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BIG FIRST BOOSTS ‘STORMERS

Lancaster Strikes for Six in 9-4 Win

Shawon Dunston, Jr. launched a three-run homer down the right field line to cap a six-run first inning that led the Lancaster Barnstormers to a 9-4 victory over the Charleston Dirty Birds in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium

With the win, the Barnstormers advanced to a two-game lead over Southern Maryland in the North race.  Staten Island is now four games back while York trails by 4 ½.  Long Island has stayed within five.

Yeison Coca reached Colt Webb (4-4) for a one-out single to left in the first.  Andretty Cordero also singled into left, and Coca raced home as the ball scooted past left fielder Dwight Smith, Jr.  Ariel Sandoval followed with a double to left for a 2-0 lead.  Wilson Garcia was hit by a pitch before Sandoval stole third.  Joseph Carpenter punched a single into right to score Sandoval.  After Chad Sedio was retired on a fly ball to left, Dunston unloaded on Webb’s 3-2 pitch to push the Barnstormers ahead, 6-0.

Lancaster’s offense went dormant for the next six innings, offering the Dirty Birds the opportunity to make the game competitive.  Charleston got nowhere against starter Matt Swarmer (2-1), who threw no-hit baseball for five innings before being lifted.  A double by Justin O’Conner and RBI single by Jalen Miller got the Dirty Birds on the board against Brian Marconi in the eighth.

Charleston put a scare into the Barnstormers faithful in the top of the eighth.  Isaias Tejeda and Diego Goris snuck grounders into right field to start the inning off Garrett Granitz.  O’Conner doubled off the wall in right to cut the lead to 6-3 with the tying run moving into the on deck circle.  Granitz picked up two outs before giving way to Nick Duron who made one pitch to Smith, Jr., getting out of the inning on a weak bouncer back to the mound.

Garcia clubbed a leadoff homer in the bottom of the eighth, and the Barnstormers would score two more before Duron put the game to bed in the ninth, earning his first save.

Lancaster will entertain Charleston again on Wednesday.  Dominic DiSabatino (3-8) will make his first start in more than three weeks, squaring off against Charleston player/coach Joe Testa (8-4).  Fans may tune into the broadcast on FloBaseball, beginning at 6:25.

NOTES:  Cordero hit safely for the ninth straight game…Garcia has hit safely in 10 of 11…Sedio made only his second start since being hit by a pitch, August 2…Charleston hit him with a pitch for the third straight game…Swarmer has allowed only two runs on seven hits in 17.2 innings over his last three starts…Lancaster leads the season series, 8-6.