The Lancaster Barnstormers spent the entire afternoon on Sunday trying to recover from a four-run first inning.
Their fingertips were almost to the finish line when the game ended.
Long Island’s Pedro Beato retired Caleb Gindl on a grounder to second to close the game with the tying run at second base as the Ducks held on for a thrilling, 6-5 victory over the Barnstormers in the series finale at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
With the Barnstormers trailing by three, Parker Morin opened the bottom of the ninth with a single flared into right center and was forced at second by Zach Shank. Devon Torrence walked to bring pinch hitter Destin Hood to the plate as the potential tying run. Hood went down swinging, but Andrew Aplin roped a two-run double into the right field corner to bring the Barnstormers to the edge of overcoming the Ducks before Beato got the final out for his second save.
Jared Lakind (5-5) was the victim of the first inning salvo. After retiring two of the first three batters, he yielded an RBI single to Lew Ford, one day shy of the Long Island DH’s 43rd birthday. Deibinson Romero blooped a single to left to add a second baserunner. Daniel Fields made it 2-0 with a single into right center and moved to third on a late throw to get Romero. Ramon Cabrera singled into center to plate two more.
The Ducks began to roll again the in second. Vladimir Frias smashed a single into center, and D’Arby Myers followed with a bunt base hit. Cade Gotta sacrificed the runners ahead. Frias scored on a single to left by L.J. Mazzilli for a 5-0 lead. With runners at the corners, Ford smoked a line drive that was snared by first baseman K.C. Hobson and turned into a double play.
Long Island was collared on just two hits over the next five innings, giving the Barnstormers the chance to come back. Aplin doubled home a run off Brandon Beachy (1-0) in the third, and Morin made it 5-2 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Joe Terdoslavich’s leadoff homer onto the right field deck in the sixth trimmed another run off the lead. That homer was followed by Hobson and Gift Ngoepe singles to put the tying runs on base, but Cody Mincey shut the door for the next 2 2/3 innings.
A much needed insurance run scored for the Ducks in the top of the eighth. Clint Freeman and D’Arby Myers each singled against Bryan Harper who left with two outs. Pedro Echemendia missed with 10 of his first 11 pitches, forcing home a run before eventually retiring Ford on a bases loaded fly ball to deep left to end the inning.
The Barnstormers are off on Monday, then kick off a six-day road trip in Somerset on Tuesday evening. John Anderson (7-6) will take the hill for Lancaster. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel beginning at 6:45.
NOTES: Gindl singled in the eighth to extend his current hitting streak to 10…Aplin is 31-for-82 (.378) with 18 RBI in his last 21 games…Darian Sandford reached 50 stolen bases for the second straight season…Terdoslavich was named as the Booster Club’s Player of the Month for July…Matt Marksberry threw his 11th straight hitless inning.