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Lancaster Falls to Staten Island, 4-3

The Lancaster Barnstormers outhit the Staten Island Ferryhawks, 11 to four, on Wednesday evening.  They had 20 total bases to Staten Island’s five.

And, yet, Lancaster still lost.  The difference was walks.

All four of Staten Island’s runs reached on a free pass, as the Ferryhawks picked up a 4-3 win over the host Barnstormers in the middle game of a three-game series.

It all began in the first when Ben Ruta drew a walk from Augie Sylk (2-5) and scored on a double into the left field corner by Angel Aguilar.  Two innings later, the Ferryhawks scored a run in a highly unusual manner.  Dilson Herrera walked with one out.  Ball four to Ben Ruta deflected off the shin guard of catcher Colton Shaver and rolled nearly to first base.  Shaver chased the loose ball down and made an attempt on Herrera at third base, only to make a wild throw allowing the run to score.

A Javier Betancourt single to right center followed another pair of walks in the fourth inning.  Again, in the fifth, the Ferryhawks scored without the benefit of a base hit.  Ruta picked up a leadoff walk, stole second, steamed to third on a line drive to center by Aguilar and scored on Mariel Bautista’s sacrifice fly to right field.

Lancaster combined two-out doubles by Jake Hoover and Devon Torrence in the second off Matt Solter (1-4) to tie the game at 1-1.  Then, with the Barnstormers down, 4-1, Melvin Mercedes lined his third homer of the season onto the right field deck to trim the lead by one.  An opportunity was lost in the sixth when Colton Shaver doubled to the chain link fence in right center but was picked off second.  Trayvon Robinson followed with a clean base hit to right.

Shaver pulled a double into the left field corner with two outs in the eighth to score Andretty Cordero from first, moving the tying run into scoring position.  Chris Nunn then struck out Robinson to end the inning. 

Lancaster caught a break in the ninth when Ruta and center fielder Joseph Monge got tangled up on a fly ball by Jake Hoover, allowing the tying run to reach second with one out.  Torrence struck out, and, fittingly, Mercedes lined to third to end the night and give Nunn his third save.

The series will conclude on Thursday at 6:30 with Cameron Gann (3-3) on the hill for Lancaster.  Fans may tune into Blue Ridge 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube channel for the action.

NOTES:  Cordero has hit safely in eight straight, Dugan in seven…Robinson has hit safely in all five games played…Four right-handed relievers threw a scoreless inning apiece for the Barnstormers, including Erik Manoah in his debut…The Barnstormers are 3-11 in one-run games.