WALKS, HOMERS LEAD DUCKS OVER STORMERS
Long Island used two homers, including a grand slam by Daniel Fields, along with 10 walks to defeat the Lancaster Barnstormers, 13-8, on Friday evening in the opener of a four-game weekend series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
The loss was the sixth straight for Lancaster, which fell 2 ½ games behind Long Island and Southern Maryland in the North Division.
Alejandro de Aza staked the Barnstormers to a quick lead with a two-run double in the top of the first, but the Ducks scored the next eight runs in the second. The game was quickly tied in the top of the second when Hector Sanchez blasted a two-run homer to right. Zach Smith (1-4) walked the next two hitters. Johnni Turbo bounced a ball to shortstop to Cleuluis Rondon. Rondon underhanded to second baseman Blake Allemand, who dropped the feed for an error. Vladimir Frias singled home the third run of the inning, and Steve Lombardozzi flied to the track in right to knock home a fourth. L.J. Mazzilli’s grounder got away from Allemand as a fifth run crossed the plate.
Three more scored in the third on two singles and four walks.
Lancaster narrowed the gap on an RBI single by Kelly Dugan in the third and homers by Blake Allemand and Blake Gailen off Brendan Feldmann (6-3) in the fifth.
Then, with Lancaster trailing, 8-6, entering the sixth, Long Island loaded the bases against Gailen to start the sixth. Fields greeted Alexis Rivero with a grand slam, boosting the lead to 13-8.
Rondon added a homer for the Barnstormers in the eighth, but the bright spot of the night came in the ninth when Melvin Mercedes batting for the first time in 52 days, singled home Kelly Dugan in the bottom of the ninth.
The two clubs meet again on Saturday at 6:30 with fireworks to follow. Lancaster will send LHP Augie Sylk (4-4) to the mound against Long Island ace Joe Iorio (9-2). Fans may follow the game on the Barnstormers YouTube Channel.
NOTES: De Aza went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles…He is batting .467 (28-for-60) while hitting safely in 15 of his last 17 games…He has seven doubles in the last eight…Rondon’s homer was his sixth and first since July 24…The Fields homer was the 11th grand slam allowed by the Barnstormers this season…The six-game losing streak is a season long for Lancaster…Prior to the game, the Barnstormers Booster Club announced Kelly Dugan as its Player of the Month for August and Gabriel Moya as its Pitcher of the Month.