Atlantic League Results, Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Lancaster 9, Lexington 5

Kelly Dugan had his biggest night of the season, going 3-for-4 with a pair of homers, to lead the Lancaster Barnstormers to a 9-5 win over the Lexington Counter Clocks Tuesday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Dugan singled home a run in the first inning, then connected for homers in the fifth and seventh, knocking home a total of four runs.

Lancaster struck for a pair of runs in the first off Merandy Gonzalez (1-1).  Melvin Mercedes led off with a four-pitch walk, and Andretty Cordero followed with a perfectly placed hit-and-run single to right.  Dugan ripped his base hit through the right side to score Mercedes.  Cordero came home on a force out by Trayvon Robinson.

The Clocks countered with a pair in the top of the second off Nile Ball (2-1).  J.C. Encarnacion looped a single into right and advanced to second when Yeison Coca overran the ball.  Thomas Dillard walked and Hector Roa was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Jackson Valera hit a slow roller to the right of the mound.  Ball made a wild throw home as Encarnacion scored.  Dillard made an attempt to score as well, but catcher Jack Conley fired from near the backstop to Ball covering for the first out.  Josue Huma got the second run home with a sacrifice fly.  Pete Yorgen’s chopper on the left side resulted in an infield single, but Valera was tagged out after a turn at second base to end the inning.

Strange play continued into the bottom of the second when Gonzalez walked the first two batters, then made a wild throw on a bunt by Yeison Coca, allowing Conley to come around and score.  Mercedes and Cordero each delivered sac flies for a 5-2 lead.

Manuel Geraldo’s bloop hit to left plated Ronnie Dawson with two outs in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-3, but Dugan’s fifth inning bomb, hit to right center with Mercedes aboard, stretched the lead to 7-3.  The teams exchanged single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to close the night.

Lancaster will send right-hander Brandyn Sittinger (1-3) to the mound against former Phillie Jerad Eickhoff (3-3) on Wednesday at 6:30.  The game will be televised on Blue Ridge Cable 11 and streamed on FloBaseball with the first pitch.

NOTES:  Dugan also hit two homers against York in the home opener on May 2…The homers were his sixth and seventh of this season…Mercedes is 11-for-29 with five walks in his last eight games…Ball gave up three runs in a start for the fourth time in six outings…He won his second straight…C/1B Wilson Garcia made his Lancaster debut and went 1-for-4…C/OF Chris Proctor was injured in a collision with SS Jake Hoover on Geraldo’s fifth inning single…He will be assessed on Wednesday…The injury forced Ariel Sandoval into a game for the first time since May 20.


Long Island 13, Frederick 3

(Central Islip, N.Y., June 6, 2023) – The Long Island Ducks defeated the Frederick Baseball Club 13-3 in the opener of a three-game series at Fairfield Properties Ballpark and first-ever game between the two franchises.

Long Island exploded for seven runs in the opening inning off Frederick starter David Kubiak. RBI doubles by Brantley Bell and Sam Travis, RBI singles by Alex Dickerson and Tzu-Wei Lin and a three-run home run to left-center by Adeiny Hechavarria did the damage. Jose Marmolejos hit a solo homer to right off Ducks starter Stephen Tarpley in the second, closing the gap to 7-1, but a five-run bottom of the second, highlighted by Hechavarria’s RBI double, Lin’s two-run single and a sac fly from Boog Powell made it a 12-1 ballgame.

Frederick closed to within nine in the fifth on solo homers by Raudy Read and Leobaldo Cabrera. It stayed that way until the seventh when a bases loaded walk to Travis pushed the Ducks advantage to 13-3.

Tarpley did not factor into the decision, allowing a run on a hit in one inning. Justin Alintoff (1-1) earned the win, tossing four innings of two-run ball, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three. Kubiak (3-2) suffered the loss, surrendering seven runs on eight hits in just one-third of an inning.

Hechavarria led the offense with three hits, coming a triple shy of the cycle, four RBIs and two runs. Murphy also totaled three hits and scored twice. Lin finished with two hits, three RBIs, a run and a walk, while Travis added two hits, two RBIs, a run and a walk.

The Ducks and Frederick continue their three-game set on Wednesday night. 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). It’s a Waddle In Wednesday at the ballpark! Fans will be able to purchase Long Island Ducks Clip Bows for just $10 (normally $15) at the Waddle In Shop throughout the ballgame. Right-hander Joe Iorio (2-4, 6.82) takes the mound for the Ducks against Frederick southpaw Winston Lavendier (1-2, 4.36).


Southern Maryland 6, High Point 1

HIGH POINT, N.C - The High Point Rockers lost to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs 6-1 on Tuesday night at Truist Point. Southern Maryland starter Ian Kahaloa (W, 2-2), in his longest outing of the year, held the Rockers to five hits over his eight innings of work. Kahaloa needed just 93 pitches and retired 10 straight Rocker batters in one stretch. 

Kahola struck out five and did not issue a single walk.

Matt Solter was the starting pitcher for the Rockers. He threw five innings, allowing no runs, four hits, and just one walk.

Neither team could push across a run through the first five innings. The Blue Crabs broke through in the top of the sixth inning, scoring three runs off Rockers relief pitcher A.J. Cole (L, 1-2). David Harris reached base on a fielder's choice followed by a walk to K.C. Hobson. Isaias Quiroz then homered to left to give the Blue Crabs a 3-0 lead.

The Rockers scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, with a home run from Michael Russell, his third of the year, cutting So. Maryland’s lead to 3-1.

Southern Maryland scored three more runs off Bryce Hensley in the ninth. Quiroz reached on single, his second hit of the night. Back to back RBI doubles from Jose Rosario and Ryan Haug plated two more runs for the Blue Crabs. Jack Sundberg drove in another with a single to left field to put the Blue Crabs up 6-1 after eight innings.

Issac Mattson came on in the ninth inning for Kahaloa to close the game for the Blue Crabs, striking out one.

This is only the third back-to-back losses for the Rockers as their record now stands at 24-11.

High Point and Southern Maryland will play game two of this three-game series on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point.


York 9, Staten Island 3

(June 6th, 2023 – York, Pa.):  The York Revolution rode their winning streak to a new franchise record nine consecutive games, defeating the Staten Island FerryHawks, 9-3 on Tuesday night at WellSpan Park. The first place Revs improve to 22-13, their best record through 35 games in club history, while establishing the league’s longest winning streak this season. Nellie Rodriguez’ seventh inning grand slam helped bust open a close contest on the record setting night.

The game was a pitcher's duel early as York righty Pedro Vasquez and Staten Island’s Christian Capuano were locked in, allowing just one hit through the first two innings combined. 

Staten Island scored two runs on three hits in the third, taking the lead on a Ricardo Cespedes RBI single and adding one more on a wild pitch to go up 2-0.

The Revs responded in the bottom of the third as York put two on via the walk and Jacob Rhinesmith perfectly blooped a base hit over third base scoring both Jhon Nunez and Tomo Otosaka, tying the game at 2-2.

Vasquez (2-0) took control of the game, pitching six solid innings and allowing just four hits, two runs (one earned) with no walks and one strikeout to earn the win.

The Revs took the lead against Capuano in the sixth as Drew Mendoza (10-game hitting streak) and Rodriguez singled, and with two outs, Trey Martin smoked a single to left field on the first pitch bringing home Mendoza to give the Revs a 3-2 advantage.

Capuano (4-1) finished six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, three walks and five strikeouts as he suffered his first loss of the season.

Andrew Gross tossed a scoreless frame in the top of the seventh for York, striking out two. It was his fifth time in the last six outings working a 1-2-3 inning.

York busted the game open in the bottom of the seventh. The Revs had two on with one out when Alejandro Rivero singled to load the bases against reliever James Pezos. Mendoza walked on four pitches to bring home an insurance run, making it a 4-2 game. Rodriguez provided the big blow with an opposite field grand slam to right, ballooning the lead to 8-2 and chasing Pezos from the game.

Tasker Strobel allowed a run in the top of the eighth on a Kevin Krause RBI single, making it an 8-3 game.

The Revs scored again on a Mendoza single to the left side with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, providing the final 9-3 margin.

Blake Rogers closed things out with a scoreless ninth, ending the game when Jack Elliot’s ground ball hit Cespedes attempting to advance between first and second. The contact between the runner and the batted ball was confirmed after a meeting between the umpires, commencing the Revs’ victory line through the infield for the ninth consecutive game.

Notes: The Revs have also won 12 of their last 13. York has a current five-game road winning streak and now a six-game home winning streak. Rodriguez’ home run is the 56th of his Revs career, tying Carlos Franco for fifth on the all-time list. The grand slam is the Revs’ second in three games and third as a team this season. The slam is Rodriguez’ second of the year, making him the eighth player in team history to hit two grand slams in the same season. He also becomes the sixth to hit at least three in his Revs career as he now sits tied for second on the career grand slams list, trailing only Franco’s four. Vasquez has allowed just three earned runs combined through two starts and has walked only one batter in 11.0 innings. Gross and Rogers extended scoreless streaks to seven consecutive outings, season-bests for a Revs reliever, while Strobel’s ended at six straight. Martin and Trent Giambrone extended hitting streaks to seven games while Rivero’s reached six. Mendoza (two RBI) has now driven in 13 runs on his 10-game hitting streak which is the Revs’ second-longest streak of the year. Rhinesmith (two RBI) now has 12 RBI in his last six games. Otosaka stole his 15th bag of the season, breaking a tie with Martin for second-most steals in the league. Revs lefty Derek Holland was placed on the Injured List with a season-ending elbow injury. York’s Nick Raquet (4-2, 1.96) will face Blake Loubier (0-2, 6.23) in Wednesday’s matchup at 6:30 p.m. 

Gastonia 4, Charleston 1

Tuesday night’s game between Gastonia and Charleston was scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

The Honey Hunters showed up to GoMart Ballpark at 7:47 p.m. because their bus broke down.

The contest was delayed to 7:35, then 8:20, and then finally the first pitch was thrown at 9 p.m.

In what was supposed to be a seven-inning late game, Carlos Franco hit a game-winning three-run homer in the top of the ninth to give Gastonia a resilient and impressive 4-1 victory over Charleston.

Franco’s 10th homer came on a day where his team had nearly 12 hours of travel, being stopped on the side of the road for most of Tuesday.

An understandably tired bunch got slightly over an hour to dress, warm up and take the field against a Charleston team that was certainly well-rested.

Zach Mort was dominant in his third start of the year for Gastonia, throwing five innings of one-run ball and striking out six batters.

His usage of a high fastball, curve with lots of break on it and slider low and away got Dirty Bird batters to chase all game long. Five of Mort’s strikeouts came on his filthy slider.

After the late-night affair was scoreless through three, Gastonia struck first in the top of the fourth.

Zach Jarrett worked a walk, Franco singled and Curtis Terry hit a sacrifice fly to left.

Just like on Sunday when Terry was the walkoff hero against Lexington, the first baseman swung at the first pitch he saw and pulled a fly ball. Although it wasn’t a home run, it still did the job and got the Honey Hunters on the board.

Charleston responded in the fifth frame against Mort.

After a Diego Goris walk, Jose Bermudez laid down a bunt softly up the third-base line. Gastonia catcher Scott Manea barehanded and threw a laser slightly high to Terry at first.

Bermudez was called out, despite Dirty Birds manager Billy Horn arguing the call.

Bobby Bradley was also arguing, despite not being involved in the play, and he got ejected from the game. That was a huge loss for Charleston, as Bradley has been its best slugger all year. His 12 home runs are two shy of the most in the Atlantic League.

After the ejection, Clayton Mehlbauer stroked a ball the opposite way off the right-field wall. Jarrett was giving chase, but the ball caromed enough for Mehlbauer to end up at third with an RBI triple.

The next batter was Yefri Perez, who hit a hard liner into left-center.

Gastonia center fielder Cole Freeman made a diving catch to his right and saved what would’ve been the go-ahead run for Charleston.

The game went to extras tied 1-1, as Ryan Conroy threw two perfect innings for the Honey Hunters, striking out four in a dominant performance.

Gastonia failed to score in the top of the eighth, so Gorris started the bottom of the inning at second representing the winning run.

On the mound? Bryan Blanton.

And in case you didn’t know, he isn’t just a dominant reliever. Blanton’s an athlete too.

Bermudez tried laying down a bunt, and Blanton ran to his right and made a diving catch on a Superman-like full-body extension.

The athlete then struck out two batters to send the game to the ninth inning.

Edison Suriel pitched the frame, with J.C. Escarra starting on second.

Jarrett walked, meaning there was no place to put Franco.

The lefty slugger went oppo, smashing a ball 391 feet over the left-field fence and giving his team a 4-1 lead.

Jaime Schultz then got his league-leading ninth save of the season, not allowing the runner on second to score and striking out a couple hitters.

Gastonia went from not being in any shape to play whatsoever to winning the game in extras.

Manager Goose Gozzo made sure to address his players after their tremendous effort on Tuesday night.

“I told everybody I love them and this team,” Gozzo said. “It is a true team. Players were still diving for plays and wanting to win really bad. Really proud of everybody.”

The Honey Hunters improved to 25-9, while the Dirty Birds fell to 9-24.

Game 2 between Gastonia and Charleston should start at 6:35 p.m. on Wednesday. The key word there is “should.”



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