Special To The Press
NEW BRITAIN - Despite Jon Griffinâ€™s 100th career home run, the New Britain Bees squandered a 5-0 lead on Wednesday night, losing to the Lancaster Barnstormers 10-5 at New Britain Stadium.
Kyle Simon was on the mound for the Bees after coming off back-to-back complete games, but he labored through much of the outing, in part because of defensive miscues and long fourth and sixth innings.
Simonâ€™s final line was 5 1/3 innings, six runs, two earned, 10 hits, one walk and one strikeout for the loss.
The Bees turned three double plays behind their right-hander.
Conor Bierfeldt got things started for the Bees in the second by reaching base on a one-out walk. Jordan Hinshaw grounded into a force out for the second out of the inning.
Jamar Walton, who entered Wednesdayâ€™s night game hitting .300, continued his hot hitting for the Bees, lining a single to center, putting runners on second and third after a fielding error by Lastings Milledge.
Griffin then connected for his fourth home run of the season, a 455-foot moonshot to center field to give the Bees a 3-0 lead.
The Bees got back to work in the following inning against their former teammate Jarret Leverett.
With Jake McGuiggan on second and one out, Jovan Rosa hit a single to left and with Lancasterâ€™s second error of the game it allowed McGuiggan to score after the ball got past Trayvon Robinson.
Rosa advanced to second on the error and scored a batter later on an RBI single by Hinshaw, extending the Bees lead 5-0.
The Bees defense let down Simon in the fourth to allow Lancaster to push four runs across the board.
With two runners on board and two outs, Nate Coronado hit a deep fly ball to Bierfeldt, but the ball popped out of his glove allowing both runners to score.
With Coronado on second, Milledge lined an RBI double to left to cut the deficit 5-3.
After another error in the inning, this time by Michael Baca, it put runners on the corner for Anderson De La Rosa, who lined a single to make it a one run game. All four runs in the inning were unearned.
The Bees had an opportunity to put some distance on the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Craig Maddox flied out to right to end the threat.
Lancaster took a 6-5 lead in the sixth inning on a two-run single by Josh Bell against Simon, ending his night.
Brandon Fry came in relief and with one pitch he escaped the inning with a double play.
The Barnstormers tacked on two more runs in the seventh on a two-run single by Garrett Weber to dig the Bees into an 8-5 hole.
The Bees had something brewing in the eighth against Lancaster reliever John Anderson. With one out, Anderson served back-to-back walks to both Baca and James Skelton to bring McGuiggan as the tying run.
What was a hit-and-run scenario it ended with the second out as McGuiggan swung and miss and Skelton was caught stealing second. McGuiggan lined out to the first baseman shortly after to end the rally.
The Barnstormers tacked on two more runs in the night to double their lead.
The Bees went down quietly in the ninth to lose their third straight game.
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12