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Ball, Shirley Return to Lancaster


Lancaster, PA — The Lancaster Barnstormers have re-signed pitchers Nile Ball and Tommy Shirley for the 2022 season, it was announced today by manager Ross Peeples.


Lancaster now has four players under contract for the upcoming season, the franchise’s 17th Atlantic League campaign.


Ball, who turns 25 on March 1, made 15 starts for the Barnstormers after signing with the team in mid-July.  He finished with a 3-6 record and 4.67 ERA, well below the club and league marks for the season.  The Georgia native gave Lancaster five quality starts, including seven shutout innings in a 9-2 win over Southern Maryland on July 31 and two wins at Long Island’s Fairfield Properties Ballpark.


Prior to coming to Lancaster, Ball pitched in the American Association at Sioux City and Gary in 2019.  The right-hander compiled a 2-3 mark and 3.97 ERA.  He is a product of the University of Missouri and the University of North Carolina-Pembroke.


“Ball was very impressive last year for us, coming off the couch and being our most consistent starter,” said Peeples.  “He throws strikes and mixes in three pitches and knows how to add and subtract to be successful.”


Shirley, 33, has been with the Barnstormers periodically since signing with Peeples at the outset of the 2017 season.  The left-hander was 6-7 for Lancaster over two campaigns before being traded to Southern Maryland during the 2018 campaign.


The former Houston and Detroit farmhand returned to Lancaster in a deal with the Washington Wild Things (Frontier) immediately prior to the opening of the 2021 season.  In his first three appearances, the Pennsylvania native went 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA.  He left his June 12 start at Southern Maryland after four innings and did not return to action until July 30.  Shirley had four starts and two relief stints in August before missing September and October.


He finished the season 3-2 with a 6.40 ERA.


A ninth-round draft choice out of Xavier University in 2010, Shirley reached Class AAA in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons after going 7-3 with a 1.88 ERA with AA Corpus Christi in 2014.


“Shirley is a lefty who can pitch out of the pen or start and can put together some impressive outings when he’s healthy,” said Peeples.  “He’s healthy now, and I am looking forward to seeing him pitch at 100%.”


About the Lancaster Barnstormers

The Lancaster Barnstormers are headed into their seventeenth season as a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  Home games are played at Ballpark Digest’s two-time Best Ballpark in Independent 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.