Lancaster Takes 2-0 Lead Over High Point
HIGH POINT, N.C. - The Lancaster Barnstormers once again surged from behind on Wednesday evening, scoring seven in the seventh inning as the Barnstormers defeated the High Point Rockers, 11-6.
Lancaster leads the best-of-five Atlantic League Championship Series, two games to nothing and can clinch at home on Friday night.
Trailing, 6-2, entering the seventh inning, the Barnstormers got a leadoff single by Shawon Dunston, Jr. Melvin Mercedes walked to add a second baserunner, and the Rockers replaced right-hander Liam O’Sullivan, who had been in the game since the second inning. Andretty Cordero and Ariel Sandoval greeted Seth Frankoff with RBI singles to bring the Barnstormers within two. Sandoval was thrown out stealing second, but Trayvon Robinson walked to keep the inning going.
Left-hander Bryce Hensley (0-1), who threw two shutout innings on Tuesday, allowed a double to left center by Anderson Feliz as the Barnstormers drew within a run. Chris Proctor beat out a single to shortstop, scoring Robinson with the tying run and sending pinch runner Jake Hoover to third. The lead run scored on a slow grounder to short by Anthony Peroni. Trace Loehr drove home Proctor with a single to left center for an 8-6 advantage and took third when the ball skipped past Quincy Latimore in left. Loehr scored when Dunston laid a perfect bunt single along the third base line, producing the seventh run of the inning. Mercedes added a single to right, the eighth hit of the inning, before Junior Rincon came on to retire Cordero on a force play grounder.
The Barnstormers tacked on two more in the eighth. Robinson drew his fourth walk of the game, and pinch runner Joseph Carpenter raced to third when Hoover doubled to the gap in left center. Proctor dropped a bloop single between shortstop Giovanny Alfonzo and Latimore to plate Lancaster’s tenth run. Latimore’s throwing error enabled Hoover to score the final run of the night.
Back-to-back homers by Tyler Ladendorf and Michael Martinez put the Rockers ahead, 3-1, in the bottom of the fourth. Mercedes opened the fifth with a triple and scored on a grounder by Cordero.
The Rockers appeared the pull away in the bottom of the sixth. Starter Nile Ball was lifted after issuing consecutive walks to Martinez and Alfonzo. Logan Moore, Michael Russell and Ben Aklinski stroked consecutive RBI singles off reliever Bret Clarke before Donald Goodson (1-0) fanned Logan Morrison and Latimore with runners at the corners to escape the inning.
High Point managed a pair of two-out singles off Cam Booser in the bottom of the seventh, bringing up slugging right-hander Roldani Baldwin as a pinch hitter. Booser fanned him to close the threat. Gray Fenter and Dominic DiSabatino retired the side in the eighth and ninth to close out the night.
Oscar De La Cruz (1-1) will start Game Three on Friday night against right-hander Craig Stem (0-0). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:25.
NOTES: In both previous championship seasons for the Barnstormers, the club came home, up, 2-0, after opening the series on the road, at Bridgeport in 2006 and at Sugar Land in 2014…The Barnstormers have scored 54 runs in the playoffs, 53 in the last 52 innings…Lancaster has scored four or more runs in an inning seven times…The staff struck out 12 more in the game and now has fanned 75 batters in the playoffs…Fenter has struck out nine of the last 12 batters he has faced…Cordero leads the team with 10 post-season hits and is tied with Jacob Barfield with 11 RBI…Mercedes and Hoover have nine hits apiece.
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