The Lancaster Barnstormers had a four-game Atlantic League win streak halted Wednesday night with a 10-7 loss to the visiting Charleston Dirty Birds.
It looked promising in the beginning for the Barnstormers, who opened the dates with a timely pair of long balls.
Anderson Feliz started the trend at the bottom of the third. Feliz was under pressure, stepping up to the plate with the game tied at 1-1, two outs on the board and a runner on base. On his first swing, Feliz sent the ball flying over the right-field wall to give the Barnstormers a 3-1 lead.
Lancaster extended its lead in the fourth with another home run, as Melvin Mercedes, sitting on two strikes, blasted another to move the score to 6-1.
In the fifth inning, though, Charleston found its rhythm, putting two runs on the board, and putting some pressure on the Barnstormers. Angel Garced was sent home on an Alfredo Gonzalez single, then Scott Kelly scored off Engel Beltre’s bat.
The Barnstormers were held scoreless until the bottom of the seventh, and the Dirty Birds took advantage of the lull to take the lead for the first time in the ballgame. Charleston racked up two runs in the sixth and then moved the score to 7-6 following a home run in the top of the seventh inning from Gonzalez.
It wasn’t over for Lancaster, however, as the Barnstormers battled back with yet another home run — this one from Trayvon Robinson at the bottom of the seventh. With his rocket soaring over the fans’ heads into the grass outside the left-field wall, Robinson has now racked up six home runs in his last seven games.
So once again, heading into the eighth, the score was tied, this time at 7-7. With two outs on the board in the top of the ninth, Charleston’s Gonzalez doubled to score Kelly and return the lead to the Dirty Birds. Charleston immediately extended their advantage to 10-7 on an RBI single from Beltre and an RBI double from Diego Goris.
Nile Ball, who had won five of seven starts entering Wednesday’s matchup, pitched five innings for the Barnstormers before he was switched out.
Kevin Siegrist recorded the win for Charleston while the Barnstormers’ Cole Aker took the loss.
Barnstormers head coach Ross Peeples noted that little mistakes ended up costing the team more when it came down to the wire.
“There were several little runs in there … (where) we didn’t take care of the baseball,” he said. “That’s just how it goes.”
The Barnstormers still lead the season series against the Dirty Birds 3-2 and have a chance for redemption at 6:30 tonight as the teams close the set.
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