Club Takes Two-Game Lead in North
They say that one good turn deserves another. Based on Tuesday night’s game between the Lancaster Barnstormers and Charleston Dirty Birds, the same might be true about a bad throw.
Charleston tied the game in the top of the eighth when a wide throw to first kept the Barnstormers from an inning ending double play, but the Barnstormers grabbed the lead to stay on a thrown away comebacker as Lancaster won, 6-4, in the fourth game of a six-game series.
With the win, the Barnstormers have taken a two-game lead over Staten Island in the Atlantic League North.
Lancaster jumped ahead with a big third inning. A walk to Devon Torrence and single by Shawon Dunston, Jr. set the stage. After Melvin Mercedes flied to right for the second out, Andretty Cordero banged a single into right to score Torrence. Trayvon Robinson followed with a three-run blast to the hillside in left to go ahead, 4-0.
Starters Michael Gunn and Oscar De La Cruz kept the opposing teams in check from there through the sixth inning, but the Dirty Birds got to reliever Chase Johnson in the seventh. With one out, Yovan Gonzalez drilled a single into center. Scott Burcham walked, and Anfernee Seymore reached the picnic deck in right with a line drive home run to cut the lead to 4-3. After a walk to Nick Heath, Josh Graham was summoned and pitched out of the rest of the inning.
In the top of the eighth, Engel Beltre and Diego Goris reached Graham for consecutive one-out singles. Yovan Gonzalez stroked a grounder to third baseman Trace Loehr, who got the force at second. The relay throw back to first from Melvin Mercedes was wide of Andretty Cordero as the tying run scored. Burcham followed with a base hit up the middle, again putting runners at first and third. West Tunnell (2-0) entered and struck out Seymour to close the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Cordero singled to right center, and Robinson doubled in the same direction. Charleston walked Anderson Feliz intentionally to set up a double play. Joe Testa (0-4) struck out Tyler Hill for the second out. Anthony Peroni bounced a full count pitch to the third base side of the mound. Testa fielded the ball and lobbed a soft throw to first baseman Tyler Blaum. Blaum was pulled to the infield side of the bag, then slipped trying to get back. He dove for the bag with Peroni’s foot touching down first. Cordero and Robinson both scored on the play for the 6-4 lead.
Tunnell struck out the side in the ninth around a four-pitch walk to Alfredo Gonzalez to lock up Lancaster’s 14th win in the last 15 home games.
The Barnstormers send Nile Ball (6-3) to the mound on Wednesday evening against right-hander Stephen Chamblee (1-3). It is a Wet Nose Wednesday at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel or Blue Ridge 11, beginning at 6:30.
NOTES: Mercedes singled in the fifth inning to extend his hitting streak to 16, the longest on the club this season…Dunston stretch his hitting streak to 10…Cordero drove home his 68th run of the season…He has an RBI in nine of the last 11 games…His league-leading hit total increased to 103…Robinson’s homer was his fifth in nine games…He has 19 RBI in the last 10 games…De La Cruz has a 1.57 ERA over his last four starts.