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Lancaster Wins Thriller after Loehr Leaves on Stretcher

The Lancaster Barnstormers went through a gamut of emotions in a very short period of time on Friday evening at CaroMont Health Park.  There was a gut punch with a serious injury, anger over a couple of calls, and finally exhilaration at a narrow, extra inning, 4-3 victory.

With the score tied, 2-2, in the bottom of the ninth, Loehr went on a mad dash after a wind blown foul pop up by Carlos Franco toward the third base dugout.  Loehr made the catch while slamming into the railing and had to be removed from the field on a stretcher.  Preliminary reports list it as a leg injury.

After both clubs scored in the tenth, the Barnstormers got the break they needed.  Oddly that break occurred on another wind blown foul pop up, this one misjudged by Franco.  That mistake kept Kelly Dugan alive, and the Lancaster DH looped a single into left off Bryan Blanton (0-1) to score Yeison Coca with the go-ahead run.

With pinch runner Luis Curbelo at second to open the home half of the inning, Cole Freeman dropped a bunt back to the mound.  Donald Goodson made a slightly errant throw that was ruled to have pulled Coca off the first base bag.  Lancaster manager Ross Peeples argued the call and got the umpires to confer, but Calvin Baker’s original call stood.  Jack Reinheimer was hit in the arm by a Goodson pitch but had to perform CaroMont Health Park’s first ever strip tease to prove it.

With the bases loaded, Cristian Inoa hit a one-hopper into Loehr’s replacement at third, Andretty Cordero, who initiated a 5-2-3 double play.  Goodson retired Zach Jarrett on a grounder to short to end the game.

The Barnstormers had taken a 2-0 lead in the second on four hits, including an RBI single by Jake Hoover and the first of two RBI doubles by Melvin Mercedes in the game.  Freeman homered in the third to cut the Lancaster lead to 2-1.  Jarrett singled home Inoa with two outs in the sixth to tie the game.

Andrew Lee (2-1) threw two shutout innings to earn the win.

Lancaster and Gastonia are scheduled to take the field again on Saturday at 6:35.  Lancaster will send Dominic DiSabatino to the mound against right-hander Zach Mort.  Fans may tune into FloBaseball, beginning at 6:30, weather permitting.

NOTES:  The win makes Lancaster 1-9 in one-run games and 1-2 in extra inning games this season…For the fourth straight game, Lancaster scored the first run(s) and did not score again in regulation…Hoover had his second two-hit game of the season…Mercedes is 5-for-8 in the last two games…The loss of Loehr leaves the Barnstormers with only eight fully healthy position players and Dugan, who is limited to the DH role.