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Sixth Inning Costly in Both Ends of Doubleheader

The Lancaster Barnstormers were in every game of the just-completed road trip.  In every game, something went wrong at the end.

Long Island struck for six runs in the bottom of the sixth in the opener for a 9-5, come-from-behind win, then broke a 1-1 deadlock with a solo tally in the bottom of the sixth in the nightcap to escape with the 2-1 win.

Lancaster’s road skid now stands at 11 games since an Opening Night win at Gastonia.

In the opener, the Barnstormers strode to a 5-0 lead on the chilly, wind-blown afternoon.  Colton Shaver singled home Melvin Mercedes in the first.  Mercedes raced home on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead in the third.  Kelly Dugan expanded that lead by one with a single into center.

Dugan then keyed a two-run fifth with a double off the left field fence which scored LeDarious Clark.  Andretty Cordero’s two-out infield single plated Dugan, and the Barnstormers appeared in great shape for the Game One win.

Nile Ball struck out Vladimir Frias to start the home fifth.  Two singles followed before Ball hit L.J. Mazzilli with a pitch to load the bases.  Deibinson Romero drove home one with a sacrifice fly to left as the other runners advanced on Anderson Feliz’ throw home.  Sam Travis singled into center to score two more, cutting Lancaster’s lead to 5-3.

The fatal sixth opened when Dustin Woodcock’s fly ball to right blew back toward the infield and dropped in for a leadoff single.  Jake Hoover mishandled a potential double play grounder for an error.  A Josh Graham (0-1) wild pitch advanced both runners, and Frias tied the game with a line drive single into right.

Frias took second on an error and third on a Johnni Turbo ground out to second.  Lancaster opted to walk Rusney Castillo, and Graham walked Mazzilli to load the bases.

Chase Johnson fanned Romero for the second out, temporarily maintaining the tie.  He walked the next two, each forcing home a run.  Woodcock scampered to first on a third strike wild pitch, and Marrero drew a walk for the 9-5 final margin.

Cody Beckman (1-0) pitched a perfect sixth for the win.

In the second game, Cameron Gann (1-1) and Akeel Morris battled to a 1-1 tie through the first five.  Long Island scored in the second inning on a force play grounder by Michael Wielansky in the second.  Lancaster countered in the top of the third as Anthony Peroni walked, took third on a single by Jake Hoover and scored on a Joe DeCarlo passed ball.

Gann, who had struck out four of the previous six batters he had faced, yielded a leadoff infield single to Frias to open the home sixth inning.  Turbo followed with a single past third baseman Andretty Cordero down the line.  Gann coaxed a double play out of Castillo, but Romero slapped an RBI double inside third third base bag for the decisive run.

Joe Iorio (2-0) threw a scoreless sixth for the win.  Sandy Baez tossed a perfect seventh for his second save.

Lancaster will host Long Island at 6:30 on Tuesday.  Dominic DiSabatino (0-2) will make the start against right-hander Scott Harkin (1-1).  Fans may also tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:30.

NOTES:  Dugan was 4-for-7 in the doubleheader and is 15-for-33 (.455) with 17 RBI in his last eight games…Hoover was 3-for-5 in the twin bill…The second game on Sunday was the only game on the trip in which the Barnstormers were outhit.

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.