Lancaster Slugs Four in 19-Hit Attack
The Lancaster Barnstormers pounded four home runs, one in each of the first four innings, to defeat the Long Island Ducks, 16-8, in the middle game of a three-game series at Bethpage Ballpark Saturday evening.
In the process, the Barnstormers set new season highs in runs, homers and total bases (35) while tying the most hits (19) the club has accrued in a game this season. Long Island rapped out 17 hits, including four each by Mike Dowd and Fehlandt Lentini, in the loss.
K.C. Hobson took right-hander Chris McCoy (1-1) over the boards following a walk to Blake Gailen in the first inning for a quick 2-0 lead. Mike McDade cracked a two-run blast in the second to nearly the same spot for a 4-1 advantage.
Josh Bell slugged a leadoff homer to right center in the third. He switched to the right side of the plate against lefty knuckleballer Danny Herrera in the fourth and connected again as the Barnstormers lead was built to 8-2. Bell became the fifth player in franchise history to homer from each side of the plate in the same game.
Mike Jacobs tacked on an RBI triple later in the fourth as the Barnstormers worked ahead, 9-2.
Long Island still managed to make the game interesting. The Ducks scored on an RBI single by Dowd in the fourth. Cody Puckett singled home Fehlandt Lentini in the fifth and Lentini added his second homer of the night, a two-run blast to left in the sixth, chasing starter Kelvin De La Cruz (6-3, 9-9) and cutting the lead to 9-6.
The Barnstormers stretched the lead back to five with a two-run seventh which was keyed by a Dean Wilson double down the left field line.
Still, the Ducks would not go away, scoring again in the bottom of the seventh on two scratch hits and two Lancaster throwing errors.
Lancaster finally salted the game away with a flurry of singles in the eighth as McDade, Wilson, Blake Gailen, Hobson and Bell each drove in a run with a base hit.
Long Island rapped out five hits over the final two innings but only picked up one run off Hitoshi Fujie in the eighth. Jonny Drozd threw just the third scoreless frame out of the last 14 against the Ducks in the series, finally nailing down the win on a comebacker by Anthony Vega with two runners aboard in the ninth.
The series concludes on Sunday at 5:05 as Bryan Evans (3-8) will make the start against Nick Struck (1-2). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 4:45.
NOTES: The last Barnstormer to homer from each side of the plate in a game was McDade in September, 2015…Bell has hit five of his 14 homers against Long Island…The Barnstormers have 44 homers in the last 34 games…Gailen was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI in his first game since July 31…Four different players (Bell, Jacobs, McDade and Wilson) had three hits apiece for Lancaster…There have been 41 runs on 57 hits in the first two games of the series…Lancaster has scored 85 runs in the last 12 road games.