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Playoffs Up Next for Second Half Champs

The Lancaster Barnstormers finished the best half-season in franchise history with a solid, 6-1 victory over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on Sunday afternoon at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

With the win, Lancaster completed a three-game sweep of Southern Maryland and ended the half with a record of 44-21 (.677) which beat the second half in 2015 when the Barnstormers went 47-23 (.671).  It was the 10th sweep of a series for the Barnstormers since the first of July.

Dominic DiSabatino and Bret Clarke combined on a five-hitter against the Blue Crabs on Sunday.  DiSabatino, who picked up a save on Friday night after working three innings of middle relief on Wednesday, went the first four innings, allowing three hits and the lone Southern Maryland run.  The right-hander walked two and struck out nine.

Clarke (3-2) took over in the fifth and faced two batters over the minimum for the remaining five frames, allowing two hits and a walk.  He closed out the game on a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Ryan Haug.

Southern Maryland struck first and had DiSabatino on the ropes in the second inning.  The Lancaster starter nicked Santiago Chirino with a pitch to open the inning, then walked Matt Hibbert.  Haug cleared third baseman Anderson Feliz with an RBI double, giving the Blue Crabs runners at second and third with nobody out.  DiSabatino struck out Ian Yetsko and Michael Baca in succession before retiring Jack Sundberg on a line drive to right to close the inning.  The Blue Crabs only advanced one more runner to scoring position in the game.

Lancaster grabbed the lead to stay in the bottom of the second.  Alsis Herrera (1-5) walked Jacob Barfield to start the inning.  Anthony Peroni singled into right to second Barfield to second.  Joseph Carpenter tied the game with a double to right, and Jake Hoover followed suit with another two-bagger giving the ‘Stormers a 2-1 edge.  Trace Loehr brought the final run home with a grounder to short.

Andretty Cordero opened the third with a booming homer to left, his third in three days as the Barnstormers went ahead, 4-1.  Another pair of doubles by Carpenter and Hoover and an RBI single by Chris Proctor off Patrick Baker in the sixth capped the scoring.

Lancaster will host Southern Maryland in the first round of the playoffs beginning Tuesday night at 6:30.  Oscar De La Cruz (9-3) will make the start for Lancaster against Daryl Thompson (15-4).  Tickets for the post-season remain on sale.  Fans may also tune into the YouTube broadcast, beginning at 6:25.

NOTES:  Lancaster pitching finished the season yielding under 1,000 hits (990) while striking out 1,153 in 1,136 innings…Cordero ended the year with 184 hits and 118 RBI…He ended the season second in the batting race at .339, behind Long Island’s Alejandro de Aza’s .343 and second to Lexington’s Courtney Hawkins (125) in RBI…Carpenter had three doubles and has nine extra base hits in the last seven games…The Barnstormers won 18 of their last 24 regular season games, finishing overall at 73-58.