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Lancaster Wins, 8-6, Despite Three-Homer Night

Thomas Dillard slugged three home runs for the visiting Lexington Counter Clocks, but the Lancaster Barnstormers were able to overcome the salvo and defeat the visitors, 8-6, to wrap up a sweep of the three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

It was the fifth straight win for the Barnstormers and improved the second half record to 9-2, two games ahead of the York Revolution, Lancaster’s next opponent.

Dillard slammed a game-tying two-run homer in the third, a leadoff shot in the eighth and a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth as the Counter Clocks tried to salvage the series.

The homerless Barnstormers were not phased.

Shawon Dunston, Jr.  went 4-for-4 with three RBI, and Melvin Mercedes drove in three runs to pace the Lancaster attack.

After Dillard’s first home run tied the game at 3-3, the Barnstormers were able to retake the lead against Aaron Ochsenbein (5-3) in the bottom of the fourth.  With one out, Dunston rolled a single into right field.  He stole second and took third on a wild pitch.  Trace Loehr walked, and Mercedes followed with a line drive toward the alley in right center.  JC Encarnacion cut the ball off before the warning track, but Mercedes raced toward second.  With the throw headed to second, manager Ross Peeples waved Loehr home for a 5-3 lead.

In the fifth, Joseph Carpenter grounded a two-out single into left to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.  Jack Conley followed with a walk, and Dunston tripled into the right field corner for a 7-3 lead.  Dunston also singled home Jack Conley in the bottom of the seventh for some added insurance.

Jeff Bain (1-0) allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings in his first Atlantic League start.

Lancaster heads to York for a three-game weekend series.  Dominic DiSabatino (3-5) will square off against Tom Sutera (6-2) in the series opener Friday at 6:30.  Fans may tune into FloBaseball for the three-game series.

NOTES: Dunston also stole three bases and has 13 for the season…He has eight hits in his last 10 at bats…Conley stole his 20th base of the year in the seventh…Dillard was only the third player ever to hit three home runs in a game against the Barnstormers…Ian Bladergroen and Jamar Walton, both former Barnstormers, were the other two…Carpenter’s hitting streak is one shy of the season-high on the team, held by Wilson Garcia…Lancaster has scored 107 runs in 11 second half games, 100 in the nine wins.