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Team Bangs Out 21 Hits, Drops Magic Number to One

The Lancaster Barnstormers finished a highly successful road trip with an exclamation point.

Lancaster banged out 21 hits over just seven innings early Sunday evening, crushing the Charleston Dirty Birds, 12-1, in a rain-shortened contest at Appalachian Power Park. 

The win, which completed a 10-5 road swing and a sweep of Charleston brought the Barnstormers to the brink of clinching a spot in the post-season.  Lancaster was unable to wrap up the playoff berth on Sunday following Southern Maryland’s 7-2 win at York.  The next Barnstormers win or Blue Crabs loss will send Lancaster to the post-season for the first time since 2018, when they earned a wild card berth.

Melvin Mercedes led off the game with a solid single to right off Stephen Chamblee (1-6) and went to second on a ground ball through the right side by Trayvon Robinson.  Catcher Tyler Blaum attempted to pick Robinson off first, but the throw sailed down the right field line as Mercedes scored.  Andretty Cordero blasted a two-run homer to left center for a 3-0 lead.

The Barnstormers would fail to score again until the fifth, despite rapping out six additional hits.  In the fifth, Cordero doubled inside the third base bag and went to third on a single to left by Chris Proctor.  Jacob Barfield drove in Lancaster’s fourth run with a sacrifice fly to right.  Joseph Carpenter reached on an error by third baseman Angel Garced.  After the second out, Jake Hoover singled home the second run of the inning.  Trace Loehr increased the lead to 7-1 with a double to the gap in left center.

Chamblee was replaced after five innings, allowing 13 hits and seven runs.  He was replaced by Dylan Peiffer, who gave up another four runs in the sixth, one on a single by Proctor, two on a triple by Carpenter and Hoover’s second straight RBI hit.

Mercedes doubled to start the seventh and scored on Proctor’s third straight base hit.  The onslaught was capped by Barfield’s third hit of the game and a thunderstorm that forced the termination of the game after seven innings.

The huge offensive attack made life easy for the Lancaster pitching staff.  Starter Brooks Hall went six innings, allowing six hits and a first inning run.  He walked none and struck out three.  Chase Johnson pitched a perfect seventh.  Fifteen of the 21 Charleston outs were recorded on ground balls.

Lancaster will take its first shot at clinching its first division title since 2015 on Tuesday.  Oscar De La Cruz (8-3) will make the start for Lancaster against lefty Ben Herrick (1-3).  The 5,000,000th fan is expected to pass through the gates on Tuesday night.  Fans may tune into the YouTube broadcast, starting at 6:25.

NOTES:  Cordero had four hits and two RBI in the game…He now has 173 hits on the season, one shy of the club record held by Adam Godwin (2012)…He is tied for the sixth biggest total in league history…His RBI count of 110, already a franchise record is tied for the fourth largest season in the history of the ALPB…It was his sixth four-hit game of the year…Mercedes scored twice, giving him 100 runs on the year, the third Barnstormer to reach the century mark…Mercedes, Proctor, Barfield and Carpenter had three hits each…The total of 21 hits tied the season-high, reached twice previously…The Barnstormers have won Hall’s last seven starts.