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Mercedes Homers and Triples in Win

Melvin Mercedes blasted a two-run homer and RBI triple, leading the Lancaster Barnstormers to a come-from-behind, 10-4 win over the Wild Health Genomes Sunday afternoon at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

It was the eighth consecutive home win for the Barnstormers, who are 5-1 in the season’s second half.

A pair of homers by former American League long ball champ Khris Davis staked the Genomes to a 4-1 lead through the first 4 ½ innings, but the visitors could not hold it.

Mercedes slugged a two-out homer onto the right field tents with Trace Loehr aboard in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to one.

The bottom of the sixth provided Lancaster with a lead on a series of odd plays.  Andretty Cordero led off with the second of his four hits, a single to left.  Max Povse (4-6) hit Colton Shaver with a pitch to add a second runner.  Trayvon Robinson’s grounder on the right side was fumbled by first baseman Luke Becker to load the bases.  Povse retired Jake Hoover and Loehr without the tying run scoring.  He then struck out Devon Torrence, but the third strike rolled past catcher Chase Vallot.  He tried to throw home but pulled Povse off the plate as Cordero scored the tying run.  Shawon Dunston, Jr. hit a slow grounder to third which was fielded by Moises Sierra.  Sierra, instead of throwing to first, tried to tag out Robinson, resulting in a chase and a tackle at the bag as Shaver crossed with the lead run.

Cordero and Robinson each doubled in the seventh as Lancaster extended the lead to 6-4.  The Barnstormers struck for four more in the eighth.  Loehr greeted Alexis Candelario with a single inside the third base bag, and Torrence walked.  Both runners moved ahead on a wild pitch then scored on Dunston’s single into right.  Mercedes belted a triple to the gap in right center for a 9-4 lead and later scored the tenth run on Cordero’s fourth hit, a single to right center.

Meanwhile, the Barnstormers ran four right-handed relievers out to the mound for an inning each.  Chase Johnson (2-6) was perfect in the sixth as was Josh Graham in the seventh.  Scott Shuman yielded a two-out single in the eighth.  Tyler Suellentrop walked Vallot and gave up a single to Gavin Johns before striking out Becker and Jimmy Paredes and retiring Davis on a fly ball to right to complete the sweep.

The four relievers combined to strike out six in the four scoreless innings.

Lancaster is off on Monday and will host the High Point Rockers in a three-game series beginning on Tuesday night.  Erik Manoah (1-1) will make the start for the Barnstormers against Ivan Pineyro (2-1).  Fans may tune into Blue Ridge 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube channel, beginning at 6:30.

NOTES:  Cordero had his first four-hit game…He has hit safely in 21 of 24…Mercedes has hit safely in nine straight, going 14-32 (.438)…The homer and triple were his fifth of each…Dunston has 12 hits in the last six games…Robinson was 7-for-11 with six RBI against the Genomes and is 22-for-51 (.431) in his last 14 games…The bullpen has thrown 15 straight scoreless innings…The Barnstormers won the season series, six games to three.