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Lancaster Wins Interrupted Contest, 8-3

Play on Friday night was about as crisp as two-week old lettuce, but the Lancaster Barnstormers prevailed around a two-hour, seven-minute rain delay to defeat the Staten Island Ferryhawks, 8-3, in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

It was Lancaster’s seventh straight win for the Barnstormers, who now lead the North Division by three games in the second half.

The Friday contest featured only eight hits, but there were six errors, 14 walks, three hit batters, three wild pitches and a passed ball along the way.

Staten Island opened the scoring with a pair in the first.  Antione Duplantis reached when Anderson Feliz dropped the leadoff line drive to right field.  Duplantis stole second and scored when Angel Aguilar thundered a double over the head of left fielder Trayvon Robinson.  Aguilar went to third on a wild pickoff throw by starter Erik Manoah and scored on a wild pitch.

Lancaster got one run back off Hector Guance in the fourth.  Melvin Mercedes and Jacob Barfield drew walks around Andretty Cordero being hit by a pitch.  Robinson delivered the run with a sacrifice fly to left field.

In the fifth, the Barnstormers picked up two more runs, still without the benefit of a base hit.  With one out, Shawon Dunston, Jr. walked and stole second.  Melvin Mercedes also walked.  After Andretty Cordero flied to shallow center, and, with Barfield batting, catcher Andres Noriega attempted to pick Mercedes off first.  The throw bounced out into right field, and Dunston steamed all the way around to score the tying run.  Mercedes ended up at third.

Barfield was hit by a pitch, bringing up Robinson.  The Lancaster left fielder struck out, but Noriega missed the third strike, allowing Mercedes to come home with the go-ahead tally.

After the fifth inning, with wind speed increasing and ominous clouds rolling in, the umpires called for the tarp.  Only moderate, wind-swept rains ever hit, but a persistent drizzle kept both teams and staff waiting, and waiting.

One hour and 41 minutes into the delay, a decision was made to continue the play.  Instead of Guance getting a nod in the Atlantic League record boo, albeit with an asterisk, and the Barnstormers escaping with a cheap win, action was able to resume 26 minutes later.

A passed by committed by Chris Proctor enabled the Ferryhawks to tie the game in the top of the sixth off Dominic DiSabatino, who allowed singles to Christopher Cespedes and Noriega earlier in the inning.

Lancaster was handed the run back in the bottom of the inning.  Trace Loehr produced Lancaster’s first hit with a two-out line drive single into center.  Dunston walked, bringing up Mercedes.  The Lancaster second baseman hit a weak ground ball to first, but Ramon Osuna’s throw was bobbled by Vin Aiello (0-3).  Aiello then served up a wild pitch that allowed Loehr to score.

Errors on ground balls by Barfield and Robinson opened the seventh.  This time, the Lancaster bats took full advantage of the opportunity.  Anderson Feliz singled home one run.  Following a walk to Proctor, Jake Hoover ripped a two-run single off Aguilar’s diving attempt at third.  Dunston got the final run across on a ground ball.

The Barnstormers entertain Staten Island again on Saturday at 6:30.  Lancaster will send right-hander Nile Ball (6-3) to the mound against right-hander Jordan Simpson (0-2).  Fireworks will follow the game.  Fans may also tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel, starting at 6:25.

NOTES:  The game was Lancaster’s eighth straight win over Staten Island…In Guance’s last two starts against Lancaster, he has allowed only two hits in 10 innings but has yielded 13 walks…Hoover has the longest active hitting streak on the club at four…The win was DiSabatino’s third in his last five relief outings.