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BIZARRE FINISH IN DOUBT

Long Island’s Win Protested by Barnstormers

The Long Island Ducks pulled out a 3-2 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers in a very bizarre manner Monday evening at Bethpage Ballpark.

Or did they?

Lee Mazzilli’s line drive into the left field corner eluded Zach Shank.  Umpires and Atlantic League officials are working to determine exactly when. The decision could mean a tie game, a Lancaster lead with runners at second and third, or a ‘Stormers loss.

When the play began, Lancaster led, 2-1, and Steve Lombardozzi stood at first with the tying run, one out into the bottom of the ninth.  Mazzilli drilled an offering from Cody Eppley into the left field corner.  As Lombardozzi was sprinting around the bases, Shank had difficulty coming up with the ball.  Ultimately, following a bobble and a desperation throw, the ball went out of play.  Lombardozzi and Mazzilli both wheeled around and crossed the plate on what was ruled a double and two errors by Shank.

The whole scenario spoiled what appeared to be a huge moment for Lancaster starter Jared Lakind.  He retired the first 20 Ducks batters before, yes, Mazzilli broke up everything with a home run to left center.  Lakind worked through the eighth inning on a three-hitter, walking none and striking out seven.

Lancaster grabbed a 1-0 lead off Sean Nolin in the top of the fifth.  K.C. Hobson led off with a bloop single into right center.  One out later, Parker Morin ripped a double that rolled to the wall in right center, scoring Hobson.

The second Barnstormers run was again due to a catcher.  Josh Bell opened the ninth with a walk and left for pinch runner Devon Torrence.  With two outs, Torrence stole second.  He scored when Anderson De La Rosa, who took over for an injured Morin in the seventh, lined a single into right center.

Tuesday evening will feature the second game of the four-game series.  Lancaster will send right-hander Jake McCasland (1-4) to the mound against right-hander Alec Asher (1-0) for the Ducks.  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:15.

NOTES:  If the final score stands, the Barnstormers will still not have won consecutive games since May 3-4…De La Rosa is 11-for-20 in his last six games…Lakind threw his first career quality start and the club’s 11th…Michael Martinez and K.C. Hobson each has a five-game streak.