Lancaster Takes Shortened Affair, 16-7
Following a wild sixth inning that sent a total of 24 batters to the plate and 14 runs score, it took just a leadoff walk from a slippery mound in the seventh for play to be halted at Clipper Magazine Stadium on Saturday evening.
In the process, the Lancaster Barnstormers came away with a 16-7 victory over the Charleston Dirty Birds in the second game of a weeklong series.
Over the first three innings, only one run crossed the plate as Shawon Dunston, Jr. delivered newcomer Tyler Hill with a sacrifice fly to right in the second.
Doubles by Jose Rosario and Nick Longhi off Cameron Gann (5-6) tied the game in the top of the fourth, but it looked like the Barnstormers would cruise after that. Dunston keyed a three-run fourth with a triple to the gap in right center, and Lancaster plated four more in the fifth on an RBI single by Dunston and a pair of sacrifice flies.
However, Charleston put on a hefty rally in the top of the sixth. With one out, Gann walked Rosario. Longhi slapped a grounder to third, but the ball skipped away from Trace Loehr for an error. Gann departed after walking Engel Beltre to load the bases.
Alfredo Gonzalez took the first pitch from reliever Cole Aker over the wall in left for a grand slam. The next three batters, Diego Goris, Anfernee Seymour and Yovan Gonzalez all singled to load the bases. Pinch hitter Scott Kelly hit a chopper to second which Melvin Mercedes fed to Anderson Feliz for a force at second. The throw back to first was wild and skipped out of play as two runs scored.
Aker fanned Nick Heath on a 3-2 pitch to protect the one-run lead.
Atlantic League veteran Nate Roe made his first appearance in three years and got Anderson Feliz to line to second for the first out in the bottom of the inning. Hill and Anthony Peroni lined singles, and Loehr walked to load the bases. A passed ball scored one run, then Devon Torrence walked to refill the bags. Dunston drove in his fifth run of the night with a bloop single to left. Mercedes cracked a double into the right field corner to score two more for a 12-7 lead. Dunston scored on a wild pitch, and one out later, Trayvon Robinson singled up the middle to get Mercedes home. Feliz singled, and Hill was hit by a pitch to load the bases once again. Successive walks to Peroni and Loehr pushed home two more runs before Torrence grounded to Rosario in the right side hole to end the half inning 14 batters after it started.
Chase Johnson walked Rosario on four pitches to start the seventh before play was halted due to increasingly treacherous conditions.
Lancaster will send Erik Manoah (1-1) to the mound on Sunday against left-hander Derrick Adams (3-5). Fans may view the game on Blue Ridge 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 1:00 PM.
NOTES: Loehr shares a franchise record with five walks…Torrence drew four…Dunston had not knocked home more than two runs in a game previously…Mercedes extended his hitting streak to 14 games…Dunston has hit in eight straight…Hill went 3-for-4 in his debut…Gann won for the first time since June 9…He allowed only two hits and struck out seven…The game was delayed 27 minutes to get the field ready after strong late afternoon thunderstorms.