September 1, 2012 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Lancaster Barnstormers
The Lancaster Barnstormers brief displays of their power and fine pitching on Saturday evening to knock off the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, 5-2, in the middle game of a three-game series in front of 6,484 at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Lancaster was able to maintain its 4 1/2 game second half lead over York in the Freedom Division.
The Barnstormers were down, 2-0, heading into the bottom of the third when Travis Denker doubled to left center to become the first baserunner off Ben Moore (2-2). Kody Kirkland singled Denker to third, and Bridger Hunt drove home the run with a sacrifice fly to left to close the gap to one.
Ryan Harvey tied the game leading off the fifth, blasting his 23rd home run of the season onto the walkway in right center. With that blow, he became the first batter in franchise history to homer in five consecutive games.
Lancaster's lineup put together a quick burst against Moore to open the bottom of the sixth. Gilberto Mejia drilled a double into the right center field gap and came home on Adam Godwin's ground rule double down the right field line. Blake Gailen crushed the first pitch of the at bat well over the picnic tents in right for his 20th long ball of the season.
From there, the Barnstormers turned the game over to the bullpen. Ching-Lung Lo bridged the seventh inning, striking out two. Jeff Bennett pitched a perfect eighth, and Tim Hamulack allowed only a bloop double in the ninth to record his 26th save of the season.
Alan Johnson (13-5) worked the first six for the Barnstormers. He gave up four hits and two runs, both earned. The right-hander walked four and struck out two.
Southern Maryland only reached the scoreboard on Brian Barton's two-out, two-run double in the top of the third.
Lancaster and Southern Maryland will meet in the rubber game of the three-game series on Sunday evening. John Halama (11-7) is scheduled to take the hill for Lancaster against Nick Green (8-8). Fans may tune into 1390-AM, WLAN; 1600-AM, WPDC; 1390wlan.com or the I Heart Radio cell phone app, beginning at 5:45.
NOTES: Harvey has six homers in the last five games, eight in nine games, nine in 11 and 22 in 54...He moved to within two of York's Chris Nowak for the league lead...He has 22 RBI in the last 11 contests...Denker has at least one extra-base hit in six straight...Hunt doubled in the seventh inning to stretch his hitting streak to 16 games...Johnson has won 10 of his last 11 decisions and now leads the league in victories...Hamulack converted his 19th straight save opportunity.