LANCASTER, Pa. - The New Britain Bees took a big early lead and held on to defeat the Lancaster Barnstormers 6-3 on Sunday afternoon, taking two of three games in the series to start the second half of the season and enter the All-Star break as one of the early contenders in the Liberty Division.
A one-out double by Brock Stassi in the top of the first inning set the stage for an RBI single from Deibinson Romero.
New Britain increased its lead to 4-0 in the second inning. A walk to Jonathan Galvez and a single from Vinny Siena preceded a ball hit by Vicente Conde that was misplayed in left field, allowing him to reach first base and Galvez to score. The runners advanced to second and third on a ground out, then Siena scored and Conde went to third on an error by the catcher. Stassi and Romero both walked to load the bases with two outs before Jason Rogers hit an RBI single, with the final out of the inning being made as Stassi attempted to score from second on the play.
In the third inning, Jamar Walton singled and Galvez hit an RBI double to chase Lancaster starting pitcher Joe Gardner, who let up six runs, three earned, over just two innings, with three walks and no strikeouts. The Barnstormers went on to use six relievers in the game and they combined to allow just five more hits and no runs over seven innings of work.
But the first of those, Matt Reynolds, gave up a base hit to Siena that sent Galvez to third, before Conde hit a sacrifice fly to cap the Bees’ scoring in the contest.
New Britain starter Rainy Lara pitched into the seventh inning, allowing four hits and three earned runs with two walks and two strikeouts. He allowed just three base runners over the first six innings - a leadoff single in the third, a one-out home run by Trayvon Robinson in the fifth inning and a two-out walk in the sixth.
But in the seventh inning, Lara walked leadoff batter Ryan Casteel and gave up a home run to K.C. Hobson as Lancaster cut the lead to 6-3. He went on to give up another base hit and get an infield fly out before being relieved.
Evan Scribner came on in the ninth to pitch a 1-2-3 inning for his 12th save of the season.
The Bees do not return to action until after the All-Star break on Friday, when they start a three-game home series against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
Paul Angilly can be reached at 860-973-1800, or firstname.lastname@example.org