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Honey Hunters Take Series Opener, 2-1

The Gastonia Honey Hunters managed only three hits on Tuesday evening, but those were enough to slip past the Lancaster Barnstormers, 2-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

In reality, only the first two Gastonia hits mattered.  In the top of the third inning, Nile Ball (1-2) walked Jake Skole to open the frame.  The Lancaster right-hander retired the next two without Skole moving, but Jack Reinheimer ripped a double off the glove of third baseman Andretty Cordero to score Skole from first.  Joseph Rosa followed with a line drive into the right field corner to bring home Reinheimer for a 2-0 lead.

Gastonia’s only other threat came in the top of the sixth.  Reinheimer walked and took third on Rosa’s second double of the game.  Ball worked out of the inning with the aid of a Gastonia baserunning gaffe.  Luis Roman stroked a grounder to second baseman Melvin Mercedes, who was pulled tight to the grass.  Reinheimer stayed in place at third, but Rosa took off for third.  The Barnstormers got the out on Roman, then first baseman Kelly Dugan fired behind Rosa.  Reinheimer bolted for the plate and got pinned in a rundown, eventually tagged out by Cordero.

Marcus Walden (2-0) checked the Barnstormers on four hits over six innings.  Lancaster scored in the bottom of the fourth as Dugan picked up a one-out walk, stole second and rode home on a single up the middle by Colton Shaver.  Andretty Cordero also singled in the inning before Walden got Anthony Peroni to ground into a force play to end the threat.

BJ Boyd doubled to right with two outs in the fifth but was stranded.  Lancaster’s final chance came in the eighth when pinch hitter Anderson Feliz singled to center off lefty Quinton Torres-Costa, leading off the inning.  Torres-Costa got two strikeouts on a harmless fly out to right afterward.

Jesus Balaguer pitched a perfect ninth to earn his third save.

The same two teams meet on Wednesday at 6:30.  Augie Sylk (1-3) will make the start for Lancaster against lefty Jerry Keel (2-0).  Fans may tune into the YouTube Channel, starting at 6:25.

NOTES:  LeDarious Clark had his hitting streak snapped at 15…He lined to left in the ninth…The three hits for Gastonia matched the season low against Lancaster…Clark stole his fifth base of the year, Dugan his second…Tyler Suellentrop, West Tunnell and Josh Graham tossed a scoreless inning each for the Barnstormers…At 2:33, the game was the quickest played by Lancaster since the pandemic by seven minutes.

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.