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Mercedes Streak Ends in 5-3 Victory

Jacob Barfield belted a two-run homer and added a key double later in the game to pace the Lancaster Barnstormers to a 5-3 victory over the Staten Island Ferryhawks Friday evening at Staten Island University Health Community Park.

With the win, the Barnstormers jumped back into a first place tie with Southern Maryland, which lost, 11-5, to High Point.

Barfield opened the scoring in the fourth with a towering two-run homer to left following a walk to Trayvon Robinson.  The Barnstormers continued the inning off Anthony Rodriguez (4-5) as Arial Sandoval singled, stole second and rode home on a double into the right field corner by Jake Hoover.  Hoover, in turn, crossed the plate with a fourth run on a sacrifice fly by Shawon Dunston, Jr. 

Oscar De La Cruz (5-1) retired the first nine batters he faced before Antoine Duplantis singled to open the fourth.  Javier Betancourt walked, and, one out later, a sharp single by Rusney Castillo picked up a run.  Ricardo Cespedes lined to short, helping De La Cruz escape the inning. 

Duplantis tripled home a run in the bottom of the fifth to narrow the lead to two.  Lancaster was able to respond with two outs in the seventh as Barfield launched a double to the top of the wall in right and rode home when Anderson Feliz smashed a single through the hole on the right side.

Again, Staten Island put a run on the board.  De La Cruz pitched into the seventh inning for the first time, and, after Andretty Cordero made a solid backhanded stop on a smash by Joseph Monge, Ramon Osuna doubled to left center.  Alfredo Reyes walked to bring the tying run to the plate and Tyler Suellentrop in from the bullpen.  Bryan Gonzalez delivered a run with a sacrifice fly before Duplantis grounded to second to end the threat.

In the ninth, West Tunnell walked two runners aboard, but, with runners at first and third, Alfredo Reyes took off for second on a swinging third strike to pinch hitter Mariel Bautista.  Reyes was thrown out on the back end of the double play as Tunnell earned his sixth save.

Melvin Mercedes was 0-for-4 with a walk, losing his club record hitting streak at 23 games.

Bret Clarke (1-1) will make the start for the Barnstormers on Saturday against right-hander Mike Solter (3-7).  Fans may tune into the YouTube channel, beginning at 5:55.

NOTES:  Ariel Sandoval had two hits to stretch his streak to seven…He also stole three bases…Barfield is 6-for-13 with four extra base hits…De La Cruz threw his fifth quality start and the club’s first in the last eight games…He finished July 3-0.