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Dunston Catch Snuffs Staten Island Rally

Shawon Dunston, Jr. caught up to an Angel Aguilar drive to the fence in center to keep the tying run from scoring in the top of the ninth as the Lebanon Ironmasters prevailed over the Staten Island Ferryhawks, 7-6, in the middle game of a three-game weekend series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Lebanon entered the ninth with a 7-3 lead.  Right-hander Chase Johnson hit Andres Noriega with his first pitch, triggering an argument with Staten Island manager Edgardo Alfonzo since warnings had been issued earlier in the game.  Johnson stayed in and allowed an ensuing single to right field from Javier Betancourt.  Joseph Monge flied to right for the first out, but Alfredo Reyes grounded a seeing eye single into right to score Noriega to cut the lead to 7-4.  Trayvon Robinson made a wild throw to the plate, enabling runners to move to second and third.  Antoine Duplantis’ grounder to second scored another.  Dilson Herrera also singled to right to bring the Ferryhawks within one.

West Tunnell came on, and Aguilar stroked his 2-1 pitch to the fence in center where it was flagged by Dunston for the game’s final out.

Dunston had dropped a shallow fly ball by Ricardo Cespedes in the previous inning to get Staten Island a run closer.

Following a 45-minute rain delay, Duplantis opened the game with a homer to right off Oscar De La Cruz (3-1).  The Ironmasters (Lancaster Barnstormers) answered on Kelly Dugan’s 23rd homer of the season, a two-run blast to the right field tents to take their first lead. 

Monge singled up the middle to score Noriega, who was also hit by a pitch in the second.  Again, Lancaster struck off Hector Guance Pena (1-2).  Colton Shaver picked up a leadoff walk and went to second on a wild pitch.  Trace Loehr also walked.  Jake Hoover lined a double to the warning track in right, putting Lancaster ahead, and Melvin Mercedes contributed a bases loaded sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead.

LeDarious Clark belted a two-run homer to right center in the third before the game quieted down through the middle innings.

De LaCruz went six, allowing four hits and two runs while walking two and striking out four in giving Lancaster his third quality start.

The Ironmasters will conclude the three-game series on Sunday at 1:00.  Nile Ball (3-3) will take the hill against David Martinez (0-0).  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel or Froggy Valley 100.1, beginning at 12:55.

NOTES:  Dugan climbed back into a tie with Lexington’s Courtney Hawkins for the league home run lead…Josh Graham pitched for the first time in 23 days, tossing a perfect seventh inning…Andretty Cordero had his 24th multi-hit game…Dunston has reached base in 19 of 20 games, scored 17 runs and stolen 12 bases since joining Lancaster on June 9…Clark has scored in 13 of his last 17 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.