Shortstop Drives in Three in 7-4 Win over Ducks
Kevin Ahrens is in one of those stretches that baseball players find from time to time, and he is taking full advantage of it.
The Lancaster shortstop went 3-for-4 with a homer and three runs batted in on Thursday evening, propelling the Barnstormers to a 7-4 victory over the Long Island Ducks to complete a three-game sweep at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
It was Lancaster’s sixth win in seven games on the weeklong homestand and brought the Barnstormers into a second place tie and within three games of the division leading York Revolution.
Josh Whitaker’s RBI double and Josh Bell’s two-run homer jumped the Barnstormers into a 3-1 lead in the first inning. It was Ahrens that made sure that Long Island never caught up.
After Ruben Gotay brought Long Island to within a run on a bloop single to left in the top of the third, Ahrens answered with a solo home run onto the front edge of the picnic deck in the bottom of the inning.
The Ducks again climbed to within one on an RBI single to right center by Anthony Vega in the top of the fourth, but Caleb Gindl found Ahrens with a perfect throw and nabbed the sliding Vega trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Things are going so well for Ahrens that even the skies are helping. With Travis Witherspoon at second in the fifth inning, Ahrens lofted a fly ball down the right field line. Fehlandt Lentini lost the ball in the twilight, and it fell behind him for an RBI double. Gindl singled up the middle to score Ahrens as the Barnstormers went ahead, 6-3.
For good measure, Ahrens, who has six straight hits with runners in scoring position, capped the offense with an RBI single to right to plate Chase Patterson in the sixth.
Bryan Evans (3-2) worked the first six innings for the Barnstormers, allowing all four runs, each time after allowing a hit to lead off an inning. Lentini scored two of the runs. Blake Tekotte reached the right-hander for a leadoff homer in the sixth.
Evans walked one and struck out nine in the effort. Pete Andrelczyk and Al Yevoli worked a scoreless inning apiece to hold the lead, and Cory Burns shrugged off a leadoff single by Vega in the ninth to throw a three-batter inning for his eighth save.
The Barnstormers open a three-game series at York on Friday at 6:30. Tanner Peters (1-1) will get the start against York lefty Frank Gailey. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, starting at 6:15.
NOTES: Ahrens has 11 RBI in the last four games…He has surged to the Atlantic League lead with 29 on the season…Mike McDade hit safely for the 10th consecutive game…Andrelczyk worked his 10th straight scoreless appearance…Yevoli has tossed nine straight scoreless innings…Burns kept his ERA at home at 0.00…Evans beat an Atlantic League team other than Southern Maryland for the first time…Bell has nine extra base hits in 11 games.