For a while Friday night, the Barnstormers looked ready to push their recent mini-tear a bit further, toward the first undefeated week of the season.
But Southern Maryland kept hitting, put crooked numbers on the board in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, and cruised to an 11-6 win.
A crowd of 4,476 looked on at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Lancaster had won four in a row. A win would have put them within a game of .500 after a horrid 1-7 start to the Atlantic League’s second half race. And a couple recent additions to the lineup are making the Stormers everyday lineup look pretty sound and viable.
The additions are second baseman Melvin Mercedes, who’s been out since breaking his foot in early May, and outfielder Destin Hood, activated for the first time July 5 after offseason back surgery.
Hood had a two-run homer last night, as the Barnstormers built a 4-1 lead through three innings.
“With (Dan) Gamache leaving, somebody was going to have to step up in the middle of the order,’’ manager Ross Peeples said. “Hood, K.C. and (Andrew) Aplin have kind of done that lately.
“Hood’s starting to get his timing back. We’ve been playing better, in all three phases.’’
But, again, Southern Maryland kept hitting.
The Blue Crabs (34-48) scored two in the fourth, three in the fifth and five in the sixth.
There were a lot of little blows in there, but the big ones were Josh McAdams’ two-run homer to left and Joe Benson’s three-run double, both in the sixth.
In that productive three-inning stretch alone, Benson had a pair of doubles, three RBI and scored twice.
The big sixth turned melancholy when the Crabs chased Lancaster starting pitcher Kyle Davies. For the last time, it turned out. Davies, 35, is retiring, effective now, after a pro career that began in 2001 and included stints in the big leagues with the Braves, Royals and Yankees.
“He really looked at this like it was his last chance,’’ Barnstormers’ manager Ross Peeples. “We was a true professional, a class act. To watch him go about his business every day, … it was great to have him here.’’
Peeples said lefty Nate Reed will take Davies role, although it is still possible the club will add a pitcher.
The series continues at 6:30 Saturday at the Clip, lefty Jared Lakind (3-4) starting on the mound for Lancaster vs. righthander Dustin Knight (0-0).