Lancaster 6, York 3
Jake Lemoine gave the Lancaster Barnstormers a much-needed boost on Friday night.
Lemoine (1-1) worked eight strong innings, yielding seven hits and no walks, pitching the Barnstormers to a 6-3 win over the York Revolution in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
The victory leveled the 2023 War of the Roses at two games apiece.
It took Lemoine 102 pitches to work through his eight innings. Six of the seven York hits against him were singles. He struck out seven.
York’s biggest threat, in a sense, came in the top of the first. Trent Giambrone beat out a scratch single to open the night and took second when Tomo Otosaka laced a single into center. Lemoine coaxed a 6-4-3 double play out of Alejandro Rivero, then caught Nellie Rodriguez looking at a third strike to escape the jam.
The Revolution struck quickly in the fifth. With two outs, Trey Martin singled into right center and raced home when Jhon Nunez drilled a double into the left field corner.
Joseph Carpenter produced Lancaster’s biggest hit of the night, a two-run single into center off Denson Hull (0-3) in the bottom of the second, plating Trayvon Robinson, who had singled, and Chris Proctor, who had walked. Lancaster added two in the fourth inning from the same part of the batting order. Robinson led off with a single into right and stole second. Jack Conley knocked him home with a double down the right field line. Carpenter grounded out to third baseman Alejandro Rivero. Conley timed a dash for third behind the play and induced an errant throw by Drew Mendoza, which allowed him to score.
Trace Loehr homered to lead off the fifth. Melvin Mercedes picked up his third walk of the night and scored on a one-out double into the left field corner by Ariel Sandoval as Lancaster grabbed a 6-1 lead.
York, which scored nine in the ninth at Long Island on Wednesday, tried to piece together a similar rally against the Barnstormers two nights later. Troy Stokes, Jr. reached on an infield single and took second on a wild throw by Tyler LaPorte. Richard Urena singled to left center, scoring Stokes before being caught rounding first and tagged out. Martin homered to right, and Nunez walked, but LaPorte was able to fan Giambrone to end the game.
The two cross-river rivals tangle again on Saturday evening at 6:30 with fireworks following the game. Lancaster will send Brent Teller (0-1) to the mound against right-hander Tom Sutera (1-1). Fans not at the game may follow along at FloBaseball, beginning at 6:25.
NOTES: Mercedes reached base for the 17th straight game…Sandoval has hit safely in 17 of 18 and maintains an average over .400 (.409)…Lemoine gave Lancaster its sixth quality start in the last 11 games…He was the first starter for the ‘Stormers this year to last beyond seven innings…Loehr’s homer was his third, surpassing last year’s two.
Long Island 5, High Point 4
(Central Islip, N.Y., May 19, 2023) – The Long Island Ducks defeated the High Point Rockers 5-4 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Fairfield Properties Ballpark.
RBI singles by Zander Wiel and Ryan Grotjohn off Ducks starter Stephen Tarpley in the first inning gave the Rockers an early 2-0 lead. The Ducks answered with a run in the bottom of the inning on Sam Travis’ sacrifice fly to left field off Rockers starter Sam Burton. However, a sac fly from Michael Martinez and another RBI single by Wiel pushed High Point’s lead to 4-1 in the second.
It remained that way until the bottom of the sixth when the Ducks plated three runs to tie the game at four. Two runs scored on an error by John Nogowski, and Daniel Murphy picked up an RBI single. Long Island then went in front 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI groundout from Murphy.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Tarpley lasted six innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out four. Burton pitched five innings, yielding a run on three hits and five walks with four strikeouts. Al Alburquerque (1-0) picked up the win after tossing two-thirds of an inning in relief of scoreless baseball. Taylor GUerrieri (0-1) took the loss, conceding the winning run (unearned) on one hit and one walk in one inning. Kevin Quackenbush collected his fourth save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning.
Murphy led the Flock offensively with three hits, two RBIs and a walk.
The Ducks and Rockers continue their three-game set with a day/night doubleheader on Sunday. Game time for the opener is slated for 1:35 p.m., with the Fairfield Properties Ballpark gates opening at 12:35 (12:20 for full season ticket holders). It’s a Sunday Family Funday, presented by Bethpage Federal Credit Union! Prior to the game, fans will be invited down for a Catch on the Field from 12:40 to 1:00. After the game, fans of all ages are also invited to take part in Kids Run the Bases.
Game two is scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m., with the ballpark gates opening at 5:35 (5:20 for full season ticket holders). Following the game, all fans in attendance will be treated to a Fireworks Spectacular. It’s also a Lucky Seat Saturday, presented by Long Island MacArthur Airport. During the game, the Ducks will be selecting a lucky fan in the ballpark, who will win two roundtrips on Breeze Airways to any of their six non-stop destinations from Long Island MacArthur Airport. To be eligible for the prize, please sign up prior to the end of the third inning at the Ducks Ticket Kiosk.
Gastonia 15, Lexington 2
The Gastonia Honey Hunters scored in all but two innings on Friday night, totalling 13 hits and defeating the Lexington Counter Clocks 15-2.
It turns out the “J.C.” in J.C. Escarra stands for Just Crushing.
Because that’s exactly what the Honey Hunters catcher has continued to do all season, and it was portrayed in the first game of their three-game set against Lexington.
Escarra blistered a baseball 412 feet to right field in the first inning off Counter Clocks starter Kaleb Schmidt for his third homer of the year.
He then went a little nicer on Schmidt in his second at-bat, as the lefty’s second home run only traveled 386 feet to the pull-side.
Escarra didn’t want to show off too much, so the slugger worked a walk in plate appearance No. 3.
He then capped off his last couple at-bats with a pair of RBIs – a single scoring Jack Reinheimer, who still leads the league in runs scored with 21, and a sacrifice fly plating Cole Freeman, who despite struggling for most of the season has a six-game on-base streak.
Escarra’s four RBIs puts him third among Atlantic League hitters with 21, only behind High Point’s John Nogowski (25) and Frederick’s Craig Dedelow (24).
He’s tied for the most doubles (eight) and hits (28), and is third in slugging percentage (.632) and sixth in batting average (.368).
Escarra was rewarded by manager Goose Gozzo, who moved him from the five-hole to the two-hole in the batting order. That’s where the lefty has hit for the past few series.
And it’s certainly paid dividends.
With Reinheimer getting on base more than 44% of the time, stealing bases (he got his 10th on Friday) and scoring runs out of the leadoff spot, it makes for a lethal 1-2 in the lineup.
Not to mention Zach Jarrett and Carlos Franco, who both played an impactful role against Lexington.
Jarrett had already reached base three times before the ninth inning, when he hit a three-run towering shot to deep left field. His sixth longball of the year capped off a five-run top of the ninth.
As for Franco, he picked up his league-leading 19th and 20th walks of 2023, and also added three hits.
Franco hit a two-run double in the fifth, on a ball that he drilled 113 miles-per-hour to dead center field. He also tacked on an RBI single in the eighth, scoring Jarrett.
The top four in the order helped Gastonia pummel Lexington, as the Honey Hunters scored 15 runs on 13 hits.
Although the offense was incredible, the Gastonia pitching was too.
Player/coach Ian McKinney pitched six innings of one-run ball. He was in control all game, dealing first-pitch strikes with ease and reiring batters without getting deep into counts.
The southpaw walked one batter and struck out eight.
McKinney had a stretch where he retired 13 out of 14, including seven in a row.
He was brilliant on Friday.
Game 2 between the Honey Hunters and Counter Clocks is on Saturday at 6:45 p.m.
Staten Island 4, So. Maryland 4
Frederick 7, Charleston 0
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