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Barnstormers Top Ducks, 8-4

Josh Bell keyed a four-run second inning with a two-out, bases loaded single to left field, lifting the Lancaster Barnstormers to an 8-4 victory over the Long Island Ducks Wednesday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

The win was the third straight and fifth in the last six outings for the surging Barnstormers who remain four games behind the York Revolution in the Freedom Division chase.

Long Island took a 3-1 lead in somewhat quirky fashion in the top of the second off eventual winner Terry Doyle (2-2).  Tyler Colvin blasted a leadoff homer in the inning to tie the score at 1-1.  After Doyle got Sean Burroughs on a ground out, Mike Blanke walked, and Blake Tekotte singled into right.  Mike Dowd hit a sharp ground ball, headed straight for shortstop Kevin Ahrens and a potential double play.  However, the ball hit Blanke instead, giving the Ducks the automatic second out but keeping the inning alive.  Anthony Vega took advantage of the opportunity, ripping a two-run triple inside the first base bag.

In the bottom of the inning, Mike McDade picked up a leadoff walk from Darin Downs (3-2).  Charlie Cutler singled into right.  Again a ground ball whacked a Duck.  This time, it was a smash toward the middle by Lance Zawadzki that caromed off Downs and into shallow left to score McDade.  Downs picked up the first out of the inning on strikes, but Kevin Ahrens drove a double over Vega’s head in left to score Cutler and tie the game.  Caleb Gindl walked, and Josh Whitaker grounded into a force at home before Bell lined his two-run hit to left.

A solo blast by Blanke brought Long Island within a run in the fourth inning, but McDade countered with a two-run shot of his own for a 7-4 lead.

The Ducks had an opportunity in the seventh.  Fehlandt Lentini greeted Pete Andrelczyk with a double and Dan Lyons walked on a full count pitch.  Lefty Matt Reynolds was summoned from the bullpen to face three ex-Major League hitters.  He struck out switch hitter Ruben Gotay for the first out, got former Rockies teammate Tyler Colvin to foul out to third, and finally got Sean Burroughs to strike out looking to close out the threat.

Cutler’s RBI single in the seventh stretched the lead to the final margin of 8-4.

The Barnstormers and Ducks conclude the series on Thursday night with Bryan Evans (2-2) matching up against fellow right-hander Bobby Blevins (1-2).  Fans may tune into Blue Ridge Cable 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel beginning at 7:00.

NOTES:  Ahrens has eight RBI in three games…Bell has knocked in 14 runs in his last 16 games…McDade stretched his hitting streak to nine games…Lancaster has 11 homers on the homestand and 24 extra base hits overall…The Barnstormers are 12-5 in the last 17 games…Reynolds has fanned 16 batters without a walk in his last eight innings, all scoreless…Cory Burns closed out the game, keeping his scoreless work at home intact.