Game 10: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

Monday was a much needed off day for the Ducks. The Flock had played a total of six games in a span of four days, taking the field for a total of 50 innings in approximately 42 hours. Fortunately for the Ducks, they went 4-2 during that stretch and are now unbeaten in series play during their last two sets. After dropping the first two games of their opening homestand against York, victories in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s series finale were especially important.

They keys to the Ducks winning both of those games: timely hitting. Long Island’s offense may be ranked at the bottom of the Atlantic League in batting average at .221, but something has to be said for their ability to come from behind. The Ducks have earned come-from-behind wins in four of their five victories so far in 2014 and are hitting extremely well in clutch situations. With runners in scoring position, the Ducks have a .375 batting average and 35 RBI in 80 at-bats. With runners in scoring position and two outs, the Ducks are hitting .359 with 17 RBI in 39 at-bats. Those numbers are outstanding!

After earning a split with the Revolution, the homestand continues for the Flock tonight when the Lancaster Barnstormers come to town for the first of three games. This year is a stark contrast from last year when it took until August 26 for the Barnstormers to make their first visit to the Duck Pond since Long Island shocked Lancaster to win the 2012 Atlantic League championship. Now, it only took the ‘Stormers until May 6 for their first trip to Long Island.

The Ducks will have a tough task in front of them as they face a Lancaster team that has won seven of its first 10 games including the last three games, all against the Somerset Patriots. The Barnstormers have received an excellent combination of batting and pitching to start the year. Their .289 batting average and 3.41 ERA both lead the Atlantic League, and Blake Gailen has once again gotten off to a fantastic start. The center fielder leads the league with a .500 average, three homers, 19 hits, 33 total bases, five doubles, eight extra-base hits, a .558 on-base percentage and a .868 slugging percentage.

On the mound, the Ducks will try and halt Gailey and co. with left-hander Matt Way, who makes his second start of the year. In his first outing since August 16 of last year, Way was dominant in Southern Maryland, tossing five innings of two-hit, one run baseball to earn a win. He walked just one and struck out six, surrendering only a solo homer to Johnny Bowden. Lancaster counters with former big leaguer Chris Schwinden, who many Ducks fans will remember from his time spent with the Mets in 2011 and 2012. The righty has gotten off to a strong start, winning both outings and allowing just two runs in 10 innings while striking out seven.

Here are some of the key notes for today’s game:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Today marks the first meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and the first of 10 meetings between the two at Bethpage Ballpark in 2014. Long Island and Lancaster have played 174 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 93-81 advantage in the series and a 45-39 lead in Central Islip. The Barnstormers won the 2013 season series 11 games to 9.

Bombs Away: Adam Bailey’s three-run home run in the third inning on Sunday was his second homer of the year. The second-year Duck hit a two-run blast on Friday night against York. Ryan Strieby’s two-run homer in the fifth was his first longball of the season. Last year, he hit four home runs in 53 game with Long Island. Sunday was the Ducks first multi-homer game of 2014, and the team has now launched six home runs in their last six games.

Oh What a Relief They Are: The Ducks bullpen combined to pitch six innings on Sunday without allowing an earned run. The relievers have now combined to give up just four earned runs over 38 and one-third innings this season, which is good for a 0.94 ERA. In that span, they have allowed 30 hits and 14 walks while striking out 38.

Strikeout Artists: Ducks pitchers struck out 12 York batters on Sunday, increasing their season total to 82 which leads the Atlantic League. The pitching staff has now struck out 10 or more batters in four consecutive games. Ducks starters have walked just nine batters while striking out 44 in 43.1 innings thus far. Long Island’s 3.64 ERA is good for second in the league behind Lancaster (3.41).

Countdown to 6 Million: Sunday’s crowd of 4,034 at Bethpage Ballpark increased the all-time attendance at the Duck Pond to 5,960,306. Long Island is now just 39,694 fans away from reaching the magical 6 million fan mark. Upon doing so, the Ducks will have achieved the milestone faster than any other professional sports team with a ballpark the size of Bethpage Ballpark (capacity 6,002).

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Live streaming video and audio will be available by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

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

#25 Matt Way – LHP

#7   Greg Golson – RF
#1   Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#2   Blake Gailen – CF
#8   Cole Garner – LF
#31 Tony Delmonico – DH
#35 Austin Gallagher – 1B
#6   Casey Frawley – 3B
#11 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#27 Juan Apodaca – C

#20 Chris Schwinden – RHP

We’ll be updating this post throughout the game, so be sure to keep refreshing often!

UPDATE (6:43): Ducks starter Matt Way needs just six pitches to work through a 1-2-3 top of the first.

UPDATE (7:00): Lancaster strikes first with an RBI double from Tony Delmonico. 1-0 Barnstormers heading to the bottom of the second

UPDATE (7:28): Lancaster adds two more runs in the third on a wild pitch and an RBI single from Cole Garner. 3-0 Barnstormers.

UPDATE (7:37): Ducks respond with one run in the bottom of the third on sacrifice fly from Fehlandt Lentini. Long Island trails 3-1.

UPDATE (7:46): Lancaster adds another run on a solo home run from Lance Zawadzki. 4-1 Barnstormers 

UPDATE (8:28): LEWW!!! Lew Ford brings the Ducks back within one with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. Lancaster still up 4-3.

UPDATE (9:11): Ducks tie it up at 4-4! Lew Ford’s third hit of the night, a RBI single, knots the game at four! Ford also w/ 3 RBI on the night!

UPDATE (9:18): We’re heading to the bottom of the ninth at the Duck Pond, game tied at four!

UPDATE (9:35): Extra baseball in Central Islip. Ducks and Barnstormers tied at four, heading to the tenth inning.

UPDATE (9:44): A solo home run from Yusuke Kajimoto gives Lancaster the 5-4 lead in the tenth

UPDATE (9:55): Lancaster wins the ballgame 5-4 in 10 innings.


Posted on May 6, 2014, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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