Over the last seven days, 16 leads got away from either the Lancaster Barnstormers or the Bridgeport Bluefish.
The 16th of those leads dissipated as Kevin Ahrens launched a three-run homer to left field with two outs in the top of the ninth to give the Barnstormers a 7-6 edge at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard on Sunday afternoon.
That lead held with the tying run at third base as the Barnstormers took their fourth in the extended seven-game series.
Of the seven games, the winning run scored in the ninth inning five times, four times by the team that trailed going in.
K.C. Hobson reached on a one-out error in the ninth as his grounder to first rolled under the glove of Sean Burroughs. David Carpenter struck out Garrett Weber, but Trayvon Robinson fought back from a 2-2 count to draw a walk. Ahrens then unloaded his third homer of the season, stunning the Bluefish.
Undaunted, the Bluefish got a one-out double to left by Jose Cuevas in the bottom of the ninth, and Cody Hall walked Aberto Callaspo to put the winning run on base. Santiago Nessy grounded into a 6-4 force out at second. Burroughs lined to center to end the game and the week of intense finishes.
Bridgeport had grabbed a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth. Scott Shuman walked Callaspo to start the inning. A wild pitch sent him to second, and the Bridgeport second baseman scooted to third on a throw by Anderson De La Rosa that skipped into center. Lancaster intentionally walked Burroughs, but Jonathan Galvez spoiled the strategy with a bloop hit into center. Daniel Moskos (2-0) entered play and hit Daniel Fields with a pitch to load the bases. Tony Abreu squeezed home an insurance run before Ozney Guillen struck out to end the inning.
Lancaster had taken a 1-0 lead in the second on an Ahrens sac fly. Caleb Gindl countered a two-run homer by Burroughs with one of his own in the fifth for a 3-2 edge. After Bridgeport knotted the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth, Darian Sandford ripped a ground rule double down the right field line for a 4-3 edge.
Fields tied the game with a two-out solo homer to right center in the bottom of the sixth.
The Barnstormers will host Southern Maryland on Monday at 6:30. Brad Bergesen (1-0) will make the start for Lancaster while right-hander Austin Fleet counters for the Blue Crabs. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:15.
NOTES: For the 13th straight game, the Barnstormers put at least four runs and eight hits on the board…Ahrens became the second Barnstormer this year with a four-RBI game…The last four games, all nine inning contests, have taken an average of three hours, 29 minutes…Hobson tied a franchise record by being hit twice in the game.