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LEADS SLIP, STORMERS FALL

Long Island Rallies for 10-7 Win

Long Island struck for five runs on only two hits in the bottom of the eighth inning to soar past the Lancaster Barnstormers, 10-7, Thursday evening at Bethpage Ballpark.

The loss was the fourth in the last five games for Lancaster and kept the ‘Stormers 6 ½ games behind Sugar Land in the divisional race and Somerset in the wild card chase.

Evan Meek (1-1) walked the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth inning, working to hold a 7-5 lead. Chris Scura laid down an effective sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. League batting leader Fehlandt Lentini, playing on his 39th birthday, grounded a single into center, to score the tying runs.

Lentini stole second, and Anthony Vega was walked intentionally. Butch Hobson went back to his bullpen for Hitoshi Fujie. The right-hander retired Dan Lyons on a pop up to first for the second out. Next came Fujie’s first walk in 12 1/3 innings on a 3-2 pitch to Cody Puckett. Ruben Gotay followed with the dagger, a three-run double down the right field line after Fujie had worked ahead in the count, 0-2.

Lancaster had jumped ahead of John Brownell, 4-0, with a big first inning. Caleb Gindl doubled on the first pitch of the night. Trayvon Robinson followed with a walk. Both moved ahead on a passed ball, and Gindl scored when catcher Mike Dowd fired the ball down the left field line.

After K.C. Hobson grounded to first, Josh Bell singled home the second run. Sean Halton blasted a two-run homer over the boards in left for a 4-0 lead. Lancaster would reload the bases, but Brownell got Gindl on a fly ball to left to end the inning.

The Ducks got one run back on an infield single and RBI double by Puckett in the fourth inning and tied the game on an RBI single up the middle by Lentini and a two-run bloop by Puckett in the fifth.

Caleb Gindl slugged a three-run homer to right in the top of the sixth for Lancaster’s second lead.

Eriberto Garcia (1-0) picked up the win for Long Island. Toddy Coffey earned his 21st save.

The Barnstormers send lefty Kelvin De La Cruz (5-3, 8-9) to the hill on Saturday night against 44-year old right-hander Chris McCoy (0-0). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:15.

NOTES: Halton’s homer, his league leading 20th, was his 10th in 19 games…He has 24 RBI in that span…Gindl and Kevin Ahrens extended hitting streaks to eight games…Halton has hit safely in seven in a row and 18 of 19…Hobson has hit in six straight…Halton’s homer was Lancaster’s 100th of the season to lead the league…The loss was the sixth of the season for Lancaster when the club has led with two innings to go.