Lancaster 5, Staten Island 4
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Lancaster manager Ross Peeples made a couple of daring moves on Saturday evening. Both paid off and led to a 5-4 Lancaster Barnstormers victory over the Staten Island Ferryhawks at Community Park.
The win kept Lancaster at least 4 ½ games ahead of Southern Maryland in the North race, pending the outcome of the Blue Crabs-York matchup in Waldorf, MD.
In the bottom of the seventh, with the score tied at 4-4, Peeples opted to walk shortstop Angel Aguilar intentionally to load the bases with one out. On deck was lefty batting outfielder Ricardo Cespedes, who had already extended his hitting streak to 14 games earlier.
Peeples summoned right-hander Brandyn Sittinger from the bullpen, and Sittinger coaxed a 6-4-3 double play out of Cespedes. In the top of the eighth, Colton Shaver led off with a single to left off Joe Kuzia (2-4). Peeples used Ariel Sandoval as a pinch runner, and Anderson Feliz bunted Sandoval to second. Chris Proctor pulled a slow ground ball into the right side hole and beat Dilson Herrera’s throw for the second hit of the inning. In the process, Peeples waved Sandoval home, and Sandoval beat Ramon Osuna’s throw to the plate for the deciding run.
Trayvon Robinson gave the Barnstormers a quick 2-0 lead with a first inning home run yanked over the boards in right, but Osuna matched it with a two-run shot of his own in the bottom of the second.
The clubs exchanged bizarre runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Lancaster went ahead, 3-2, as Trace Loehr was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. A dropped third strike allowed the Joseph Monge to score from in the home fourth, tying the game at 3-3. A balk by starter Hector Guance Pena set the Barnstormers up for a run in the fifth, and Shaver produced it with a sacrifice fly to center.
Staten Island scored a more conventional run in the bottom of the inning on a double by Antoine Duplantis and a pair of outs.
Sittinger (1-1) survived a leadoff single by Rusney Castillo in the bottom of the eighth, and Bret Clarke pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his first career save.
The Barnstormers will look for the sweep on Sunday afternoon. Nile Ball (8-4) will make the start for Lancaster against lefty Augie Sylk, recently traded by Lancaster to Staten Island. Sylk is 1-0 since joining the Ferryhawks and 5-9 overall. Fans may tune into the YouTube channel, beginning at 3:55.
NOTES: Kelsie Whitmore started for the first time against Lancaster…She recorded two putouts in left…At the plate, she struck out twice against Erik Manoah before Manoah hit her with his first pitch in the seventh inning…Lancaster struck out 13 in the game, the 48th time the staff has fanned 10 or more in a game…Melvin Mercedes reached a 10-game streak with a leadoff single…Andretty Cordero lost a 10-game streak…It was the 12th straight win for the Barnstormers over the Ferryhawks.
Charleston 3, Long Island 2
(Central Islip, N.Y., Aug. 27, 2022) – The Long Island Ducks were defeated by the Charleston Dirty Birds 3-2 on Saturday night in the middle game of a three-game series before a past-capacity crowd of 7,063 at Fairfield Properties Ballpark.
Charleston opened the scoring in the third inning on a sacrifice fly to left field off the bat of Alfredo Gonzalez. Long Island answered with two runs off Dirty Birds starter Kit Scheetz in the bottom of the frame on Alejandro De Aza’s run-scoring groundout to second and Carlos Castro’s RBI single to left.
It stayed that way until the seventh when the Dirty Birds took the lead back at 3-2 on Yovan Gonzalez’s sac fly to right and Scott Burcham’s bloop RBI single to right. Long Island put the tying and winning runs on in the ninth but could not tie it.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Scott Harkin tossed five innings for the Flock, allowing one unearned run on two hits and a walk while striking out seven. Scheetz lasted five innings, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Max Tannenbaum (2-4) picked up the win after tossing a scoreless sixth inning. Tyler Webb (2-5) suffered the loss, surrendering two runs on three hits and a walk in one inning with two strikeouts. Ricardo Gomez earned his first save with two scoreless innings of relief, working around two hits and a walk while striking out three.
The Ducks and Dirty Birds wrap up their three-game set on Sunday evening. Game time is slated for 5:05 p.m., with the Fairfield Properties Ballpark gates opening at 4:05 (3:50 for full season ticket holders).
Gastonia 6, High Point 5
The Rockers are now 59-54 overall and 20-27 in the second half of the Atlantic League season. The Rockers are 1.5 games out of the Wild Card slot.
The Rockers went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Logan Morrison drew a walk and scored on Baldwin’s RBI single. Gastonia scored four times in the second off High Point starter Liam O’Sullivan (L, 3-5). Reece Hampton picked up an RBI single before Herlis Rodiguez hit a three-run homer to put the Honey Hunters up 4-1.
After the second inning, O’Sullivan shut down Gastonia’s offense, not allowing a hit again until Emmanuel Tapia led off the seventh inning with a double.
The Rockers cut into the 4-1 deficit with two runs in the sixth. Baldwin doubled with one out, Tyler Ladendorf walked and both runners scored on Ben Aklinski’s double to make it a 4-3 contest.
Gastonia added a run in the eighth without the benefit of a base hit. High Point reliever Gabriel Castellanos walked Cole Freeman before retiring the next two hitters. With Freeman on second following a wild pitch, Castellanos walked Hampton and hit Tapia with a pitch to load the bases. Junior Rincon was called in from the bullpen and walked Stuart Levy to force in a run as Gastonia went up 5-3.
The Honey Hunters went with ace closer Jesus Balaguer in the ninth. Jay Gonzalez led off with an infield single and Giovanny Alfonzo struck out. Michael Russell singled before Morrison lined out to center. Balaguer then walked Latimore to load the bases, leading to Wiel’s two-run double before Baldwin was retired for the final out.
Gastonia starter Ian McKinney (W, 6-3) earned the win, going six innings and allowing five hits and three runs while walking five and striking out two. Balaguer earned his 23rd save of the season.
High Point and Gastonia will play the rubber match of the three-game series on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. at Truist Point. The Rockers will send Ivan Pineyro (5-3, 3.48 ERA) to the mound to face Dakota Chalmers (1-1, 5.00).
Southern Maryland 2, York 0
(8/27/2022, Waldorf, MD) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs clinched the series with a 2-0 victory over the York Revolution on Saturday night. The Blue Crabs offense scored two runs in the first two innings, while Mitch Lambson (W, 7-8) picked up the slack from there.
Lambson pitched eight innings on 134 pitches, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out 11 batters. Lambson also retired the last 19 batters he faced on Saturday night.
The Blue Crabs bats came alive in the first inning off of Austin Nicely (L, 3-12). Jack Sundberg started the inning with a walk, extending his on-base streak to 29 games. Jared Walker reached on a walk with two outs, putting runners on the corners. Alex Crosby then lifted double that one-hopped the Mini Monster in left, putting the Blue Crabs on top 1-0.
In the second inning, the Blue Crabs’ bats kept clicking. Joe DeLuca singled to left on the first pitch of the inning, later advancing to second base. With two outs, Jack Sundberg drove a base hit into center field, scoring DeLuca to give the Blue Crabs a 2-0 lead.
That lead would hold the rest of the way. Mitch Lambson exited the game after eight innings. James Dykstra (Sv, 1) entered the game in the ninth, retiring the Revs in order, striking out a pair. The Blue Crabs’ pitching staff retired 22 consecutive batters to end the ballgame.
With the win, the Blue Crabs move to 74-37, 26-19 in the second half. The Blue Crabs will be back in action tomorrow at 2:05 pm as the Blue Crabs look for the sweep over the Revs.
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