The Lancaster Barnstormers raced out to a 3-0 lead as seven of their first 11 batters rapped out base hits off left-hander Jake Fisher on Saturday evening.
However, the road-weary Barnstormers’ attack faded, and Long Island bounced back for a 4-3 win in the third game of a four-game series at Bethpage Ballpark.
It was a great beginning for the Barnstormers off Jake Fisher (4-6). Darian Sandford blooped the first of his four singles into shallow right. Michael Martinez launched a drive down the right field line that sent Sandford to third, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis was able to cut the ball off and fire to second to nab Martinez. Dan Gamache doubled over Nieuwenhuis’ head to drive home the first run. Caleb Gindl followed with a double down the left field line as Lancaster went ahead, 2-0.
In the second, Greg Golson banged a two-out single into right, stole second and scored when Darian Sandford’s pop fly into shallow left center ticked off shortstop Vladimir Frias’ glove on a diving attempt.
Sandford was thrown out stealing to end that inning. Martinez opened the third with a single to left, but the Barnstormers managed only three more hits, two by Sandford and a walk the rest of the night.
Long Island put two runs on the board in the second. Hector Sanchez singled to left and went to second on a walk to David Washington. A grounder to the right side advanced both runners. Sanchez scored on a wild pitch, and Rando Moreno brought home Washington with a sacrifice fly to deep left.
Sanchez tied the game at 3-3 in the third with a double to right off Kelvin Vasquez (0-2). Moreno scored the next inning on a single up the middle by Ezequiel Carrera.
The combination of Alejandro Chacin and Matt Marksberry contained the Ducks for the final 4 1/3 innings, allowing only one walk and striking out seven. Fisher was replaced by Cody Mincey in the seventh. He and closer Josh Lueke would combine to strike out eight over the final three innings. The Barnstormers had a chance in the eighth as Sandford reached on an infield single, was sacrifice to second by Martinez and took third on a wild pickoff throw. Two strikeouts by Mincey ended the inning.
Lancaster and Long Island conclude the series on Sunday afternoon. Kyle Davies (4-3) will take the hill for Lancaster against lefty Darin Downs (0-2). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers’ YouTube Channel, beginning at 1:15.
NOTES: Sandford had more than two hits for the first time this season…He is 28-for-75 (.373) in his last 23 games…Gamache now has 24 doubles and is on a pace for more than 60…He has a nine-game hitting streak…Gindl picked up his 43rd RBI…Marksberry has retired all 10 batters he has faced this weekend, five on strikes.