Sugar Land Forces Game Five with 7-2 Victory
The Lancaster Barnstormers were not able to lock up the Freedom Division Series on Saturday night.
Sugar Land erupted for five runs in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to a 7-2 victory over the Barnstormers, forcing a winner-take-all fifth game on Sunday.
Lancaster struck first as Blake Gailen, Ryan Casteel and Conrad Gregor chained together singles for the early 1-0 lead off winner Lucas Irvine.
Joe Gardner had a tough break to get his night started as Anthony Giansanti beat out a slow roller up the third base line. The right-hander responded by striking out Juan Silverio. With Matt Chavez batting, Giansanti stole second, avoiding a Stephen Perez tag. Chavez singled into right to tie the game and took second on the throw home. Gardner walked Cordero, filling in first. A ground ball by Barrett Barnes was hit too slowly for a double play, putting two in scoring position. Derek Norris cashed in with a two-run single into right center. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Alvaro Rondon rode a two-run single into left center for the 5-1 lead.
Stephen Johnson replaced Gardner in the second, and after allowing one of two inherited runners to score, proceeded to throw 4 2/3 shutout innings to give Lancaster a chance.
However, Irvine and the Sugar Land bullpen wouldn't budge. The Barnstormers managed only five hits, including an RBI double by Casteel in the third, the remainder of the night as the outs ticked away, and game five became a greater likelihood, then a reality.
The deciding game will be a rematch between Lancaster lefty Nate Reed and Sugar Land right-hander Dallas Beeler. Lancaster won that first meeting, 5-3, on Tuesday evening. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:45 EDT on Sunday.
NOTES: Gregor leads the Barnstormers with seven hits in the series while Casteel has six...Overall, Giansanti is the leader with eight...Neither club has a home run in the two games at Sugar Land...Skeeters pitching has walked only two batters in the first four games while striking out 31...Lancaster is 1-2 in Game Five's in club history.
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Atlantic League Stories from September 22, 2018
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