LANCASTER - There were the two defensive errors. There was the one hit and two RBIs in the 18 opportunities the York Revolution offense had with runners in scoring position. And there was the collapse of the Revs' bullpen. It doesn't help that all of those factors came against perhaps the best team in Atlantic League history.
Still, they played a factor into York's 8-4 loss at Lancaster in Game Two of the Freedom Division Championship Series on Thursday and Friday night.
Lancaster (2-0) now leads the best-of-five series, 2-0. That means the Revs (0-2) will have to win the final three games in York to keep their hopes at a third straight league title alive. The series will now shift to York's Sovereign Bank Stadium on Saturday night for Game Three, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Revs' skipper Andy Etchebarren isn't hitting the panic button just yet, though.
"They're pretty good," Etchebarren said of Lancaster. "They have good pitching. But we got 22 hits in two games. We've been pretty good against their pitching. We've left men on base a lot. It's a tough day when guys are on base and we don't ride them in. That's the difference right there."
Game Two: The game picked back up in the fifth inning Friday night at Clipper Magazine Stadium after it was suspended due to rain at the completion of the fourth Thursday with Lancaster up 3-1. The Barnstormers had scored three runs Thursday in the fourth inning on a two-run homer from Blake Gailen and an RBI single from Travis Denker. The latter run came after two York errors with two outs.
York reliever Wade Korpi started off the fifth for the Revs on Friday. Having not pitched since Sept. 13, Korpi issued two walks and later threw a wild pitch that got away from catcher Travis Scott, which led to Lancaster base runner Gilberto Mejia coming around to score from second to extend the Barnstormers' lead to three runs.
Momentum: Like they did in Game One, the Revs came back to tie Game Two. Jeff Fiorentino made it 4-2 with an RBI ground-out in the sixth inning. York then tied it in the seventh inning on an RBI single from Michael Hernandez and a Barnstormers' defensive error that plated Chris Nowak.
However, the Revs' offense squandered many opportunities to score more runs in the game, going 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position, plating just two runs in that situation.
"When you're fighting back and you switch the momentum and it comes to you, the biggest part of the game when that happens is you (the pitcher) have to go out and put up a zero so you keep it," Etchebarren said.
What momentum York had swung back to Lancaster in the bottom of the seventh inning, where Revs' relievers Mike Benacka (0-1) and RJ. Rodriguez gave up a combined three hits, one of them a three-run homer to Gailen, for a total of four runs. Former York pitcher and current Barnstormers' reliever Ronnie Morales (1-0) picked up the win with 2/3 scoreless innings.
Gailen, who had a league-leading .338 batting average in the regular season, is now 4-for-7 with three homers and nine RBIs in the series.
"We're trying to pitch to him a different way but (the pitches) keeping winding up on the inside half (of the plate)," Etchebarren said. "We're not trying to do that but that's where they're going."
Game Three: Etchebarren said he plans to have a chat with his team before Saturday's game in York. He also doesn't plan on making any changes to his current lineup.
"We take it one game at a time. That's all we can do," he said.Left-hander Chris Cody will get the start for the Revs. He'll face right-hander J.D. Durbin.
Check out further news and notes from the Freedom Division Championship Series on The York Dispatch Revolution Rumblings blog at www.ydtalk.com/revs.
Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.