The York Revolution opened the 2018 season by celebrating their 2017 Atlantic League championship and then defeating the Lancaster Barnstormers, 4-3. Elijah Armold, York Dispatch
After all the fanfare honoring their 2017 Atlantic League championship season was finished, the York Revolution players decided to keep the party rolling Thursday night.
Jared Mitchell homered in the first Revolution at-bat of the year and the team would add another substantial long ball on its way to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the rival Lancaster Barnstormers on opening night at PeoplesBank Park in York.
After the Revs had given back the lead by allowing Lancaster to scratch out three runs in the top of the second, Richard Dent did his damage in the bottom of the fourth.
After Michael Burgess walked with one out, Zach Wilson hit a double to left field to move Burgess to third. Now, with the team threatening, Rubi Silva came to the plate and originally looked to load the base after he appeared to be hit by a pitch.
However, the umpire ruled the pitch a foul ball, saying it struck Silva’s bat and not his hand, and Silva would eventually strike out for the second out.
Dent then came to the plate and promptly deposited a ball deep into the center-field playground area to put his team ahead for good at 4-3.
Defense helps: Several sensational defensive efforts in the late innings would help Revs' reliever Robert Carson record a six-out save.
In the eighth inning, Lancaster had planted runners on first and third with no outs and Anderson De La Rosa at the plate.
Carson induced a De La Rosa roller to Dent at short. Dent quickly flipped to Alexi Casilla at second for the first out. Casilla immediately looked to the plate for a potential throw to try and get the lead runner.
But with Keenyn Walker frozen on the third-base path, Casilla fired to first to get De La Rosa and turn the double play.
Carson escaped the jam in the next at bat with some slick fielding of his own, snagging a shot off the bat of Vladimir Frias and flipping it to first to end the inning.
Carson came back out for the ninth and surrendered a single to Rico Noel to open the frame. But Noel would be erased after being gunned down by Revs catcher Tyler Clark while attempting to steal second.
Darian Sanford walked in the next 'Stormers at-bat, but he would eventually be wiped off the base path after taking too big of a lead at first base. Carson quickly threw his pickoff attempt to first baseman Wilson, forcing Sanford to take off toward second.
Wilson’s throw to Dent was in time to get Sanford and suddenly the Revs were one out away from starting the season at 1-0. Left-fielder Silva would track down a Tyler Bortnick fly ball in foul territory to send the crowd home happy.
Van Meter gets win: Jason Van Meter picked up the win on the mound after tossing two hitless innings in relief of starting pitcher Jay Gause.
Gause gave up three runs on four hits while striking out three and walking a pair. Joe Gardner was saddled with the loss for Lancaster after giving up four runs on four hits, striking out seven and walking two.
Mitchell got the scoring started when took an 0-2 delivery from Gardner over the center-field wall and set off York’s first cannon blast of the year, giving the home team an early lead.
The Barnstormers wasted little time in answering back when Sanford laced a two-out double to right-center to plate a pair, pushing York’s cross-river rivals into the lead.
A sudden slip in Gause’s control saw a wild pitch move Sanford to third before another ball got past Clark, allowing Sanford to extend Lancaster’s lead to 3-1.
The two rivals are back at it again Friday night in York at 6:30 p.m., for the second game of four-game homestand against the 'Stormers. With the win, York also takes the first of the annual "War of the Roses' games.
Reach Elijah Armold at email@example.com.