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 Lancaster Stormers

Lancaster outlasts Long Island, widens lead

June 8, 2006 - Atlantic League (AtL)
Lancaster Stormers News Release

In a game worthy of two division leaders, the Lancaster Barnstormers struck for three runs in the bottom of the sixth, and their bullpen retired 12 of 13 batters as the host club edged the Long Island Ducks, 6-5, in front of 4,086 Thursday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Lancaster is now 23-11 on the season and owns a three-game lead over Atlantic City following the Surf's 8-0 loss to Camden earlier in the day. Somerset also fell, dropping a 1-0 decision to the Newark Bears in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader, and the Patriots are now 4 ½ behind the Barnstormers. Game two against Newark was rained out.

One double play that was turned and another that was not proved to be the turning points in the Barnstormers win.

In the top of the fourth, with Long Island already in the lead, 4-1, Erick Almonte had an opportunity to give the Ducks a stranglehold. He faced Brian Whitaker with one out and the bases loaded but hit a routine grounder to shortstop Kris Dufner, who began the 6-4-3 twin killing allowing the Barnstormers to remain in the game.

Lancaster responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs of its own. Travis Hake led off with a single to left and stole second. Following a walk to Reggie Taylor, Jose Ortiz lined to deep center advancing Hake to third. Chris Van Rossum grounded into a force play scoring Hake, then stole second and scored on a ground single to right by Jutt Hileman as the Duck lead was trimmed to one.

Long Island tacked on a fifth run in its next at bat. Juan Gonzalez, playing in his first Atlantic League game, doubled over the head of left fielder Quincy Foster and scored on a single to center by Tony Schrager.

Pat Mahomes (4-3) carried the lead into the bottom of the sixth and did the job to hold it. He walked Van Rossum with one out. Hileman hit a ground ball to third. Almonte made a clean throw to Carlos Hernandez, but the relay pulled Henry Rodriguez off the bag, prolonging the inning. Manny Santana followed with his second homer in two nights, a line drive barely fair down the right field line to tie the game at 5-5. Steve Van Note then tripled off the fence in left and scored the deciding run on a wild pitch.

From there, it was up to the bullpen. Winner Matt Knox (2-0) worked his second perfect inning in the seventh. Charlie Weatherby yielded a long two-out double to Kevin Haverbusch, his third hit of the game, in the eighth but held the lead when Brad King was put out on a fair ball just a few feet in front of home plate. Scott Patterson retired the side in order in the ninth on three lengthy at bats for his 13th save of the season.

NOTES: Lancaster is 4-2 on the season against Long Island and 16-4 overall at home...It was the seventh one-run victory for the Barnstormers on the season...Lancaster has hit 11 homers in the last six games...Hake extended his hitting streak to nine...Foster has hit safely in six in a row...Ortiz lost an eight-game streak...Knox has thrown eight consecutive scoreless appearances, covering 11 2/3 innings...Hileman is 9-for-17 with two homers in the last four games...Denny Harriger (4-1) will take the mound for the Barnstormers on Friday night as the Road Warriors come in for their second visit of the season...Game time is 7:05...Fireworks will follow.

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