August 8, 2009 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Lancaster Barnstormers
A big early lead was not enough for the Barnstormers on Saturday evening as Bridgeport erupted for seven in the third and five in the fifth for a 12-6 victory over Lancaster at Harbor Yard.
The first two innings were impressive. Michael Woods and Matt Watson reached Bluefish starter Esteban Yan for consecutive RBI doubles in the first for a quick 2-0 lead. Woods added a three-run homer with two outs in the second, and the Barnstormers appeared to be cruising to a much-needed win.
Even more, it looked like the Barnstormers night when starter Ben Fritz escaped the second after three singles loaded the bases with two outs. The right-hander was able to retire Ryner Bautista on a comebacker, and Lancaster maintained the 5-0 advantage.
Just like any avalanche, the bottom of the third began in a small way. Adam Greenberg bunted to the first base side of the mound, and Fritz let the ball slip through for a base hit. Then, Tyrone Pendergrass hit a chopper toward the middle that was mishandled by Anderson Machado, and suddenly the Bluefish had runners at first and second with nobody out. Luis Lopez followed with a line drive to left that sailed over the head of Ryan Mulhern for an RBI double. Three batters, three potential outs, three baserunners.
Brandon Sing walked to load the bases. Ryan Radmanovich yanked a two-strike breaking ball into right field for an RBI single. Luis Rodriguez then launched a three-run double to the right center field gap to tie the game. Colin Roberson looped a single into center, sending Rodriguez to third. Roberson took off for second. Fritz\' throw to try and nab him went behind Turner for the second error of the inning as Rodriguez scored. Fritz got the next two hitters, but Greenberg singled to center for the seventh run of the frame.
Four singles against Ross Peeples, another off James Heuser and two additional errors led to five more runs in the fifth as Bridgeport blew the game open.
The game also featured a bench clearing incident. Tensions flared initially when Michael Woods got a late time out from home plate umpire Jose Colls in the fourth inning, and Yan (10-4) fired in Woods general direction as he backed away. In the bottom of the sixth, with two outs and nobody on, Jim Heuser\'s first pitch sailed behind Adam Greenberg who yelled out to Heuser. Greenberg was then drilled by a 2-2 pitch and went to charge the mound but pulled back. Both benches cleared and there was a shove or two in the middle of the pack. It appeared that no punches were thrown, and no one was ejected from the game.
The two clubs wrap up the series on Sunday afternoon with Ricardo Gomez (3-1) making a spot start for the Barnstormers. Kyle Jackson (9-7) will counter for Bridgeport.
Lancaster will return home on Friday to face Camden in the opener of a six-game
homestand. There will be a fireworks show each of the first two nights. Tickets
are available at www.lancasterbarnstormers.com or by calling 717-509-HITS.