Eighth Inning Rally Falls Just Short
The Lancaster Barnstormers came up just short of overcoming a three-run deficit at Truist Point on Thursday evening, falling, 6-5, to the host High Point Rockers.
With the loss, the Lancaster lead over Southern Maryland dropped to four games, and the magic number remained at six. The magic number for the wild card dropped to seven with a Kentucky Wild Health Genomes loss.
Down, 6-3, heading into the top of the eighth, the Barnstormers picked up a one-out walk to Trace Loehr. Melvin Mercedes singled Loehr to second, and, after a strikeout of Trayvon Robinson for the second out, Andretty Cordero walked to load the bases. Seth Frankoff threw a wild pitch with Anderson Feliz batting to score Loehr, trimming one run off the lead.
Tyler Higgins replaced Frankoff and fired another wild pitch as Mercedes raced home to cut the High Point edge to 6-5. Jacob Barfield walked to reload the bases, setting up Higgins against ex-Rocker Chris Proctor. Proctor drove an 0-2 pitch to the front of the warning track in left, with Quincy Latimore hauling it in to quell the threat.
Higgins then shut down the side in the top of the ninth for his fourth save.
Robinson homered off Liam O’Sullivan (4-5) in the top of the first to give the Barnstormers a quick lead. The Rockers answered on a two-run homer by Logan Morrison in the bottom of the inning.
In the third, Robinson followed a Trace Loehr double down the right field line with a drive over Latimore’s head for a game-tying two-base hit.
Again, the Rockers answered against Erik Manoah (3-3). Michael Martinez singled into right with two outs and advanced on a walk to Morrison. Latimore singled into left to score Martinez. The throw home was cut off, and Morrison was nabbed heading into third.
High Point struck again in the fourth. Zander Wiel picked up a leadoff walk and took second on a one-out single by Ben Aklinski. The duo pulled off a double steal. Giovanny Alfonzo followed with a single to center to drive in one before a pair of strikeouts got Manoah out of the inning.
Lancaster pulled within one on a solo homer by Barfield in the seventh. Again, High Point responded in a hurry. Michael Russell led off with a double into the left field corner off Dominic DiSabatino. Martinez hit a chopper to third and beat Cordero’s throw after the Lancaster third baseman initially looked for a play on Russell. Morrison nailed a double into the left center gap for a 6-3 lead.
The Barnstormers head to Charleston for the final leg of their 15-game road trip. Nile Ball (7-5) will make the start for Lancaster against lefty Derrick Adams (6-8). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel at 6:30.
NOTES: Cordero has gone hitless in back-to-back games for the first time since June 14-15…He was robbed by Alfonzo with a diving play up the middle in the first inning…Barfield’s homer was his first since August 2 after hitting three in his first six Atlantic League games…Lancaster is 3-17 at Truist Point over three seasons…The Barnstormers are 7-5 in the first 12 games of the road trip.