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Barnstormers Drop Back into First Place Tie

It is not easy to shut down the Lancaster Barnstormers offense.  Friday evening, Brett Daniels and the Gastonia bullpen found a way.

Daniels combined with three relievers on a two-hitter as the Honey Hunters defeated the Lancaster Barnstormers, 4-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium. 

The loss dropped the Barnstormers back into a first place tie with Southern Maryland in the North while Gastonia remained within one-half game of High Point in the South.

Daniels (4-1) walked Melvin Mercedes to start the night before retiring 11 consecutive Lancaster batters.  Ariel Sandoval picked up a two-out walk in the fourth, but Daniels, who struck out eight on the night, fanned the next four.

The right-hander’s bid for a no-hitter was snapped by Chris Proctor’s leadoff double in the sixth.  Lancaster worked Proctor around on ground balls for the club’s only run of the night.

Bryan Blanton and Nick Wells each pitched a perfect inning.  Andretty Cordero produced Lancaster’s second hit of the night with a two-out single into left off Graham Spraker in the ninth.  Sandoval flied out to the wall to end the game as Spraker earned his first save.

Gastonia reached Brent Teller (10-5) for a run in the second.  A walk to Steven Moya, hit batter and Braxton Davidson’s ground single into right loaded the bases with nobody out.  David Washington chased the first run home with a sacrifice fly to right.  Scott Manea was doubled off second on the play, helping Teller out of the inning.  Kevin Santa singled off Teller’s leg with the bases loaded in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The other two Honey Hunters runs scored in the seventh off Bret Clarke as Luis Curbelo doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Zach Jarrett’s single into right.  Jarrett advanced on a passed ball and came home for the 4-1 lead on Moya’s double whistled into right center.

Lancaster will send Jared Lakind (8-3) to the hill against fellow lefty Gunnar Kines (10-3) on Saturday evening.  Fireworks will follow the game.  Fans may tune into FloBaseball at 6:25.

NOTES:  The two-hits matched a season low for the Barnstormers that had occurred twice previously…Lancaster struck out 13 times in the game, the most since 17 batters fanned in an 11-game at Gastonia on May 26…Teller lost a six-game winning streak…The loss was his first since July 6 against Long Island…Proctor’s double was his fifth extra base hit in his last five starts…Cordero has hit safely in 36 of his last 40 games.