BARNSTORMERS OUTSLUGGED BY LEXINGTON
Club Loses Chance at History
The Lancaster Barnstormers had a chance to set up Melvin Mercedes to make history.
Mercedes was on deck, a home run away from the cycle and a fan winning $25,000 on Sunday afternoon when Devon Torrence was caught stealing for the final out as the Lexington Legends held on for a wild, 11-9 win at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Torrence had drawn a two-out walk from closer Austin Adams to bring Shawon Dunston, Jr. to the plate as the tying run. He took off on Adams’ 0-1 pitch and was gunned down by catcher Pete Yorgen for the final out and Adams’ eighth save.
Had Dunston reached, Mercedes, who had a triple, two doubles and a single, could have written history by being the first Barnstormer to hit for the cycle after being chosen in the promotion sponsored by Gochnauer’s Appliances. He never got that opportunity.
Lancaster took an 8-7 lead into the top of the seventh inning. Chase Johnson (1-5) allowed consecutive singles to Manuel Geraldo and Yorgen to start the inning. Skylar Mercado laid a bunt down. Johnson opted to throw to third, but his toss bounced past Andretty Cordero, allowing the tying run to score. T.K. Koontz put Lexington ahead with a bunt single to the right side. Koontz was thrown out stealing for the first out, but Johnson walked Jarel McDade before leaving.
Bret Clarke entered and struck out Phillip Ervin. Lancaster opted to walk Courtney Hawkins intentionally to load the bases, but the plan was thwarted when Clarke walked Isaias Tejeda to follow. The first pitch to Montrell Marshall got away for a passed ball and an 11-8 lead.
Lancaster picked up one run in the bottom of the eighth on Mercedes’ triple and a ground out by Kelly Dugan. With two outs, LeDarious Clark beat out a chopper to third. Jake Hoover scorched a liner off the glove of Marshall at third. Geraldo, the shortstop backed up the play near the bullpen bench and cut down Clark trying to score on the double.
Hawkins homered, doubled and drove in three as the Legends built a 6-1 lead over 1 ½ innings. Anthony Peroni clubbed his first career homer at Clipper Magazine Stadium to bring the ‘Stormers within two in the second. Cordero keyed a two-run fourth with a triple off the wall in right center that cut the lead to 6-5, and, after three Lexington singles rebuilt a two-run lead in the top of the fifth, Mercedes tied the score with a two-run double off reliever Winston Lavendier (3-2) in the bottom of the inning.
Clark was driven home from third on a ground out by pinch hitter Trayvon Robinson in the bottom of the sixth for Lancaster’s only lead of the game.
Lancaster will host the other team from Lexington, the Wild Health Genomes, beginning on Tuesday with Augie Sylk (2-5) on the mound. Fans may watch on Blue Ridge 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel.
NOTES: Cordero’s triple extended his hitting streak to 12…The Barnstormers had 23 extra base hits, including six triples, in the series…Peroni’s only other Atlantic League homer was hit at Southern Maryland, exactly one year earlier…Dugan’s RBI was his 50th; Cordero’s was his 40th…Clark has 15 steals…The bottom four in the Lexington lineup combined for nine hits.
About the Lancaster Barnstormers
The Lancaster Barnstormers are headed into their 18th year in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Home games are played at Ballpark Digest’s two-time Best Ballpark in MLB Partner League 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.