Games 4/5: Ducks at Blue Crabs (UPDATE: Postponed)

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The rain continues to fall here in Waldorf, Maryland. The Ducks and Blue Crabs had their series opener on Tuesday night postponed due to inclement weather, and now today’s doubleheader is in jeopardy. It has been raining throughout the night and day, and the AccuWeather hourly forecast shows a 69 to 75% chance of rain from 5:00 to 10:00 tonight. Game one is scheduled to begin at 5:00 with game two following 30 minutes after the completion of the opener. Both games are slated for seven innings.

This trip to Southern Maryland is Long Island’s first visit since September 20, 2013. That day, the Flock defeated the Blue Crabs 4-1 in Game Three of the Liberty Division Championship Series to sweep the series and earn their third consecutive division title. After a roller coaster season for the Ducks, their performance in the LDCS was certainly impressive. John Brownell, who is scheduled to start on Thursday, tossed a complete game in the opener of the series, and Ryan Strieby went 7-for-12 with two doubles, four RBI and two runs scored in the three games.

Matt Way is scheduled to start game one, his first start for the Ducks of 2014. Way was dominant after joining Long Island late in 2012 and started Game Two of the Liberty Division Championship Series that year in Southern Maryland. The southpaw tossed eight innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out 10 to earn a win. He also picked up the victory in Game Five of that series with a scoreless inning of relief. However, the lefty dealt with several injuries last year including an elbow issue that ended his season in mid-August. After several months of rest and rehab this winter, Way has said that he is 100% healthy and ready to go.

On the other side, Ian Marshall will toe the rubber for Southern Maryland in the opener. The right-hander posted a solid season in 2013 with the Blue Crabs, going 12-8 with a 3.99 ERA in 27 starts. He made five starts against the Ducks during the regular season and went 2-1 with a 4.36 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 31 innings. His final start of 2013 came in Game Two of the LDCS against the Flock, and he gave up just three runs (two earned) in six innings of work. He left the game leading 5-2, but the Blue Crabs could not hold the lead in what was an eventual 6-5, 10-inning win for the Ducks.

Fernando Hernandez has been tabbed by manager Kevin Baez to start the second game and was originally slated to start Wednesday’s game in the series. The righty pitched three scoreless innings in the season opener, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out one. Hernandez has made 24 starts in his minor league career, and is one a few versatile arms in Long Island’s bullpen. With Jared Lansford rehabbing a lat strain, Hernandez will step into his spot in the starting rotation for the time being. Southern Maryland has not yet officially announced their starter for game two.

Here are some key notes for tonight’s games:

Head-to-Head: Today marks the first two meetings of the season between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and the first two of 10 meetings at Regency Furniture Stadium in 2014. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 117 games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 67-50 advantage in the series and a 34-20 lead in Waldorf, Maryland. The Ducks won the 2013 season series between the two teams by an 11-9 margin.

Oh What a Relief They Are: The Ducks bullpen has been outstanding over the first three games of the season. Long Island relievers have combined to allow just one run over 17.1 innings, good for a 0.52 ERA. In that span, the relievers have also allowed just 14 hits and six walks while striking out eight. As for the starters, they have combined to walk just one batter while striking out 13 over 14 and one-third innings thus far.

Approaching Milestones: Lew Ford is one plate appearance away from 4,000, four home runs away from 100 and 11 RBI away from 500 in his minor league career… Joash Brodin is four RBI from reaching 300 in his professional career…Brian Peacock is four hits away from 400 in his professional career…Dan Lyons is two doubles away from 100 in his professional career.

On the Air: If played, both games of tonight’s doubleheader will be broadcast on the Long Island Ducks official YouTube channel. Live streaming audio will be available by CLICKING HERE. The North Shore LIJ/Southside Hospital pre-game show is slated to begin at 4:45 p.m., with first pitch following at 5:00. Michael Polak will have the play-by-play.

If  we end up having baseball, here are the starting lineups for game one:

#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#5   Chris McClendon – 3B
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#13 Adam Bailey – RF
#33 Ryan Strieby – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#23 Brian Peacock – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#25 Matt Way – LHP

Blue Crabs
#11 Brian Barton – LF
#20 Jermaine Mitchell – CF
#15 Cyle Hankerd – RF
#38 Jose Julio-Ruiz – 1B
#44 CJ Ziegler – DH
#10 Nick Schwaner – 3B
#1   Amadeo Zazueta – SS
#2   Jake Opitz – 2B
#19 John Bowden – C

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

We’ll keep you updated as soon as we receive any news regarding tonight’s twinbill. Stay tuned and refresh this post often for more throughout the day. In addition, you can follow the Ducks on Twitter @LIDucks for updates.

UPDATE (3:20): Word has just come down from the Blue Crabs that tonight’s game has been postponed due to inclement weather. Game one of today’s twinbill will be made up as part of a single admission doubleheader on Thursday beginning at 10:35 a.m. Both games will be seven innings, with a 30 minute break between the games. Game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader will be made up at a later date.

UPDATE (4:15): Here are the pitching for tomorrow’s twinbill:
Game 1: LHP Matt Way (LI) vs. RHP Ian Marshall (SMD)
Game 2: RHP Fernando Hernandez (LI) vs. LHP Brian Burres (SMD)


Posted on April 30, 2014, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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