Oct. 2—Pitcher Matt Swarmer, a Gov. Mifflin and Kutztown University product, helped the Lancaster Barnstormers win their second straight Atlantic League championship.
The Barnstormers won the title with a 7-1 win over the Gastonia Honey Hunters Sunday in Gastonia, N.C., in the decisive Game 5 of the championship series.
Lancaster won Game 1, Game 4 and Game 5.
The right-handed Swarmer started Game 2 and took the loss, allowing seven runs, all earned, on five hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out eight in the 12-3 defeat.
In the best-of-five North Division Championship Series against the Long Island Ducks, which Lancaster swept, Swarmer earned the win in the Barnstormers' 5-1 victory in Game 2. He started and allowed one earned run on seven hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out one.
Lancaster reached the playoffs by winning the second half title in the North Division of the independent league.
Swarmer started the clincher and earned the victory in a 6-3 win over the Staten Island FerryHawks on Sept. 15. He allowed three runs, all earned, on five hits and one walk in six innings, striking out 11.
Swarmer signed with the Barnstormers on Aug. 10, following his release by the Atlanta Braves organization on July 27 while with Triple-A Gwinnett.
For Lancaster, he went 4-1 with a 3.69 ERA in seven games, all starts. He allowed 16 runs on 30 hits in 39 innings. He walked 13 and struck out 42.
Swarmer, a 19th-round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2016, made his major league debut last May for Chicago. He went 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA in 11 games, five of them starts, for the Cubs. He struck out 36 and walked 20 in 34 innings.
Swarmer, who turned 30 on Sept. 25, wasn't the only familiar name on the Barnstormers.
Four men who played for the Reading Fightin Phils and one who played for the Philadelphia Phillies also were on the roster: left-handed Brian Marconi, who had 33 saves for Reading in 2021 and '22; left-hander Zach Warren, who pitched for Reading in 2021-22; right-hander Mike Adams, who pitched for Reading last season; catcher Jack Conley, who played for Reading in 2019, '21 and '22; and right-hander Nick Duron, who appeared in one game for the Phillies last season.
In addition, outfielder Kelly Dugan, who the Phillies selected in the second round of the 2009 draft and who played for Reading in 2013, '14 and '15, played 39 games for Lancaster before being placed on the injured list in July.