Dunston Collects Five Hits in 18-5 Win
Shawon Dunston, Jr. went 5-for-6, and Andretty Cordero had a pair of two-run doubles as the Lancaster Barnstormers rolled over the Wild Health Genomes, 18-5, in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.
Lancaster is now 3-1 in the second half of the season and has won seven of its last nine overall.
Luke Becker opened the night with a home run off Nile Ball (5-3), and the Genomes put another first inning run on the board as Jimmy Paredes singled, took second on an error and crossed the plate on a single into center by former American League home run champion Khris Davis.
Lancaster wasted no time in bouncing back against Ryan Kellogg (1-1). Dunston grounded single under the glove of third baseman Moises Sierra who was guarding against the bunt. Mercedes walked, and the pair executed a double steal. Kelly Dugan singled home the first Lancaster run with a liner into right. Cordero found the gap in right center to score two more. A single by Colton Shaver moved Cordero to third, and the Lancaster first baseman scored on a ground out by Trayvon Robinson.
Dunston’s second hit, a sinking liner into center, preceded a Mercedes triple in the second inning as the Barnstormers extended the lead to 5-2.
The top four hitters in the Genome lineup got to Ball again in the third. Becker ripped a double into the right field corner and scored on a single to center by Sierra. Paredes doubled into right center to put two men in scoring position.
Davis came through again with a lineout to center. Sierra scored on the sacrifice fly, and Paredes scored the tying run when Dunston’s throw bounced away from third baseman Trace Loehr to the Wild Health dugout.
Shaver and Robinson opened the bottom of the third with singles, and Shaver scored the lead run when shortstop Gavin Johns made a wild throw on a potential double play grounder by Anderson Feliz.
The Barnstormers blew the game open with eight runs in the bottom of the fourth. Dunston and Dugan singled around a Paredes error on Mercedes’ grounder. Cordero doubled home a pair for an 8-5 lead. Shaver was drilled by a pitch to reload the bases, and Robinson singled home one more. Kellogg left after hitting Feliz with a pitch to allow Lancaster’s 10th run. Reliever Jack Weinberger was greeted by Jake Hoover’s two-run single to left. Trace Loehr made it 13-5 with a sac fly, and Dunston’s fourth hit got the eighth run of the inning home before Weinberger got out of the inning.
Dunston’s fifth hit was a double over the head of Felix Pie in left in the sixth. He flied out to center in the seventh inning in his bid for a club record-tying sixth hit.
Ball took the game through the fifth inning before leaving. Lancaster’s bullpen fired four shutout innings with seven strikeouts.
Lancaster scored four additional runs off three position players who took the mound in the waning stages of the game.
Brooks Hall (1-1) will make the start for the Barnstormers on Saturday against right-hander Dustin Beggs (5-3). Fireworks will follow the game. Fans may watch on the Barnstormers YouTube channel starting at 6:25.
NOTES: The Barnstormers have won six straight at home…The last Barnstormer to have five hits in a game was Alejandro De Aza in July, 2021…Mercedes has hit in seven straight and 17 of 19…Cordero had four RBI in a game for the third time this season…Dugan had three hits, pushing his average back to .335…Shaver is 14-for-30 against the Genomes…Becker is 12-for-29 with three homers against Lancaster…The Barnstormers had a five-game errorless streak come to an end…Dunston’s first inning steal was hi 17th of the year in 27 games.