Early Outburst Holds in 6-5 Victory
The Lancaster Barnstormers jumped ahead early then were forced to hold on tightly toward the end in a 6-5 victory over the Charleston Dirty Birds Sunday afternoon at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
It was Lancaster’s 13th win in the last 14 home games and kept the club with at least a share of first place in the second half.
Erik Manoah (2-1) yielded a solo home run to Alfredo Gonzalez in the top of the first and very little else. The right-hander worked six overall, giving up three hits and two walks, though only striking out one.
He was well supported by the Barnstormers over a two-inning stretch. Lancaster strung together five of its six hits, all singles, in the bottom of the third off Derrick Adams (3-6). Trace Loehr led off with a single to left, stole second and took third on a wild pitch. Devon Torrence walked to add a second runner, and a sharp single to right by Shawon Dunston, Jr. tied the game at 1-1. Melvin Mercedes grounded a single into left to give Lancaster a lead. Dunston and Mercedes executed a double steal, and both scored when Andretty Cordero singled inside the first base bag. Cordero was thrown out at second taking the steam out of the inning before Anderson Feliz chimed in with a single later.
In the fourth, the Barnstormers utilized three walks to put their final two runs on the board. Anthony Peroni and Loehr drew the first two. Devon Torrence flied to right with the runners holding. Dunston also walked to load the bases. Mercedes grounded into a 4-6 force to get one run home. With Cordero batting, Mercedes broke for second and was caught in a rundown. He stayed alive long enough to allow Torrence to sneak home with Lancaster’s sixth run.
Charleston bounced back in the seventh. Anfernee Seymour punched a leadoff single off Tyler Suellentrop just out of Loehr’s reach at third base. Scott Kelly dropped a base hit into right center, scoring Seymour from first. Tyler Blaum followed with a walk. Suellentrop struck out Yovan Gonzalez for the first out, but Scott Burcham delivered a two-run single down the right field line, bringing the Dirty Birds within two. Josh Graham took over and retired Nick Heath on a pop up to short. He also got a pop fly out of Jose Rosario, but that landed just fair down the right field line, plating Burcham. Alfredo Gonzalez followed with a single to center., but Graham fanned Diego Goris to end the inning.
Graham and West Tunnell set down six in a row over the final two innings to preserve the win with Tunnell picking up his fifth save.
The teams are off on Monday, but the series will resume on Tuesday. Michael Gunn (0-2, 2-2) will make the start against Oscar De La Cruz (4-1). Fans may tune into Blue Ridge 11 and the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 6:30.
NOTES: Mercedes’ single in the third extended his hitting streak to 15 games, tied for the longest on the club in 2022…Dunston has hit safely in nine straight…The club stole a season high six bases…Loehr drew three walks on top of the single and has now reached base 10 straight plate appearances, nine times on walks…He has also reached on 16 of his last 17 appearances…Torrence has walked seven times over the last two games…The Barnstormers have drawn 11 in consecutive games.