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Eighth Inning Again Toxic in 7-4 Loss

For the second consecutive night, the Gastonia Baseball Club picked up a win with a big eighth inning.

Patrick Mazeika and Dean Miller lifted homers to right in a three-run eighth to snap a 4-4 tie and send Gastonia to a 7-4 win over the Lancaster Stormers in the middle game of a three-game series.

The loss was the third straight and 12th in the last 15 games for the Stormers.  It may prove more costly than just another notch in the loss column, too, as league batting leader Cristian Santana left the game after wincing on a swing in the seventh inning.

Mazeika’s second homer of the evening, a blast beyond the right field tents off Nolan Long (0-2) directly broke the tie.  After Eric De La Rosa singled and was thrown out stealing, Justin Wylie walked and rode home when Miller reached the deck.

Lancaster loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, but the potential rally was cut short when Jack Conley’s drive to the left center gap appeared to lose steam and was caught on a sliding grab by Josh Stowers.

Mazeika had given the visitors a 4-1 lead with a three-run homer to the front of the deck off starter Noah Bremer in the bottom of the third, but the Stormers fought their way back into the game.  Chris Proctor singled home Conley in the bottom of the third.  Trace Loehr slammed a two-run homer off Zac Lowther in the bottom of the fifth to knot the score.

Nate Peden (1-0) fired two perfect innings for the win.  Gabe Klobosits got three grounders in the ninth for his second save.

The two clubs will conclude the series on Thursday morning at 11:00 on Baseball in Education Day.  The Stormers will send lefty Augie Sylk (1-1) on the hill against right-hander Ryan Conroy (0-2).  Fans may tune into FloBaseball at 10:55.

NOTES:  Santana lost an 11-game hitting streak…Conley extended a hitting streak to six games…Lancaster is 4-for-31 (.129) with the bases loaded…Proctor tied Dunston for the club lead with 12 steals.