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Early Doubles, Homers Key in 5-3 Decision

Bobby Bradley and Dwight Smith, Jr. belted early home runs on Friday evening, leading the Charleston Dirty Birds to a 5-3 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

It was the fifth straight loss for the Barnstormers.

Following a two-out double to left by Telvin Nash, Bradley connected off Dominic DiSabatino (3-2) with a two-run shot to right center for a pair of first-inning runs.  Smith led off the third with his blast, a drive over the tents in right field for a 3-0 lead.

Meanwhile, the Barnstormers were stumped by right-hander Troy Bacon (2-2).  Lancaster’s first hit of the night was a bunt single by second baseman Yeison Coca, extending his hitting streak to nine.  Coca took second on Bacon’s wild throw and went to third on a wild pitch.  Melvin Mercedes picked up the run with a sacrifice fly.

Nash doubled home a run in the fifth, but the Barnstormers were able to trim the lead to one in the home sixth.  Coca led off with a walk and took third on a double off the right field wall by Mercedes.  Andretty Cordero’s grounder on the right side scored one.  Mercedes scored when a third strike to Kelly Dugan got behind catcher Zachary Bridges.

The Barnstormers, who managed only four hits on the night, left the tying run at third in the eighth, and the Dirty Birds struck for an insurance run in the ninth on a double by Yefri Perez on a fly ball lost in the twilight and a single through the right side by Smith.

Joan Martinez survived a leadoff walk in the ninth for his second save.

Nile Ball (2-1) will take the mound on Saturday evening at 6:30 against Charleston lefty Danny Wirchansky (1-2).  Fireworks will follow the game, which will be streamed live on FloBaseball, beginning at 6:25.

NOTES:  Trayvon Robinson lost a nine-game hitting streak…Andrew Lee struck out all three right-handed batters he faced in the ninth inning…Right-handers are 2-for-41 (.049) against him on the season…Zach Warren replaced DiSabatino in the eighth and struck out both batters he faced…Robinson reached base for the 14th straight game…Jack Conley caught for the 13th straight game.