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Club Defeats Long Island, 7-1, in Series Opener

For the first time in four tries, the Lancaster Barnstormers have successfully climbed back over the .500 mark.

The ‘Stormers slugged three home runs in a 13-hit attack to take down the Long Island Ducks, 7-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium Tuesday evening.

Lancaster could only keep pace with the York Revolution, which rallied for seven runs in the ninth at Bridgeport.  The Barnstormers stayed four games behind in the division race.

Blake Tekotte put the Ducks ahead with a two-out RBI single to left center in the top of the fourth inning.

From there, it was all Lancaster.  Kevin Ahrens opened the home fourth with a walk.  Caleb Gindl and Josh Whitaker both flied out to deep left before Josh Bell connected for his third homer of the year, a two-run blast into the net in deep right center.

In the fifth, the Barnstormers struck for two more off John Brownell (3-1).  Mike McDade led off with a single to left, and Brownell issued a walk to Charlie Cutler.  Both runners advanced on Lance Zawadzki’s sacrifice bunt.  Logan Schafer failed to drive home a run, flying out to shallow left.  Ahrens came through, however, with a two-run single off the right field wall for a 4-1 lead.

Schafer and Zawadzki added homers late in the game to put it away.

Mike Lee jumped into the vacancy in the starting rotation left with the release of J.D. Martin following Monday’s game and pitched admirably against the hot hitting Ducks.  The right-hander worked four innings, surrendering five hits and a run.  

The bullpen was even better.  Ryan Dennick (2-1) pitched a pair of hitless innings for the win.  Al Yevoli, Scott Gracey and Justin Jackson followed with a scoreless inning apiece.  The relief combo yielded only one single, a dribbler up the third base line by DH Mike Dowd off Yevoli in the seventh.

Lancaster will host Long Island again on Wednesday.  Terry Doyle (1-2) will get the start for Lancaster against lefty Darin Downs (3-1).  Fans may tune into Blue Ridge Cable 11 or the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 7:00.

NOTES:  Schafer’s homer extended his hitting streak to 11 games…McDade his hit safely in eight straight…Dennick extended his scoreless innings streak to seven innings, and Yevoli stretched his to eight…Lee had his streak stopped at 12 on the Tekotte hit…Jackson pitched for the first time in 30 days and retired the side in order…In the interim, he played second and short…Ahrens has seven RBI in the last two games…