Game 11: Ducks vs. Barnstormers
Tuesday night once again showcased a trait the 2014 Ducks have possessed throughout the year: the ability to come from behind. For the second consecutive game, Long Island rallied from a 4-1 deficit, this time using a two-run homer in the sixth by Lew Ford and a RBI single in the eighth by the former big leaguer to pull even. However, last night’s game also showed a Ducks team that was unable to get the big hit when it mattered most, something the team has not had as much trouble with this year.
The Ducks had runners at first and third with one out in the eighth inning after tying the game, but Ryan Strieby and Cody Puckett both struck out to end the threat. The Ducks also put runners at first and second with one out in the ninth inning, but Lancaster manager Butch Hobson brought on veteran Ross Peeples, and the left got Chris McClendon to ground into a fielder’s choice and Joash Brodin to ground out to third. Those four runners left on base would come back to bite the Ducks in the 10th inning when Yusuke Kajimoto hit the game-winning homer for the Barnstormers off of reliever Jeremy Accardo.
The good news: the Ducks remain just a game and a half out of first place and some of their key players had big nights on Tuesday. One was Ford, who became the first Duck to pick up four hits in a game this year. He now has hits in three consecutive games and is beginning to look like the Ford that Ducks fans have admired since he first arrived in 2009. The other was Chris McClendon, who earned two hits in a game for the first time since Opening Night in Somerset. In fact, it was the third baseman’s first hit since game one of the doubleheader on Thursday in Southern Maryland, and his single in the sixth inning broke an 0-for-13 skid. If McClendon gets going at the plate, the Ducks lineup will be that much more difficult for opposing pitchers to navigate.
CLICK HERE to read a recap from last night’s game, listen to audio highlights and hear from manager Kevin Baez and Ford following the game.
Tonight, the two teams play the middle game of the three-game set. It’ll be a pair of right-handers on the mound as John Brownell and Chad Beck each make their third start of the season. After Brownell allowed two runs in six innings in the season opener, he struggled a bit on Opening Night at the Duck Pond, giving up four runs on six hits in six innings. He said after that game that keeping the ball down was the one thing he needed to focus on most for his next start. As for Beck, he has been roughed up for four runs in each of his first two starts. On April 25 in Sugar Land, he gave up four on five hits and two walks in four and two-thirds innings. Then on May 2 at home against Somerset, the former big leaguer surrendered four on eight hits and two walks in five and two-thirds innings.
Here are some pre-game notes for tonight:
Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the second meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and the second of 10 meetings between the two at Bethpage Ballpark in 2014. Long Island and Lancaster have played 175 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 93-82 advantage in the series and a 45-40 lead in Central Islip. The Barnstormers won the 2013 season series 11 games to 9.
Bombs Away: Lew Ford’s two-run home run on Tuesday was his second longball of the season. The fifth-year Duck hit a three-run homer on May 1 in game one of a doubleheader at Southern Maryland. Long Island has now gone deep in six of their last seven games and has seven homers as a team this season.
Clutch Hitting: Tuesday night aside, the Ducks have been very good this season with runners in scoring position this year. In those situations, the Ducks are batting .303 with three homers and 38 RBI in 76 at-bats. When there are runners in scoring position and two men out, the Ducks have a .290 team average with two homers and 17 RBI in 31 at-bats. Last year, the Ducks batted .271 and .254, respectively, in those same situations.
Approaching Milestones: Lew Ford is two home runs away from reaching 100 for his minor league career and one RBI away from reaching 500 for his minor league career…Leo Rosales is five games away from 400 in his minor league career…Ryan Strieby is eight runs away from 400 in his professional career…Matt Way is 4.2 innings away from 400 in his professional career.
Countdown to 6 Million: Tuesday’s crowd of 3,917 at Bethpage Ballpark increased the Ducks all-time attendance to 5,964,223. Long Island is now just 35,777 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 beginning at 6:20 by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.
Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Chris McClendon – 3B
#22 Joash Brodin – DH
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#33 Ryan Strieby – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 2B
#23 Brian Peacock – C
#30 Sergio Miranda – SS
#7 John Brownell – RHP
#7 Greg Golson – DH
#1 Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#2 Blake Gailen – CF
#8 Cole Garner – RF
#14 Fred Lewis – LF
#35 Austin Gallagher – 1B
#6 Casey Frawley – 3B
#11 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#4 James Skelton – C
#28 Chad Beck – RHP
We’ll be posting updates here throughout the game so be sure to refresh often throughout the day.
UPDATE (6:52): Lancaster takes an early 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single from Cole Garner
UDATE (7:33): Through three innings at Bethpage Ballpark, Lancaster still leads 1-0.
UPDATE (7:40): A solo home run from Fred Lewis increases the Lancaster lead to 2-0
UPDATE (8:00): Lancaster adds two more runs in the fifth on a solo home run from James Skelton and a sac fly from Blake Gailen. 4-0 Barnstormers
UPDATE (8:20): Lancaster adds a run in the top of the fifth on a solo home run from Lance Zawadzki. 5-0 Barnstormers
UPDATE (8:25): Adam Bailey with a two-run home run and the Ducks are on the board! Bailey’s third of the season cuts the deficit to three at the end of six
UPDATE (8:50): Lancaster responds with a run in the top of the seventh on a RBI base hit from Fred Lewis. 6-2 Barnstormers.
UPDATE (9:23): Ducks pull within one! A two-out RBI single from Ford and a two out, two-run single from Puckett brings the score to 6-5, heading to the 9th
UPDATE (9:31): Ducks fall to Lancaster 6-5.
Posted on May 7, 2014, in Game Previews and tagged 2014, Atlantic League, Bethpage Ballpark, Chad Beck, Chris McClendon, John Brownell, Kevin Baez, Lancaster Barnstormers, Lew Ford, Long Island Ducks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.