Thwarted for seven innings by the pitching of Joe Iorio and Cody Mincey and stellar defense by the Long Island Ducks, the Lancaster Barnstormers put together an impressive rally in the top of the eighth inning on Saturday evening.
They just could not get the final big hit to get over the top as Long Island held on for a 5-4 victory over the Barnstormers at Bethpage Ballpark.
Down, 5-0, entering the eighth, Lancaster got a leadoff walk from Darian Sandford, who two pitches later, stood at third base after a pair of steals. Michael Martinez drove in the run with a single through the right side. After Mincey struck out Caleb Gindl, Joe Terdoslavich rolled a base hit up the middle. Andrew Aplin lined a single to left to cut the lead to 5-2. Destin Hood lined a sharp single into center to load the bases, and K.C. Hobson singled to left to drive home two more and send the tying run into scoring position.
Ducks skipper Wally Backman strode to the mound and lifted Mincey for Rob Rogers. The right-hander dispatched Parker Morin on a fly ball to center for the second out and struck out Zach Shank looking to end the threat.
Michael Tonkin entered in the ninth. Long Island had one more web gem to make as first baseman David Washington made a sprawling catch of Sandford’s bunt to keep the league’s leading base stealer off base. Tonkin easily retired the next two for his second save.
The Ducks built the 5-0 lead early off Kyle Davies (4-8). In the second, Washington stroked a two-out single into right center to score Daniel Fields, who had doubled. The killer blow came in the third inning. With two outs and a runner at first T. J. Rivera’s grounder to the left side was scooped up by Terdoslavich to his left. The third baseman, however, was unable to line up the throw, and runners were safe at first and second. Hector Sanchez, after getting ahead in the count, slammed a three-run homer to right center for a 4-0 cushion.
Former Barnstormer Vladimir Frias doubled home the eventual decisive run in the bottom of the fourth.
Meanwhile, Lancaster bats fell victim to a string of dazzling defensive plays by the Ducks. In the third, L.J. Mazzilli made a leaping stab of a line drive by Martinez. Rey Fuentes and Ezequiel Carrera made consecutive diving catches in the outfield in the fourth. Iorio (5-1) even helped himself with a diving catch of a Shank bunt in foul territory after Morin opened the inning with a double.
Iorio worked six innings, allowing three hits and three walks. He struck out two. Davies allowed seven hits and five runs in seven innings. The right-hander walked three and struck out seven.
Lancaster concludes the series on Sunday at 5:05. John Anderson (5-5) will make the start for Lancaster against Kevin McAvoy (0-2). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 4:45.
NOTES: Sandford now has 165 career steals with the Barnstormers, moving him within one of seventh place on the Atlantic League career list…Terdoslavich has six hits in the series…Aplin is 4-for-7 in the series…Davies lost his sixth straight start…Logan Sawyer pitched a perfect eighth and now has allowed only two runs in his last 15 2/3 innings.