Opportunities Missed in 1-0 Loss
It is not possible for a pitcher to be in a worse position.
Lexington’s Raymells Rosa stood on the hill with the bases loaded, nobody out and a 3-0 count on #3 hitter Andretty Cordero with Kelly Dugan on deck. Two hitters who have averaged nearly an RBI per game in their Atlantic League careers.
Then, something clicked. Rosa struck out both, then retired the red hot Ariel Sandoval on a routine fly to left to close out the eighth to preserve a 1-0 Lexington Counter Clocks win over the Lancaster Barnstormers Friday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Lexington improves to 4-0 on its current road trip and 6-1 overall while the Barnstormers slip to 1-6 on the young season.
Trace Loehr drew a five-pitch walk from Rosa to open the Lancaster eighth. Shawon Dunston, Jr. and Melvin Mercedes followed with perfectly placed bunt singles to load the bags, and Rosa missed badly with his first three pitches to Cordero before his rally.
It marked the third time in the game that Lancaster had its first two runners reach base. In the second, Dugan was hit by a pitch, and Sandoval followed with a single, but Pat Ledet (1-1) worked his way out of the predicament. Dunston and Mercedes reached in the sixth. Again, Ledet wriggled out of it.
The left-hander worked seven innings on three hits and a walk in earning the win. Rosa was awarded a hold, and Aaron Ochsenbein worked a perfect ninth for his first save.
Meanwhile, Lexington’s offense was sparse against Jared Lakind (0-2) and the bullpen. The lefty starter matched Ledet’s zeroes through the first five innings before yielding on opposite field homer to former York slugger J.C. Encarnacion onto Lancaster’s picnic deck. Lakind exited after 5 2/3, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out six. The bullpen surrendered only one more hit over 3 1/3 innings.
Lancaster will send Dominic DiSabatino (0-0) to the hill on Saturday. Lexington has not announced its starter for the middle game of the series. Fireworks will follow. Fans may tune into the broadcast on Flosports.tv, beginning at 6:25.
NOTES: Sandoval extended his hitting streak to six…Travis Lakins, Sr. performed an unusual feat, striking out four batters in the ninth inning…Logan Brown reached on a third strike wild pitch…Mike Adams retired four straight batters and has now gotten 13 in a row over his four appearances…The game was the fastest nine-inning contest played by the Barnstormers this season, lasting 2:22.