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Lancaster Trips Up Gastonia, 3-2

The Lancaster Barnstormers took advantage of Gastonia defensive mistakes on Tuesday evening, turning three errors and a wild pitch into a 3-2 victory in the opener of the Atlantic League Championship Series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Lancaster never scored without the assistance of the Gastonia defense.  In the bottom of the second, third baseman Jake Hoover mishandled a leadoff grounder by Ariel Sandoval.  One out later, first baseman David Washington fumbled a grounder by Chad Sedio.  Jack Conley picked up a tying run with a single to left, and one more scored when Trace Loehr crashed a single off the top of the boards in right.

The deciding run came without Lancaster putting a ball in play.  With the score tied, 2-2, in the bottom of the eighth, Sandoval drew a one-out walk from Bryan Blanton (0-1).  Sandoval took off for second, drawing a bad throw from Alexis Olmeda which allowed the Lancaster center fielder a trip to third.  Chris Proctor struck out, and Blanton had two strikes on Sedio before uncorking a fastball to the backstop.  Sandoval raced home with the decisive run.

Braxton Davidson slammed a leadoff homer in the second off Brent Teller, who worked six innings, giving up six hits and two walks.  Gastonia’s other run was scored by Hoover, the former Lancaster shortstop, who opened the fifth with a double to center, took third on an infield single by Jack Reinheimer and scored on a force play grounder by Zac Jarrett.

Lancaster’s bullpen turned in its fourth straight stellar performance.  Mike Adams pitched a perfect seventh.  Ofreidy Gomez (1-0) yielded a leadoff single to Jarrett in the eighth but he was lost to the Honey Hunters on a steal attempt.  Gomez fanned the next two.  Nick Duron pitched a clean ninth for his first save of the post-season.

The Barnstormers will send Matt Swarmer (4-1, 1-0) to the mound on Wednesday evening at 6:30.  Gastonia will counter with right-hander Brett Daniels (7-1, 0-0).  Win or lose, it will be the final Barnstormers game at Clipper Magazine Stadium in 2023.

Fans may tune into FloBaseball, beginning at 6:25.

NOTES:  Lancaster has won 13 straight games at home, 10 straight overall and nine post-season games in a row…The bullpen has allowed only one run in 14 2/3 post-season innings…Lancaster managed only three hits in the game, all singles.