Lancaster Drops Spire City, 7-2, to Take Top Spot
Mark Johnson went out to the mound after two leadoff walks in the third inning.
His words must have been magic.
Brent Teller settled down, and Lancaster pitcher retired 21 of the final 22 batters early Sunday evening to defeat the Spire City Ghost Hounds, 7-2, in the rubber game of a three-game series.
With the win, the Barnstormers took sole possession of first place in the North in a wild, four-way race with five weeks left in the season. Southern Maryland trails by a game while York and the streaking Staten Island FerryHawks trail by 1 ½.
Teller (10-4) had allowed two runs in the second on a bases loaded single by Craig Dedelow. In the third, with the score tied, 2-2, the right-hander walked Raudy Read and Chris Shaw in succession to start the inning.
Johnson took his first allotted time out to visit the mound. Teller locked in, retiring the side in order to finish the third. He matched the performance in the fourth, five and sixth innings before turning the ball over to the bullpen. Teller finished the day having allowed four hits and three walks while striking out seven.
Zach Warren walked Eddy Diaz to start the seventh before recording two strikeouts of his own, then retired Jose Marmolejos on a grounder to first to end the inning. Brandyn Sittinger set down the final six Ghost Hounds to close out the game.
Lancaster took control in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Joseph Carpenter rapped a single through the left side. Shawon Dunston, Jr. ripped a ground ball off the glove of Read at first and raced to second with Carpenter going to third. Anthony Peroni singled through the left side of the infield to score two. Designated runner Chris Proctor scored on a single by Trace Loehr, and would eventually score the fourth run of the inning on a passed ball.
Dunston added a home run in the eighth, his fourth hit of the game, to cap the scoring.
The Barnstormers open a three-game series on Tuesday with left-hander Jared Lakind (7-3) taking on fellow southpaw Kyle Lobstein (3-3). Fans may tune into FloBaseball at 6:25.
NOTES: Mercedes extended his hitting streak to 10 games…He walked three times to increase his season total to 69…He has an OBP over .500 in the last 32 games…Dunston has eight extra base hits in his last eight games…Teller threw his fourth straight quality start and his ninth of the season…He has won eight of his last nine decisions.