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‘STORMERS WIN NAIL BITER

Mercedes Keeps Streak Alive in 5-4 Win

The Lancaster Barnstormers and West Tunnell had no trouble picking up the first two outs in the bottom of the ninth.  The third out finally settled into Ariel Sandoval’s glove on the warning track in right field as the Barnstormers survived a scare in a 5-4 win over the York Revolution at People’s Bank Park.

With the win, the Barnstormers have retaken a two-game lead over Southern Maryland in the second half in the North.

The win appeared to be secure after Lancaster posted three two-out runs in the top of the ninth inning.  Jake Hoover started the uprising with a long double to right center.  Devon Torrence beat a ball down just in front of home plate for an infield single, and Hoover scored when catcher Lenin Rodriguez fired the ball past Nelle Rodriguez and down the right field line.  Shawon Dunston, Jr, ripped a Carlos Ventura pitch into the right field corner for a double and a 4-1 lead.  Dunston scored on the third hit of the game for Melvin Mercedes, a single into center.  Andretty Cordero dropped a single into center, but Mercedes was thrown out trying to take third.

J.C. Encarnacion took the first pitch from West Tunnell into the right center gap for a triple.  Tunnell bounced back to strike out Elmer Reyes and Carlos Franco.  Telvin Nash drew a walk, bringing up Nellie Rodriguez.  Rodriguez survived a 1-2 breaking ball just off the inside corner, then singled into center.  Melky Mesa pounded a double off the right field wall to score two.  Tunnell worked ahead of Troy Stokes, Jr. then went to 2-2.  Stokes launched a fly ball toward the wall in right, but Sandoval was able to make the catch while approaching the barrier for that precious final out.

Erik Manoah, Jr. survived several scares in the early innings as York left 10 runners on base in the first five frames, scoring only on a swinging third strike that skipped past catcher Anthony Peroni.

York’s inability to deliver the big hit kept the Barnstormers around, and they finally tied the game in the seventh.  Trayvon Robinson walked, and, one out later, Sandoval singled into right.  Anthony Peroni flied to right, but Hoover came through with a double off the left field wall to knot the score at 1-1.

Mercedes, who earlier had extended his hitting streak to 20 games, singled to right with one out.  He went to second on a wild pitch from Nick Howard (0-2).  Cordero singled into right center to break the deadlock.

Dominic DiSabatino (3-2) threw two hitless innings, striking out three, to earn the win.  Newcomer Gray Fenter worked around a leadoff infield single in the eighth to hold the lead.

The two clubs meet for the rubber game of the series on Sunday at 2:00.  Oscar De La Cruz (4-1) will match up against Eduardo Rivera (5-3).  Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube channel, beginning at 1:55.

NOTES:  Mercedes will have the opportunity to break the franchise hit streak record on Sunday afternoon…He is 29-for-77 (.377) in the 20 games…He is currently tied with Matt LeCroy and Caleb Gindl…Cordero has hit safely in nine straight…Lancaster leads the War of the Roses, 13-9, with 10 games left…Fenter and Brandyn Sittinger, both right-handers, were activated earlier in the day…Cole Aker, another RHP, was traded to High Point.