Ducks Grab Series Opener, 4-1
On the Lancaster Barnstormers ‘ last trip to Long Island, the club reached Ducks pitching for 35 runs on 45 hits in a three-game series. That included a seven-run, nine-hit effort off Long Island ace John Brownell.
Back at home on Monday evening, the Barnstormers were not able to match that performance as Brownell checked the Lancaster bats on four hits over seven innings in a 4-1 Long Island victory at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Brownell (9-6) survived Lancaster threats in the first, second and fourth innings and carried a shutout into the seventh when Kevin Ahrens broke it up on a leadoff home run to the deep left center field alley.
Meanwhile, the Ducks had built a 4-0 lead. Tyler Colvin sliced a two-out double to left off Joey Maher (1-2) in the second inning and moved ahead on Mike Blanke’s single to right. Matt Wessinger sent a one-hopper back to the mound, but Maher could not quite make the stop as the ball kicked away for an RBI single.
Maher also had trouble with leadoff batters from the third inning forward. He walked the first batter in both the third and fourth innings. In the fifth, Anthony Vega slugged a 3-1 pitch over the tents in right for his eighth homer of the season. Maher also walked the number nine hitter, Chris Scura, to start the Long Island seventh. He was lifted in favor of lefty Ryan Dennick, who picked up two quick outs. Delta Cleary, Jr. walked to add a second runner, and Dan Lyons ripped a double inside the third base bag, scoring both.
The Barnstormers appeared to be en route to a rally in the bottom of the ninth off closer Todd Coffey. Mike Jacobs lined a single to center to start the inning, and Ahrens grounded a single through the right side, his third hit of the night. Dean Wilson bunted, moving the runners to second and third. Mike McDade was summoned to bat for Chase Patterson. His comebacker was flagged by Coffey and turned into the second out. Caleb Gindl flied to center to end the game as Coffey notched his 23rd save.
Lancaster will host Long Island in a doubleheader Tuesday evening to make up for a rainout on July 4th. Connor Root (0-2) and Hito Fujie (1-0) will make the starts for the Barnstormers against Danny Herrera (0-1) and Freddie Cabrera (0-0). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 6:45.
NOTES: Ahrens was 3-for-4 in the game and is batting .451 (23-51) on the year against Long Island…Josh Bell was 2-for-2 with a pair of walks…He carries a .414 (24-58) average against Long Island pitching…Earlier in the day, the Barnstormers reactivated right-handed pitcher Tanner Peters.