SIX-PACK OF GASTONIA HOMERS LEADS TO SERIES SWEEP
Gastonia launched six homers, including two each by Joshua Sale and Mike Papi on Thursday evening en route to a 16-3 thumping of the host Lancaster Barnstormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Barnstormers hit only one, but it was one worth celebrating. Outfielder-first baseman Blake Gailen drove a ball over the fence in right center to lead off the fourth. It was his 100th in a Barnstormers uniform.
The win completed a sweep of the Barnstormers in their second home series of the season.
Danny Taggart (0-2) loaded the bases on walks in the first inning. Emmanuel Tapia slapped a grounder to third. Blake Allemand, in an attempt to force Boog Powell at home, made a high throw, allowing the first run to score. Sale followed with a grand slam to right for a 5-0 lead.
After the Honey Hunters struck for a single run in the third, consecutive long balls by Papi and Jason Rogers in the fourth inning gave them an 8-0 lead.
Sale added another shot in the fifth while Papi and Jake Skole connected in the eighth inning. Gastonia scored in every inning but the second, taking advantage not only of the short dimension to right field, but also 12 walks issued by Lancaster pitching.
William Kirwan (1-1) worked 5.2 innings for the Honey Hunters to earn the win. The right-hander allowed eight hits and two runs while walking three.
Melvin Mercedes and Devon Torrence drove in single runs for Lancaster.
The Barnstormers head to Southern Maryland to open a three-game weekend series on Friday night at 6:35. Tommy Shirley (2-0) is scheduled to pitch for Lancaster. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube webcast beginning at 6:30.
NOTES: Mercedes stretched his hitting streak to eight and his on-base streak to 13…The second baseman is hitting .429 on the season…Taggart threw 124 pitches in 5.1 innings to save the bullpen…Alejandro De Aza has hit safely in all five games he has played…Blake Allemand has hit safely in 10 of 11.