Despite squandering an early five run lead, the York Revolution fought back with Chase Simpson highlighting a seven run seventh with a grand slam to send York into the playoffs with a 13-7 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers, clinching their first second half title since 2012 in front of a season-high 7,035 fans at PeoplesBank Park, the fifth largest regular season crowd in ballpark history and biggest since 2010, on Saturday night.
York jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Alonzo Harris led off with a double to left-center and came around to score on an RBI single from Rubi Silva. With two outs, Dayron Varona hit a double over the head of left fielder Beau Amaral to score Silva, giving the Revs the early lead.
The lead grew an inning later. Ryan Dent slapped a single to center and Harris followed suit. Jared Mitchell singled home a run, as did Silva who followed him, and Telvin Nash laced a double down the left field line to score Silva, building a 5-0 lead.
The Barnstormers slowly battled back, scoring two in the third inning on run-scoring singles from Darian Sandford and Amaral.
The Revs did answer in the third with Dent coming through again, singling to center to plate Varona, who led off the inning with a single, giving the Revs a 6-2 advantage.
The Barnstormers continued to fight against Revs starter Victor Mateo. Sean Halton walked to lead off the fourth and came around to score on a Steve Clevenger bouncer through the right side, cutting the lead to 6-3. In the fourth, Sandford ignited Lancaster, starting a double steal in which he came around to score on an error. Cole Garner plated a run with a sacrifice fly, cutting it to a one-run ballgame. The very next batter was Halton, who belted a game tying home run to left field to make it a 6-6 game.
The Barnstormers would take the lead in the seventh. Sandford walked to lead off the inning and after moving to second on a balk, stole third and came home on a throwing error from catcher Isaias Tejeda, giving Lancaster a 7-6 edge.
It was the Revs’ turn to fight back in the bottom half. Mitchell led off the home seventh with a hit by pitch, and Silva, who finished with a three-hit game, singed him to third. Mitchell came home on a passed ball, knotting the score at 7-7. After Tejeda walked to load the bases, Varona popped a ball into shallow right that was dropped by second baseman Lance Zawadzki, giving the Revs an 8-7 lead. Later in the inning, Simpson would come to bat with the bases loaded, and the Revs’ third baseman launched a 1-2 pitch into the home run patio in right to give the Revs a 12-7 lead. The next batter was Harris, and he too launched a home run, his 23rd of the season, to extend the lead to 13-7.
Ricardo Gomez was brought in during the top of the seventh, and after rolling a double play ball to get out of the inning, proceeded to strike out the side in the eighth, the second time in as many outings that the Revs righty has set down the side on strikes.
Chase Huchingson finished off the game with a scoreless ninth, sending the Revs into the postseason for the seventh time in franchise history and for the second consecutive year. It also locked up Mark Mason’s 350th win as manager of the Revs.
The Revs will face the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the divisional playoffs beginning on Wednesday night, but first will conclude the season with the finale against the Barnstormers, Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Frank Gailey (14-9, 4.26) will go for York, opposed by fellow lefty Tommy Shirley (3-5, 6.52). It’s College Town Takeover and Fan Appreciation Day at the ballpark, complete with a Winter Beanie Giveaway presented by WellSpan Sports Medicine. It’s also $1 Dog Day courtesy of Hatfield Quality Meats, as well as pre-game player autographs and catch on the field and post-game kids run the bases.
Darrell Henry and Matt Present will be on the air at 12:40 with the pregame show on SportsRadio 1350 WOYK, as well as online at woyk1350.com, the WOYK YouTube Channel, and the WOYK App.