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Sixteen Hits, Stellar Plays Lead Lancaster over Ducks

The Lancaster Barnstormers rapped out 16 hits on Sunday afternoon while Jake Hoover and Melvin Mercedes turned in a quartet of defensive gems as the Barnstormers defeated the Long Island Ducks, 11-5, at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Rain shortened the game to seven innings.

Yeison Coca went 4-for-4 in the win while Trace Loehr added three hits.  Three other Barnstormers had multi-hit games.

The Barnstormers opened the scoring with three off Joe Iorio (3-5) in the bottom of the third.  Trace Loehr led off with a double to right center, advanced to third on a single to right by Mercedes and scored when Alejandro de Aza had the ball slip out of his hand while trying to throw home.  Andretty Cordero followed with a double inside the right field line to score the second run.  Wilson Garcia’s single into right gave the Barnstormers a 3-0 lead.

Hoover turned a pair of dazzling plays from the hole over the first three innings behind Brent Teller (4-3).  Mercedes opened the fourth with a leaping catch against the right field wall to rob de Aza, leaving a tear in the advertising banner in the process.  The center fielder then made a racing catch in shallow left fielder to take a hit away from Sam Travis.  Alex Dickerson and Brian Goodwin both doubled to right afterward to cut the Lancaster lead to 3-1.

In the fifth, Tzu-Wei Lin tripled into the right field corner with two outs.  Ruben Tejada plated the run with a single to right, but de Aza grounded out to end the inning.

Lancaster pulled away in the home fifth, rapping out six singles along with a walk and a hit batsman to produce seven runs.  Marshall Rich, who entered the game in the fourth to replace Ariel Sandoval, opened the inning with a bad hop single to first and closed it with a two-run single to right.  Jack Conley, Coca and Loehr added RBI singles in the explosion.

With the Barnstormers ahead, 11-2, heading into the seventh, rain started to fall.  Tyler LaPorte got the first two outs easily, but, as the conditions got messier, his control vanished.  He walked Lin and hit Tejada with a fastball.  De Aza drilled a 3-2 pitch out of the yard to right center, but it would be the final swing of the afternoon.  Rains intensified, and the umpires had the tarp rolled out.  Thirty minutes later, the game was officially called.

Lancaster will open a four-game, three-day series at Lexington on Tuesday, the Barnstormers only visit to Kentucky this season.  Dominic DiSabatino will make the start for Lancaster.  Fans may tune into the game on FloBaseball, beginning at 6:30.

NOTES:  Sandoval went 0-for-2 before leaving, his hitting streak snapping at eight games…Loehr went 7-for-9 in the series, improving his season average from .192 to .256…Coca had three or more hits in a game for the first time…Cordero has knocked in 24 runs in the last 22 games…Wilson Garcia extended a hitting streak to seven games…He has driven home at least one run in seven of his last eight…Teller threw his fourth quality start, yielding seven hits and two runs in six innings…He did not walk a batter…The win was the second of the season and fourth of his career against Long Island.