Lexington 7, Gastonia 6 (Game 1)
GASTONIA, N.C. - The Gastonia Honey Hunters split a doubleheader on Sunday night, falling in game one before coming back to win the nightcap, sealing the club´s first outright division title in franchise history.
With the club clinching both legs of the South Division crown, Gastonia triggers a wild card spot that is up for grabs in the Atlantic League. Lancaster is in position to secure the second half crown in the North Division over Southern Maryland. Its magic number currently sits at two heading into the final week of the regular season.
High Point is two wins or Wild Health losses away from securing the lone wild card spot that is currently in play. High Point will host the Honey Hunters beginning on Tuesday as part of a three-game set at Truist Point.
Game One- The Gastonia Honey Hunters fell behind against the Legends before roaring back in the fifth inning on the strength of four home runs slugged in the fifth inning.
Phillip Ervin opened the contest with a homer to left on the game´s first pitch to put the Legends ahead 1-0.
In the fourth, Tillman Pugh capped a four-run frame with his 16th homer of the year, stretching the lead to 6-2.
Gastonia got on the board in the second inning, as Herlis Rodriguez launched an opposite field homer to left center field that knotted the score at 2-2.
In the fifth, Gastonia flexed its muscle, as Reece Hampton, Jack Reinheimer, Jake Skole and Luis Roman all hit home runs against Lexington starter David Lebron, tying the game at 6-6.
In the sixth, Lexington would scratch an unearned run across to take a lead they would hold on to, claiming the 7-6 win.
David Lebron earned the win, improving to 8-3 on the year. Zack Godley suffered his first loss to fall to 3-1. Aneuris Rosario picked up his fifth save of the season.
Game Two- Gastonia got some late inning heroics from Herlis Rodriguez and Reece Hampton to come back from a one-run deficit, taking the 4-3 win to close out the South Division race.
Brandon Phillips hit a solo shot to left field that gave Lexington a 3-2 lead halfway through the seven inning game.
In the bottom of the frame, Rodriguez struck again for Gastonia, hitting his seventh bomb of the season off of Keegan Wright to even the game at 3-3.
As both bullpens refused to yield a go-ahead run, Gastonia would finally seize an opportunity, as Luis Roman drilled a double over the head of Lexington left fielder Courtney Hawkins, putting the winning run on at second. An Alex Holderbach walk would set the stage for Hampton who yanked a ball into the right field corner, scoring Roman to clinch the crown for the Honey Hunters.
Hampton collected three hits in game two, which went to Jesus Balaguer, who claimed his first win to go to 1-4 this year. Dazon Cole was saddled with the setback, sliding to 0-1 on the campaign.
The Honey Hunters will travel to High Point for the first of a three-game series on Tuesday at 6:35pm. The pregame shoe comes on am1450 WGNC and 101.1fm at 6:20pm. An audio stream is available at www.gohoneyhunters.com
Lancaster 12, Charleston 1
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Lancaster Barnstormers finished a highly successful road trip with an exclamation point.
Lancaster banged out 21 hits over just seven innings early Sunday evening, crushing the Charleston Dirty Birds, 12-1, in a rain-shortened contest at Appalachian Power Park.
The win, which completed a 10-5 road swing and a sweep of Charleston brought the Barnstormers to the brink of clinching a spot in the post-season. Lancaster was unable to wrap up the playoff berth on Sunday following Southern Maryland’s 7-2 win at York. The next Barnstormers win or Blue Crabs loss will send Lancaster to the post-season for the first time since 2018, when they earned a wild card berth.
Melvin Mercedes led off the game with a solid single to right off Stephen Chamblee (1-6) and went to second on a ground ball through the right side by Trayvon Robinson. Catcher Tyler Blaum attempted to pick Robinson off first, but the throw sailed down the right field line as Mercedes scored. Andretty Cordero blasted a two-run homer to left center for a 3-0 lead.
The Barnstormers would fail to score again until the fifth, despite rapping out six additional hits. In the fifth, Cordero doubled inside the third base bag and went to third on a single to left by Chris Proctor. Jacob Barfield drove in Lancaster’s fourth run with a sacrifice fly to right. Joseph Carpenter reached on an error by third baseman Angel Garced. After the second out, Jake Hoover singled home the second run of the inning. Trace Loehr increased the lead to 7-1 with a double to the gap in left center.
Chamblee was replaced after five innings, allowing 13 hits and seven runs. He was replaced by Dylan Peiffer, who gave up another four runs in the sixth, one on a single by Proctor, two on a triple by Carpenter and Hoover’s second straight RBI hit.
Mercedes doubled to start the seventh and scored on Proctor’s third straight base hit. The onslaught was capped by Barfield’s third hit of the game and a thunderstorm that forced the termination of the game after seven innings.
The huge offensive attack made life easy for the Lancaster pitching staff. Starter Brooks Hall went six innings, allowing six hits and a first inning run. He walked none and struck out three. Chase Johnson pitched a perfect seventh. Fifteen of the 21 Charleston outs were recorded on ground balls.
Lancaster will take its first shot at clinching its first division title since 2015 on Tuesday. Oscar De La Cruz (8-3) will make the start for Lancaster against lefty Ben Herrick (1-3). The 5,000,000th fan is expected to pass through the gates on Tuesday night. Fans may tune into the YouTube broadcast, starting at 6:25.
NOTES: Cordero had four hits and two RBI in the game…He now has 173 hits on the season, one shy of the club record held by Adam Godwin (2012)…He is tied for the sixth biggest total in league history…His RBI count of 110, already a franchise record is tied for the fourth largest season in the history of the ALPB…It was his sixth four-hit game of the year…Mercedes scored twice, giving him 100 runs on the year, the third Barnstormer to reach the century mark…Mercedes, Proctor, Barfield and Carpenter had three hits each…The total of 21 hits tied the season-high, reached twice previously…The Barnstormers have won Hall’s last seven starts.
Kentucky 9, High Point 7
High Point is 69-57 on the season and continue to lead the ALPB Wild Card race. The Rockers have a 5.5 game lead on Kentucky with six games left to play. The Genomes have seven remaining contests.
The Rockers tallied a single run in the top of the first when Michael Russell hit a solo homer, his eighth of the year. But the Genomes, after being held to just five runs over the first two games of the series, scored three runs in the first and four more in the second off High Point starter Neil Uskali. Kentucky’s Moises Sierra hit a two-run homer to highlight the first inning. Felix Pie hit a solo homer in the second and Khris Davis added a three-run shot in the same inning as the Genomes built a 7-2 lead. Quincy Latimore added a solo homer in the second for the Rockers.
The Rockers got a run back in the third on a Ben Aklinski solo homer and cut the deficit to 7-4 in the fourth when Michael Martinez slapped an RBI double. Martinez added another RBI double in the sixth to pull the Rockers to within two at 7-5.
Kentucky extended its lead to 9-5 with a pair of runs off reliever Bryce Hensley in the seventh.
In the eighth, Zander Wiel became the first Rocker to reach the 30-homer mark when he homered with nobody aboard.
High Point rallied in the top of the ninth when Martinez singled, his fourth hit of the afternoon. Russell’s double scored Martinez to make it a 9-7 game. But Genome reliever Robbie Ross, Jr. was able to escape the inning and give Kentucky the win.
Martinez had four hits, two doubles and two RBI. Russell had a pair of hits, a double and a homer, and two RBI.
With six games remaining in the regular season, Wiel can expand his season record totals of 30 homers and 93 RBI.
Uskali (L, 4-5) took the loss, allowing seven runs and eight hits over five innings.
The Rockers will have an off-day on Monday and then return home for their final three-game regular season series of the year. The Rockers host Gastonia on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at Truist Point. All game times are set for 6:35 p.m.
Staten Island 7, Long Island 3
(Central Islip, N.Y., Sept. 11, 2022) – The Long Island Ducks were defeated by the Staten Island FerryHawks 7-3 on Sunday afternoon in the final game of a three-game series at Fairfield Properties Ballpark.
Staten Island took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Angel Aguilar’s RBI single to right field off Ducks starter Akeel Morris. Long Island pulled even in the second on a leadoff solo homer to left-center by Deibinson Romero off FerryHawks starter Christian Capuano. Ricardo Cespedes put the FerryHawks back in front with a two-run single to right-center in the third. Andres Noriega added a solo homer to left in the fourth, and Cristopher Cespedes added an RBI groundout in the fifth, giving the visitors a 5-1 advantage.
The Ducks closed to within three in the bottom of the fifth on L.J. Mazzilli’s RBI single up the middle. However, a wild pitch that plated Bryan Gonzalez and an RBI single by Aguilar in the sixth made it a 7-2 game. Dustin Woodcock trimmed Long Island’s deficit to four with a solo homer to center in the seventh.
Capuano (1-0) earned the win, tossing six innings of three-run ball, allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out nine. Morris (6-10) took the loss, giving up five runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings with seven strikeouts.
Vladimir Frias led the Flock offensively with two hits, a run scored and a walk.
The Ducks continue their homestand on Tuesday night when they open a three-game series against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Game time is slated for 6:35 p.m., with the Fairfield Properties Ballpark gates opening at 5:35 (5:20 for full season ticket holders). The Ducks will be hosting a Winning Inning Contest, presented by The Anne V. Graziani Fund. Each inning of the game will be designated with a specific occurrence, and if that takes place during the corresponding inning, one lucky fan in the ballpark will win $10,000. It’s a Triple Play Tuesday as well. If the Ducks turn a triple play during the game, one lucky fan will win $25,000. Simply sign up for the Winning Inning Contest and Triple Play Tuesday prior to first pitch at the Ticket Kiosk on the main concourse to be eligible. Right-hander Joe Iorio (10-5, 4.85) gets the start for the Ducks against a Blue Crabs starter to be determined.
Southern Maryland 7, York 2
(9/11/2022, York, PA) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs got the offense started early on Sunday afternoon, in the 7-2 victory over the York Revolution. Adrian Cook (W, 1-2) pitched five scoreless innings, and the bullpen managed to keep the Revs off the board until the ninth inning.
In the top of the first inning, Eduardo Rivera (L, 8-5) ran into trouble. Jack Sundberg led off the game with a double down the right-field line. Two batters later, Braxton Lee dribbled a single through the right side, giving the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead. The next batter, David Harris, blasted a two-run shot over the wall in left-center field, putting the Blue Crabs ahead 3-0.
In the fourth inning, Zach Collier started the inning with a double down the right field line. With two outs, Michael Baca poked a single into center field, giving the Blue Crabs a 4-0 lead.
In the seventh, Southern Maryland struck again. Ian Yetsko and Michael Baca singled before Jack Sundberg ripped a three-run home run over the wall in left. Sundberg has hit three home runs in the last four games.
The Blue Crabs pitching staff shut out the Revs through eight innings. Adrian Cook allowed seven hits and three walks but held York scoreless through five. In the fifth inning, the Revs had the bases loaded with no outs. Nellie Rodriguez hit a hard ground ball down the third baseline, but Michael Wielansky dove to stop it. He then stepped on third base and threw home for a double play, keeping the Blue Crabs ahead 4-0 at the time.
Connor Law pitched a scoreless sixth, while Patrick Baker and Dalton Geekie threw 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and eighth respectively.
In the ninth inning, Josue Herrera doubled off of Dario Polanco. Two batters later, Connor Lien hit a two-run shot over the wall in left, putting York on the board. Polanco worked through the rest of the inning without allowing another hit, securing the 7-2 victory.
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