Some nights, the hits keep coming. And coming.
On those nights, and they’re rare, the Barnstormers can light up the scoreboard without tattooing the short right-field porch at Clipper Magazine.
Lancaster needed one of those nights and got it Friday, routing Southern Maryland 10-3 before a crowd of 4,538.
It was just the Barnstormers’ third win in their last 16 tries. They had 11 hits and walked eight times, without once even threatening the fence in right whose presence looms over every Clip-joint game like the Goodyear Blimp.
“Hitting is contagious sometimes,’’ said Lancaster manager Ross Peeples. “The big thing it we had multiple guys get hits, and guys getting hits with men on base.”
In Friday’s game with Somerset, the Barnstormers were 0-for-9 with running in scoring position, 0-for-18 with men on base, with seems nearly impossible.
“It’s just baseball, to some extent,’’ Peeples shrugged.
The Barnstormers sent nine to the plate in the third and fourth innings, almost all of the damage coming against Southern Maryland starter Michael Kelly.
Michael Martinez and Dan Gamache had hits and scored runs in both frames. The hardest-ball ball of the stretch was Martinez’ towering double to center, which followed a double by Darian Sanford and was followed by singles by Gamache and Caleb Gindl.
Leadoff man Sandford three base three times, stole and base and scored twice. Martinez, Gamache, K. C. Hobson and Parker Morin had multi-hit games. Joe Terdoslavich had two RBI.
Lancaster pitcher (and pitching coach) Jonathan Albaladejo made his return from the injured list a good one, allowing two runs, one earned, in five innings and leaving something in the tank; he threw just 70 pitches.
“We threw strikes tonight,’’ said Peeples, whose team has lost the battle for control of the strike zone too often this tear, but won it big on this night.
The Atlantic League’s all-star break is now just eight days away, first-half playoff contention long gone for Lancaster (21-38).
Naturally, attention is now on putting a second-half version of the Barnstormers together. Peebles cut three players - pitchers Andury Acevedo and Kelvin Vasquez and third catcher Brian Mayer - loose this week.
Among the reinforcements, reliever Pedro Echemendia made his debut Friday and threw two scoreless innings. Another pitcher, Christian Meister, is now in town. Peeples said an outfielder, Andrew Aplin, who has been in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ chain, is due to arrive Saturday.
“I look at it like any other job,’’ Peeples said. “If you don’t perform, you get fired.
“We’re still looking. I’d say we need another arm, at least. I wouldn’t say we’re done yet.’’
The series with Southern Maryland continues at 6:30 Saturday with righthander Kyle Davies (4-4) on the mound for the Barnstormers.