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‘Stormers Shortstop Drives in Five in 10-4 Win

Kevin Ahrens grew up about 12 miles from Sugar Land, TX.

He made sure the locals remembered him on Monday afternoon, going 4-for-4 with five RBI to lead the Lancaster Barnstormers over the visiting Sugar Land Skeeters, 10-4, in the finale of a three-game series.

Ahrens stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two-out in the sixth inning with the Barnstormers down, 2-1 with seven runners stranded.  The Lancaster shortstop took a Chris Rearick (1-1) pitch past left fielder Jeremy Barfield for a three-run double and a 4-2 Lancaster lead.

Two innings later, with the lead still at two, Justin Jackson opened with a single up the middle.  Logan Schafer grounded a single through the right side and took second as the Skeeters failed to make a play on Jackson at third.  Ahrens looped a single over the drawn-in infield to drive home two more for a 6-2 edge.

Lancaster would salt away the game on a sacrifice fly by Josh Whitaker, an RBI single by Josh Bell and Sean Halton’s fourth homer of the weekend, a fly ball into the right center field net.

Salting the game away was something that Sugar Land failed to do in consecutive innings.

After Travis Scott gave Sugar Land a two-run lead with a homer to right in the fourth, the Skeeters proceeded to load the bases with one out that same inning off Austin Bibens-Dirkx.  The right-hander coaxed a one-hopper back to the mound out of Jeff Dominguez and started a 1-2-3 double play to quell the threat.

Sugar Land opened the next inning with a single by Rick Hague and a Rene Tosoni double.  Pete Andrelczyk marched in from the bullpen and quickly got Barfield on a foul pop up to first base.  Lancaster intentionally walked Scott to load the bases.  Kent Matthes fouled out to shallow left for the second out, and Andrelczyk (2-0) whiffed Patrick Palmeiro to close the inning.

The right-hander retired the side in order on ground balls in the sixth to earn the win.

Lancaster entertains the Long Island Ducks for the next three games.  Mike Lee will make the start for the Barnstormers on Tuesday evening against the Ducks’ all-time leading winner, right-hander John Brownell.  Fans may tune into the game on the Barnstormers’ YouTube Channel.

NOTES:  Ahrens also had a four-hit game at New Britain last Tuesday…He took the team RBI lead with 23…Schafer was 3-for-6 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games…Halton finished the series with six extra base hits and eight RBI…Andrelczyk ran his streak of scoreless appearances to eight…Matt Reynolds also threw scoreless baseball for the eighth straight appearance…Reynolds has at least one strikeout in 14 of 15 appearances…The Barnstormers activated infielder Lance Zawadzki prior to the game and released right-handed pitchers J.D. Martin and Mark Lamm following the game to cut the roster to 25 players, the league limit following Tuesday.