By Sam Valentin-
The five game series and ultimately the Barnstormers season came down to one run in the tenth inning. But the run that decided both teams destinies was not scored by Lancaster.
The Revolution beat the Barnstormers 5-4 in 10 innings and are now penciled in to play the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League Championship Series starting Wednesday in New York.
The game was close until the top of the tenth inning when the ‘Revs bats found new life, scoring four in the inning after capitalizing off an error.
Heading into Lancaster’s side of the frame, the score was 5-1 and it looked as if the game had already been decided. But Terry Tiffee smashed a two-out, three run home run off York closer R.J Rodriguez to bring them within one run. The Stormers thought they might live to fight again. But Travis Metcalf came up against Revolution reliever Dumas Garcia who struck him out to end the series.
Immediately following the game Lancaster Barnstormers manager Butch Hobson walked into the the visitor’s dugout to shake hands with his good friend and Revolution manager, Andy Etchebarron.
“I said congratulations and that I loved him,” said Hobson to the ‘Revs manager, Etchebarron.
The Barnstormers did not have quite enough steam to pull off the series comeback. After dropping the first two games at York. Lancaster came home with the series in many people’s minds. Fridays game was rained out but the Barnstormers won game three and four which made the series go to the decisive game five Monday night.
Stephen Douglas hit a homer to right to put Lancaster up 1-o but that is all they could muster off ‘Revs starter Corey Thurman who gave up only three hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked only three in a commanding performance.
“We didn’t do much with Corey,” Hobson said of Thurman, who got the win in the series opener. “It’s amazing. He gets people out with that change-up. He throws (batting practice) fastballs. And he throws a cutter.”
‘Stormers lefty, Steve Hammond’s, performance was just as good only giving up one hit in six shut out innings.
“The biggest mistake I made tonight was not sticking with Hammond,” Hobson said. “But he’d been through the order twice and (reliever Jeff) Bennett’s been a guy they haven’t hit all year.”
Jeff Bennett gave up the tying run off an Eric Eymann RBI single.That was all the scoring until York broke open the game in their half of the tenth.They scored four runs off three relievers in an explosive tenth inning.
The rally really started after former Barnstormer, Bryant Nelson hit a hard chopper to second baseman, Gilberto Mejia. Mejia waited for the ball to come to him but it eluded his glove bouncing into shallow center field.
“It was an in-between hop and I was just hoping it would hit me in the chest,” said Mejia in an interview with Lancaster Newspapers.
Lancaster just could not respond in the bottom of the tenth. So York proceeded to celebrate on Lancaster’s home field. They brought on the champagne and music and were having a very jovial time in the clubhouse.
“The season’s over,” Hobson said after the heartbreaking defeat to the York Revolution. “I’m proud of this team. I’m proud of the city, the support. I love it here. I love the people here. I just wish we could have gotten to the finals for them.”