Stormers Fall to Skeeters, 5-4
The Lancaster Barnstormers chipped away at an early 5-0 Sugar Land lead but could never quite get all the way back as the Skeeters held on for a 5-4 victory at Constellation Field.
Lancaster drops 7 ½ games behind the Skeeters with the loss. The Barnstormers have 15 games left on the schedule.
Joey Maher (1-3) ran into two-out trouble in the first inning. He walked Ricky Hague, who promptly stole second. Travis Scott ripped a double inside the first base bag to plate the first run. He scored when Jeremy Barfield line a single into left.
Sugar Land’s early attack continued into the second inning when Lance Zawadzki tore a double into right center, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Albert Cordero.
Hague completed the Sugar Land scoring with a two-run homer to left center in the third inning.
The Barnstormers controlled the rest of the game with the bullpen throwing 3 2/3 shutout innings, taking over from Maher following a Rene Tosoni triple in the fifth.
Sean Gallagher (9-8) kept the Barnstormers off the scoreboard until the fifth. Mike Jacobs launched a double over the shift in right field, and Mike McDade walked. Jeremy Barfield made a sliding catch to keep Blake Gailen from his second double of the game. Jacobs, after going to third on the Gailen out, scored when Dean Wilson lined out to left center.
Josh Bell homered in the sixth, and Kevin Ahrens connected in the eighth as the Barnstormers climbed to within two. Singles by K.C. .Hobson and Jacobs helped to build another run, and the Barnstormers cashed in as McDade smoked a single into left center to cut the lead to 5-4.
That was as far as it would go. Dan Runzler got Gailen to foul out to third, and Derrick Loop pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his 29th save.
Lancaster will send Connor Root (0-3) to the hill on Sunday in the series finale. He will be opposed by right-hander Brett Marshall (4-6). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers’ YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45 EDT.
NOTES: The Barnstormers have homered in 10 straight games…Gindl doubled in the fifth, his 34th of the season, leaving him seven shy of the franchise record…Everyone but Wilson had at least one hit among the starters.