Barnstormers Head to One-Game “Playoff” on Weber’s Homer
The Lancaster Barnstormers pulled off a miracle on Sunday afternoon.
An exhausted ballclub with a thin roster, the Barnstormers scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to pull off a stunning, 7-6, victory over the Somerset Patriots on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Barnstormers force the first half title to be decided on the outcome of a makeup game at Southern Maryland on July 28. Following the Blue Crabs’ game at Long Island later on Sunday, the Barnstormers will be either tied or down by one game in the Freedom Division standings. With a win on the 28th, the Barnstormers would own the tiebreaker and the title.
Caleb Gindl opened the ninth with a home run off reliever Ronnie Shaban (2-2). Shaban walked Sean Halton to put the tying run on base.
Garrett Weber stepped in. After taking a ball and strike, then fouling off a bunt, the Lancaster third baseman sliced a home run just fair down the right field line, his sixth homer in six days, to win the game for the Barnstormers and render the Southern Maryland-Long Island outcome moot as far as the first half is concerned.
Lancaster fell behind early as Kyle Roller doubled home two Patriots runs in the first inning and launched a leadoff homer off Bryan Evans in the third for a 3-0 Somerset edge.
Evans settled down to retire 12 of the next 13 batters, and the Barnstormers were able to rally.
The Barnstormers got two runs back in the third, all with two outs. Rico Noel was hit by a pitch and stole second. Lastings Milledge moved him to third with a scratch hit. Noel scored on a wild pitch from David Kubiak, and Gindl delivered an RBI single.
Weber led off the sixth with his first homer of the afternoon, tying the game at three. The Barnstormers, for the second time in three innings, left the bases loaded afterward, unable to take the lead.
Somerset went to work. Adam Donachie opened the seventh with a soft ground single through the right side. After Scott Kelly failed to get a bunt down, Justin Pacchioli chopped a single through the left side hole. Greg Golson grounded into a force out at second. Lancaster manager Ross Peeples replaced right-hander Kevin Munson with lefty Daniel Moskos as the lefty swinging Roller came to the plate.
Roller would walk on a full count pitch to load the bases. Olmo Rosario cleared them with a double to center that popped free from Trayvon Robinson’s outstretched glove when he hit the outfield fence.
Robinson doubled home a run in the bottom of the seventh to get the Barnstormers one run closer.
Anthony Carter (2-2) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
The Barnstormers open the second half of the season on Monday night at Long Island. Rommie Lewis (4-5) will square off against Ducks lefty Rafael Perez. Fans can tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel Monday evening at 6:15.
NOTES: Weber is 14-for-21 with six homers and 12 RBI in the last six games…Scott Shuman continued his streak of scoreless innings at home to 15 2/3…Robinson extended his hitting streak to seven with his double in the seventh…The Barnstormers won at least two games in every home series in the first half…The makeup game is from a rainout on May 25…Gindl’s homer was his first since May 8…The Barnstormers won after trailing heading into the ninth for the first time since May 7.