IRONMASTERS HAVE A BALL
Right-Hander Completes Series Sweep
Nile Ball may not have much room left for his continued improvement.
After taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning at Lexington on Tuesday, the right-hander fired eight shutout innings on three singles Sunday afternoon pitching the Lebanon Ironmasters (a.k.a. Lancaster Barnstormers) to a 6-1 victory and a three-game sweep over the Staten Island Ferryhawks at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Ball (4-3) walked one, hit a batter and struck out eight in the performance. It marked the fourth straight time that the Georgia native has worked at least seven innings. In addition, the effort was his fifth quality start of the year and his third straight decision on the winning side.
Staten Island put runners at first and third with two outs on both the second and fifth innings. Ball fanned Andres Noriega for the final out in the second inning and retired Antoine Duplantis on a ground out to second base in the fifth.
A single and error gave the Ferryhawks runners at first and second in the sixth. Ball calmly coaxed a double play grounder out of Mariel Bautista to close the inning.
The Ironmasters plated a run off former Houston Astros’ right-hander David Martinez in the home first. Shawon Dunston, Jr. yanked a single into right field and took third on a hit-and-run single by Melvin Mercedes. Dunston scored when Andretty Cordero grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Martinez was not reached again until the fifth when Dunston and Mercedes both walked in front of Cordero’s ninth home run of the season, a drive that hugged the left field line. The fair call held up after the umpiring trio conferred.
Trayvon Robinson singled home LeDarious Clark in the seventh inning, and the Ironmasters picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth for a 6-0 edge.
Staten Island picked up a run off Scott Shuman in the top of the ninth. Shuman, in his second appearance since spending seven weeks on the injured list, allowed a leadoff single by Ricardo Cespedes, who stole second. Bautista advanced the runner to third, and Cespedes scored on a two-out wild pitch that just slipped away from Anthony Peroni.
The Lancaster Barnstormers will head to York on Monday for a 4:30 start. Brooks Hall (0-1) will start for Lancaster against York lefty Austin Nicely. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel, beginning at 4:25.
NOTES: In his last five starts, Ball is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA…He has allowed 18 hits while walking seven and striking out 38…Mercedes is 21-for-52 (.404) in the last 13 games…Robinson also had three hits as well and is batting .448 (13-29) over the last seven…Dunston has reached base in 20 of 21 games…He stole his 13th base…Clark has scored in 15 of his last 19 games.
About the Lancaster Barnstormers
The 2022 Lancaster Barnstormers, presented by Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, are in their 18th year in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Home games are played at Ballpark Digest’s three-time Best Ballpark in MLB Partner League Baseball – Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit www.lancasterbarnstormers.com for more information.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.