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High Point Strikes for Nine in Third

A nine-run third inning for the High Point Rockers sent the Lancaster Barnstormers to their sixth consecutive loss on Thursday evening as the Rockers completed a sweep, 13-3.

High Point struck for four two-out runs in the bottom of the first to establish command early.  Jerry Downs and Quincy Latimore reached Augie Sylk (0-2) for consecutive singles before Zander Wiel drilled a two-run double into the left center gap.  Ben Aklinski added a homer down the left field line for the 4-0 edge.

Lancaster recovered, in large part due to left fielder Anderson Feliz.  Following a throwing error on a Kelly Dugan grounder and Colton Shaver’s single into right, which was followed by a bobble, Feliz drove in both runners with a double inside the left field line.  Then, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning, Feliz handled a fly ball from Downs and gunned a throw home to double up Mike Gulino, protecting the two-run deficit.

The bottom of the third began innocently as Latimore grounded to third.  Then, the floodgates opened.  Wiel lifted a pop fly to shallow right which fell between second baseman Melvin Mercedes and right fielder Devon Torrence.  The ball bounced high, and, without hesitating, Wiel raced for third.  He drew an errant throw for Torrence and raced home to score for a 5-2 lead.

Sylk was lifted after walking Aklinski.  Tommy Shirley took over and could not record an out, giving up five hits, including three doubles, along with a walk.  Latimore came back around and greeted Tyler Suellentrop with a two-run homer to left center.

Then, it was over.  Suellentrop, Chase Johnson and Donald Goodson combined to fire no-hit baseball over the next 5 2/3 innings.  Lancaster had one last gasp to narrow the lead.  In the top of the fifth, singles by Trace Loehr and Torrence along with a walk to LeDarious Clark loaded the bases.  Melvin Mercedes also picked up a walk to give Lancaster the third run off Cooper Casad (1-0).  However, Casad, facing his final batter, induced a 4-6-3 double play out of Andretty Cordero to stem the rally.

Lancaster hosts York in the home opener Friday at 6:30.  Tickets remain and may be purchased at the Two Dudes box office during the day, by calling 717-509-HITS or by going online to lancasterbarnstormers.com.  Fans may also tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel, beginning at 6:25.

NOTES:  The Barnstormers failed to get a runner to first in the opening inning on the road trip…Johnson has thrown six no-hit innings out of the Lancaster bullpen…The Barnstormers are 2-15 in High Point over three seasons.

About the Lancaster Barnstormers

The Lancaster Barnstormers are headed into their 18th year in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  Home games are played at Ballpark Digest’s two-time Best Ballpark in MLB Partner League Baseball – Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit www.lancasterbarnstormers.com for more information. 

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.