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CLUTCH HITS LEAD CRABS TO SWEEP

Barnstormers to Open Home Schedule on Tuesday

The weekend simply mirrored Southern Maryland’s first half sweep of the Lancaster Barnstormers last season.  En route to a series sweep, the Blue Crabs got all the clutch hits, made all the plays in the field and came out with a pair of one-run wins.

On Sunday afternoon, the Blue Crabs strung together a walk and three hits, all with one out in the seventh, to overturn a ‘Stormers lead en route to a 6-5 win completing a sweep of the rain-shortened series.

Bret Clarke (0-1) retired eight of his first 10 batters, including Jack Sundberg to open the seventh.  Then, things began to unravel on the right-hander on a four-pitch walk to Michael Wielansky.  Braxton Lee lofted a fly ball which carried to the left field wall for a double, putting the tying run into scoring position.  David Harris knotted the game with a double to the gap in left center.  Manager Ross Peeples went to his bullpen for lefty Brian Marconi.  Alex Crosby was able to punch a 2-2 pitch into left field for the game winning hit.

Isaac Mattson and Andre Scrubb sealed the game, retiring six of seven over the final two innings.

A homer by Wielansky and RBI single by Crosby produced a 2-0 lead for Southern Maryland in the bottom of the first.  Lancaster answered immediately as Jake Hoover drove a two-run single off the left field wall in the top of the second to tie the game.

Following an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth, the Barnstormers took their first lead of the afternoon in the top of the fifth.  Shawon Dunston, Jr. drew a walk to get the inning underway.  Melvin Mercedes followed with a double into the left field corner, bringing up Andretty Cordero.  The first baseman pounded a fly ball to deep center which was caught by Sundberg on a leaping catch at the fence.  Dunston scored easily, and the Barnstormers also waved home Mercedes, who was able to come in standing when the relay throw was muffed in shallow center.

The Barnstormers were similarly set up in the seventh.  Mercedes drove in Trace Loehr with a double to left center that also chased Dunston to third.  Cordero worked ahead in the count to 3-1 against fresh reliever Jacob Gilliland (1-0), but the 23-year old was able to retire Cordero on a harmless pop up to second.  Southern Maryland intentionally walked Kelly Dugan, and Gilliland coaxed a double play grounder out of Ariel Sandoval to escape the inning with the deficit at two.

Lancaster will host York on Tuesday with former Oakland right-hander Jacob Lemoine on the hill.  Gates will open at 5:30 with the 2022 Championship Ring Ceremony beginning at 6:00.  Fans may tune in at 6:00 on FloSports with the game to start at 6:30.

NOTES:  The Barnstormers outhit Southern Maryland, 18-17, in the series and drew 13 walks to 11…Southern Maryland took the lead in each game on an unearned run…Marconi is the only Lancaster pitcher to appear twice on the weekend.