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Long Island Takes Series Opener, 17-7

The Long Island Ducks and Lancaster Barnstormers waited an extra one hour, 54 minutes to get started on Tuesday evening.

For the Ducks, it was worth the wait.

Long Island scored three or more runs in five consecutive innings on Tuesday night, ending the Barnstormers nine-game winning streak with a 17-7 rout at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

The loss cut Lancaster’s lead over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to 2 ½ games in the second half north race.

Scott Harkin and Oscar De La Cruz kept the game scoreless through the first two innings.  Vladimir Frias opened the scoring with a leadoff homer to right center off De La Cruz (6-2) in the third inning.  Three more runs scored in the inning on RBI doubles by Alejandro de Aza, Deibinson Romero and Dustin Woodcock.

Lancaster pulled back within a run in the home third.  Trace Loehr doubled to left to score Jake Hoover, who had walked.  Loehr scored on a single to center by Melvin Mercedes, who went to second on a throw home.  Mercedes, in turn, scored on a single by Andretty Cordero, taking steam out of the inning.

Lew Ford singled into right to drive home Matt Chamberlain in the top of the fourth.  Three hitters later, Carlos Castro delivered two more with a bases loaded single into right for a 7-3 lead.  A two-run single by Phil Caulfield and RBI base hit by Deibinso Romero extended the lead to 10-3.

Harkin was not able to survive the fifth as Lancaster charged back.  Mercedes beat out a bouncer back toward the hill and scored on a double to left by Cordero.  Cordero would score on an infield hit by Trayvon Robinson.  Ariel Sandoval added a single to left, and, after Anderson Feliz struck out, Anthony Peroni and Hoover each singled home one as the ‘Stormers trimmed the lead back to three before Jose Jose (2-0) struck out Loehr to end the rally.

A grand slam by de Aza in the sixth made sure Lancaster would not get any closer.

The Barnstormers and Ducks meet again Wednesday at 6:30.  Gray Fenter (1-0) will make his first start for Lancaster in the game.  Fans may tune into Blue Ridge 11 and the Barnstormers YouTube Channel for the first pitch.

NOTES:  Cordero has eight hits in the last two games, boosting his season average to .336…Mercedes has reached base in 32 of his last 33 games…Sandoval has hit safely in 13 of 14 games played…Both of De La Cruz’ losses have been to the Ducks…The 17 runs and 17 hits were both season highs off Lancaster pitching.