Long Island Grabs Series Opener, 4-2
The Long Island Ducks used daring baserunning to perfection late in Friday night’s game to steal a 4-2 victory from the Lancaster Barnstormers in the opener of a four-game series at Bethpage Ballpark.
Lancaster fell for the seventh time in nine games, dropping back to .500 and four games behind the division leading York Revolution.
With the Barnstormers up, 2-1, in the seventh, Anthony Vega dragged a bunt past reliever Ryan Dennick and beat it out for a single. Dennick retired Carlos Hughes on a shallow fly ball to right for the second out. Scott Gracey (2-4) was summoned to face Fehlandt Lentini, who responded with a single to center, tying the game. Lentini also stole second and scored when Delta Cleary, Jr. rolled a single into left field as the Ducks pulled ahead, 3-2.
In the eighth, Matt Wessinger drew a two-out walk. Vega rolled a single to the right of second base on a full count pitch. Wessinger was waved all the way around by manager Kevin Baez and scored standing up, ending Pete Andrelczyk’s streak of scoreless appearances at 16.
The Barnstormers had taken a 1-0 lead in the third on three singles, with Josh Whitaker driving home the run. After Long Island tied the game on a two-out single to left by Ruben Gotay, Lance Zawadzki put Lancaster back on top with a leadoff opposite field homer just under the left field scoreboard.
Overall, the Barnstormers managed 12 hits against five Long Island hurlers but left 11 runners on base. Eury De La Rosa (2-2) notched the win for the Ducks, and Amalio Diaz recorded his first save.
Lancaster and Long Island meet for a day-night doubleheader on Saturday with a seven-inning game at 1:05 and a nine-inning contest at 6:35. Lancaster will send Terry Doyle (2-3) and Kelvin De La Cruz (3-6) to the mound against Bobby Blevins (1-4) and Darin Downs (4-3). Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 12:45 and 6:15.
NOTES: Zawadzki has five home runs among his 11 hits…Charlie Cutler stole his sixth base of the season, tops on the active roster…The Barnstormers struck out 13 times in the game and have gone down on strikes 88 times in the last nine games…Kevin Ahrens is 12-for-23 against Long Island after going 2-for-5 on Friday night.