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Lancaster Unable to Overcome Third Inning Surge

The Charleston Dirty Birds strung together four consecutive hits in the bottom of the third inning overnight, and the pitching staff held the lead as the Lancaster Barnstormers, fell, 5-3, in the finale of an eight-game road trip Monday night in the West Virginia capital.

With the score tied at 1-1, Yefri Perez greeted Nile Ball (2-4) with a bloop single to right center field to start the home third.  Clayton Mehlbauer cleared Melvin Mercedes in center for a double.  Dwight Smith, Jr., who hit a line drive homer to right in the first, went to the opposite gap for a two-run double, and Telvin Nash followed with a long single off the wall in left center as the Dirty Birds jumped out to a 4-1 lead.

Lefty Joe Testa (3-2) checked Lancaster on three singles through the first five innings, but the Barnstormers got to him in the sixth.  Andretty Cordero banged a one-out double off the boards in left, and Ariel Sandoval homered to right to cut the edge to 4-3.  Wilson Garcia handcuffed second baseman Jalen Miller with a sizzling one-hopper, and designated runner Jake Hoover took over as the potential tying run.  Trayvon Robinson flied out into the left center gap with Hoover bolting ahead to second.

Joseph Carpenter stepped in with the chance to tie the game.  The Lancaster DH hit the ball harder than Cordero or Sandoval, drilling a liner toward center that Testa stabbed while ducking out of the way.

The Barnstormers did not get another runner against Testa or right-handers Cristofer Ogando and Ryan Clark for the remainder of the night.  Clark earned his first save.

Nash added his seventh homer of the season in the bottom of the eighth to add an insurance run.

Lancaster returns home for a six-game homestand starting on Tuesday.  The Long Island Ducks will send right-hander Steven Woods, Jr. (7-2) to the hill against Lancaster’s Brandyn Sittinger (3-5).  The game is on tap for 6:00.

NOTES:  Jared Lakind pitched for the first time since straining an oblique on June 15…He threw two hitless innings…The other runner he allowed was Luis Roman on a leadoff walk in the seventh…It was the third time Roman stepped into the box for the at bat as teams were ushered off the field twice for brief rainshowers…Sandoval finished the eight-game trip with four homers and 10 RBI…Charleston drew 4,269 for its Fourth of July fireworks show…Shawon Dunston, Jr. will be activated for Tuesday night’s series opener.