Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Barnstormers Dump Camden, Clinch First Half

It’s onto the playoffs for the 2012 Lancaster Barnstormers. 

Lancaster grabbed a lead in the bottom of the fifth, then took advantage of a bout of wildness from the Camden bullpen to take a 12-5 victory over the Riversharks Monday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Combined with a York loss to Somerset, the win gave the Barnstormers the first half title in the Freedom Division.

The Barnstormers broke out early against spot starter Kevin Reese, pitching in lieu of lefty Keith Weiser, who was unable to go because of a blister on his pitching hand. Fehlandt Lentini cracked a two-run homer to right for a quick 2-0 lead, and Emerson Frostad tacked on a solo shot in the second as the Barnstormers went ahead, 3-0. That lead was extended to 4-0 in the third when Lentini crossed the plate with an unearned run on a two-out RBI single to left center by Blake Gailen.

Camden narrowed the gap to 4-3 in the fourth. Alan Johnson (6-4), who had retired seven batters in a row entering the inning, walked Brian Burgamy leading off. One out later, Johnson also put Raul Padron aboard, and Alvin Colina followed with a double inside the first base bag. Eduardo Perez delivered a two-run double to left center for an additional two runs before Johnson recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

Two singles and a throwing error stretched the Lancaster lead back to two, but Camden quickly tied the game in the fifth. Chris Walker led off with a base on balls and stole second. One out later, he scored on Brian Burgamy’s single to center. Burgamy took second on a throw home and he was brought to the plate on an ensuing ground single by Pedro Feliz for the 5-5 deadlock.

Lentini opened the home half of the fifth with an infield single. With one out and Tommy Everidge at the plate, the Lancaster right fielder broke for second on the first move by Eddy Camacho (0-1). Burgamy’s throw sailed into left field, sending Lentini to third, and Tommy Everidge knocked him home with a sacrifice fly to center.

Both bullpens locked the game down until the bottom of the eighth when Everidge’s double, an RBI single by Pedroza and five walks led to six runs to blow the game open.

In a symbolic move, manager Butch Hobson allowed eighth-year Barnstormer Ross Peeples to wrap up the game. The left-hander walked Steve Doetsch to start the inning but got a routine fly ball and a double play to send Lancaster into the post-season.

The celebration began, but the Barnstormers looked at it as only a precursor to a much bigger area wide party in October.

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