense.
In the top of the third, the duo belted consecutive triples after a one-out single by Lance Zawadzki to stake Lancaster to the 2-0 lead.
Terry Doyle kept the shutout into the seventh thanks to a great play by Hobson in the fifth. With one out and Blake Tekotte at third, Hobson lunged into the first base seats to yank in a pop fly off the bat of Anthony Vega. Ducks manager Kevin Baez turned Tekotte loose. Hobson righted himself and fired a perfect strike home for the final out of the inning.
Doyle was lifted with one out in the seventh following a walk to Dan Johnson, but Mike Blanke rode a 3-2 pitch from Cory Burns over the wall in left to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
The Ducks came within a whisker of taking the game in the ninth. Pete Andrelczyk (3-0) allowed a leadoff single to Ruben Gotay, Jr., and Johnson picked up his second straight walk. Blanke flied to center, and Gotay hung around at second. Tekotte singled into right, but Halton cut loose a great throw to get Gotay at home. Andrelczyk fanned Matt Wessinger to end the inning.
Long Island tested Andrelczyk in the bottom of the 10th. Vega reached on a leadoff infield single. After Carlos Hughes struck out looking, Fehlandt Lentini hit a potential game ending grounder to shortstop Kevin Ahrens. After failing to handle the ball cleanly, Ahrens maintained enough composure to get Lentini at first. Delta Cleary, Jr. rolled a single into the hole at short to move the tying run to third, then stole second with the possible winning run. Andrelczyk won the battle against Gotay, retiring him on a fly out to center to end the afternoon.
Kelvin De La Cruz, obtained in a deal with York earlier in the week, will make his debut with the Barnstormers in the nightcap. The southpaw was 3-6 with York. He will match up against lefty Darin Downs (4-3). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:15.