Baseball is often referred to as a game of inches.
On Tuesday night, that may have been reduced to nanometers.
With two outs and a runner at first in a game tied, 3-3, in the top of the seventh inning, Jonathan Albaladejo dealt a 3-2 pitch to Long Island DH Lew Ford. It ended up excruciatingly close to the outside corner, but the automated ball-strike system determined that it missed the strike zone by a miniscule amount.
Instead of ending the inning, the resultant walk perpetuated an inning that ultimately led to three runs and a 6-3 Long Island win over the Lancaster Barnstormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Following the walk to Ford, L.J. Mazzilli drilled an RBI single into left, scoring Rey Fuentes with the go-ahead run. Hector Sanchez greeted Matt Marksberry with a slow roller into right that scored Ford for a 5-3 lead. Mazzilli scored the third run of the inning when a third strike to Deibinson Romero bounced away from Parker Morin.
Andrew Aplin belted his sixth of the season in the opening inning for a 1-0 lead. The Ducks responded with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Walks to Sanchez and David Washington around a single by Romero loaded the bases against Albaladejo (2-10). Vladimir Frias and Clint Freeman each hit a force play grounder to drive home a run for a 2-1 lead.
In the fifth, the Ducks strung together five singles off Albaladejo but only managed one run as Aplin began a relay from right field to nab Fuentes on an RBI single to right by Ford. Ford was later cut down at home by Aplin on a single to right by Sanchez.
Josh Bell and Morin knotted the game with consecutive homers in the bottom of the sixth off former Blue Jay Scott Richmond (1-0) in his Atlantic League debut.
The Barnstormers host the Ducks in the third game of the series on Wednesday evening. Connor Overton (2-2) will make the start for the Barnstormers against right-hander Vin Mazzaro (8-4). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel beginning at 6:45.
NOTES: Bell is 7-for-14 with three homers in his last five games…The Barnstormers are 4-15 against the Ducks on the season with no loss by more than four runs…Lancaster has not won a game started by Albaladejo since July 24.