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Last 21 Dirty Birds Retired in 6-2 Win

Brooks Hall had only one stumble in his return to Atlantic League action on Thursday night.

The right hander walked Yovan Gonzalez, followed by an Angel Garced home run in the bottom of the third.

Afterward, Hall (3-1) and the Lancaster bullpen combined to retire 21 consecutive batters as the Lancaster Barnstormers defeated the host Dirty Birds, 6-2, at Appalachian Power Park.

Garced’s homer, his third, gave the Dirty Birds a 2-1 lead in the bottom of that third inning.  The Barnstormers finally caught up in the fifth when Andretty Cordero doubled to right center and scored on a base hit up the middle by Trayvon Robinson.

The sixth inning provided Lancaster with the lead it never relinquished.  With one out Dondrei Hubbard drew a walk from Denson Hull (0-3, 2-8).  Jake Hoover drove a ball past a backhanded effort by third baseman Edwin Espinal that rolled into the left field corner for a double, the third of Hoover’s four hits.  Trace Loehr worked out a walk, and Melvin Mercedes delivered the go-ahead run with a sac fly to left center.

A walk to Jacob Barfield, stolen base and RBI single into right by Anthony Peroni provided Lancaster with an insurance run in the seventh.

The Barnstormers extended that lead in a peculiar eighth inning.  Hoover blooped a single into left center and stole second.  Loehr was hit by a pitch, and Mercedes reached on an error to load the bases.  Andretty Cordero slapped a ball toward the middle that changed course and ended up deflecting over second baseman Scott Kelly into right center for a two-run single, leaving Lancaster with runners at the corners and no one out.  Trayvon Robinson, batting right-handed, hit a soft liner on the right side.  Kelly dove.  Kelly was ruled to have caught the ball before it touched the ground, but the Barnstormers thought otherwise.  Cordero was doubled off first, then Edwin Espinal ran the ball completely across the diamond and stepped on third to complete the triple play.  Lancaster argued for several minutes to no avail.

Brandyn Sittinger threw two perfect innings of relief while Josh Graham and West Tunnell fired one each to nail down the win.

Lancaster will throw right-hander Oscar De La Cruz on Sunday at 5:05 against another lefty, Kit Scheetz (5-1).  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel at 5:00.

NOTES:  The Barnstormers rebuilt a 2 ½ game lead over Southern Maryland and also picked up a game on High Point in the Wild Card standings…Ariel Sandoval lost his 14-game hitting streak…Hoover’s four-hit game was his second of the year…Cordero had three hits and now has 147 on the year, 27 from the club record…He has 96 RBI, seven away from that club mark…Charleston had runners reach on errors in each of the first two innings…Kelly was thrown out stealing in the first…The triple play was the second turned against Lancaster this season.