September 8, 2011 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Lancaster Barnstormers
Thursday evening, it was all about the pitching.
The Lancaster Barnstormers swept a doubleheader from the Road Warriors, 3-1 and 2-0, at Clipper Magazine Stadium on stellar starting efforts by John Halama and Jeff Bennett.
The doubleheader sweep brought Lancaster back to .500 in the second half and within four games of the York Revolution in the Freedom Division race.
Halama (5-6) yielded the only Road Warriors run of the night in the second inning of the opener. Gabe Suarez flared a two-out single into right and moved up on a balk during a steal attempt. Kenny Kelly beat out a dribbler up the third base line, and Adrian Ortiz lined a single to left, the Road Warriors fifth hit of the game, to drive in Suarez.
Danny Gonzalez led off the third with a single to center. Halama induced a double play grounder out of Luis Nieblas, and the travel squad managed only one more hit in the route going effort, a leadoff single by Josh Johnson in the seventh. The left-hander surrendered seven singles and no walks while fanning a season-high seven.
The Barnstormers tied the game against Chris Little (0-1) in the bottom of the third as Brandon Jones roped his fourth homer of the year into the Home Run Harbor screen. Yaibel Tamayo drew a walk and advanced on Little's wild pickoff attempt. He would score the lead run one out later when Wayne Lydon doubled inside the first base bag.
Terry Tiffee doubled to open the fourth and came around with an insurance run on a pair of fly ball outs.
In the nightcap, Bennett (3-0) made his first Barnstormers start upon his return from Class AAA Reno. He checked the Road Warriors on three hits and a walk over five innings, never allowing more than one baserunner in any frame. The visitors came the closest to producing a run off him in the second on a double down the first base line by Johnson, but he got the next two batters to ground out.
Lancaster only managed three hits in the nightcap, all in the fourth inning off Kelvin Villa (5-10). Lydon broke up a perfect game bid with a long triple into left center to lead off the inning. Matt Watson was nailed by a fastball to fill in first base. Tommy Everidge popped to right for the first out, but Fernando Seguignol came through with a singled drilled past first baseman Alberto Cruz. Tiffee added a ground single to left, loading the bases, and Travis Metcalf brought home pinch runner Jones with a long sacrifice fly to center for the 2-0 lead.
The Road Warriors built a threat against Jon Huber in the eighth on consecutive one-out singles by Marcos Cabral and Gonzalez. Huber coaxed a 4-6-3 double play out of Vic Gutierrez to end the threat, and Jonah Bayliss came on in the ninth for his 18th save.
Lancaster and the Road Warriors conclude the three-game series on Friday evening at 7:00. Matt Wright (6-10) will take the hill for the Barnstormers in a follow up of his one-hit shutout against Southern Maryland last Saturday. The Road Warriors will counter with Omar Javier (0-5). The game will be aired on Fox Sports Radio, 1490, WLPA and streamed live on sportsjuice.com and ibnsports.com.
NOTES: Lancaster swept its second doubleheader of the season; the other was a day-night twinbill in Somerset...Halama took the league lead with his fourth complete game...Lancaster only had eight hits in the doubleheader, but five were for extra bases...Bennett's Atlantic League ERA was lowered to 0.34.