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DE LA CRUZ PITCHES LANCASTER TO FOURTH STRAIGHT

Lancaster Takes Series Opener at Staten Island

For the second consecutive start, Oscar De La Cruz dominated the opposition.  This time, the Barnstormers held on for the win.

De La Cruz (8-2) threw a season-high eight innings to pitch the Lancaster Barnstormers to a 3-1 victory over the Staten Island Ferryhawks on Friday evening at Community Park.

The win kept the Barnstormers 4 ½ games ahead of Southern Maryland in the second half North race.

De La Cruz yielded six hits while walking one and striking out eight.  He found minor trouble in the second as Ricardo Cespedes blooped a double inside the left field line.  Rusney Castillo’s grounder advanced the runner to third.  Christopher Cespedes lined to second, and Ramon Osuna struck out to end the threat.

The Ferryhawks broke through in the fourth.  Dilson Herrera dropped a fly ball in front of center fielder Melvin Mercedes.  The ball bounced past Mercedes’ diving effort for a double.  A wild pickoff throw sent Herrera to third, and Ricardo Cespedes grounded a single to the hole at shortstop to produce the run.

Osuna produced the third hit of the inning, a two-out single on a smash back off De La Cruz’ body.  The right-hander then retired 13 of the remaining 15 batters he faced.

Lancaster only scored in the fifth, but it proved to be enough.  Mercedes reached when Christopher Cespedes dropped a throw at first base.  Trayvon Robinson laid a bunt down but was ruled to be out of the running lane at first.  He was called out, and Mercedes was returned to first.  The runner stole second and scored in front of Andretty Cordero’s 14th home run of the season, a blast to left center, the deepest part of Community Park, off Anthony Rodriguez (4-8).  Colton Shaver singled to right center, and he scored when Anderson Feliz doubled into the left center gap.

Staten Island’s bullpen shut down the ‘Stormers’ offense over the final four innings, but De La Cruz held on before turning the ball over to Josh Graham in the ninth.  Graham yielded a two-out single to Osuna before getting Andres Noriega on a pop to short to end the night for his seventh save.

Erik Manoah (3-2) will take the hill for the Barnstormers on Saturday.  He will match up against right-hander Hector Guance (4-6).  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel, starting at 6:25.

NOTES:  Cordero crossed the 100-RBI mark becoming the fastest player in Lancaster history to get to 100…He did it in 111 games…Earlier this year, Kelly Dugan reached 100 career Lancaster RBI in his 112th contest…Cordero stands at 101 RBI, two shy of Aaron Herr’s team record…He added three hits for the night and has 158 on the year, 16 away from that club mark…De La Cruz has walked one and struck out 17 in 15 innings over his last two starts while allowing only one run…Anthony Peroni went 0-for-4 to lose a hitting streak at 13 games.