Game 12: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

Cody-Puckett-Batting-Home
For the second consecutive night, the Ducks were able to stage a late rally and make an exciting ballgame out of what began as a one-sided affair. On Tuesday night, the Ducks came back from 4-1 down to tie the game at four and force extra innings. However, after leaving two runners on in the eighth and ninth, the Barnstormers won the game in the 10th on a homer. Last night, the Ducks trailed 5-0 in the sixth and 6-2 in the eighth but staged a three-run rally to close within 6-5. However, Brodie Down struck out Brian Peacock to strand the tying and go-ahead run in scoring position in the eighth. Then in the ninth, Chris McClendon was stranded at first when Joash Brodin struck out looking.

So, the back-and-forth start to the year continues for the Ducks. Thus far, it’s been two losses followed by three wins followed by two losses followed by two wins followed by two losses. The good news: the Ducks have not had an extensive losing streak. The bad news: they have not been able to get on a good roll just yet. However, with the offense struggling a bit to start the year, three players are beginning to break out of their funk:

Lew Ford: The former big leaguer has been on an absolute tear over his last four games. After back-to-back 0-for-4 performances, Ford has picked up 10 hits in his last 17 at-bats and raised his batting average from .185 to .341 in that span. He has a RBI in three consecutive games and a run scored in four straight contests. In fact, the fifth-year Duck has a hit in eight of his 11 games this year.

Cody Puckett: The first-year Duck has been a little up-and-down early on, but after going 0-for-10 on May 1 and 2, he has earned hits in four of his last five games, going 8-for-19 in that span. He’s earned multiple hits in three of those four games also and raised his average from .174 to .286 in the five games.

Adam Bailey: Back for his second year on Long Island, the outfielder started the season 0-for-13. Since then, he has reached base safely in seven consecutive games and earned hits in five of them. Of those five, he has earned a pair of multi-hit games. Of the seven games he has reached base in, he has three multi-RBI contests. His average is still just .222, but that’s a 222-point improvement in six games.

CLICK HERE to read the full recap from last night’s game, listen to audio game highlights and hear from manager Kevin Baez and outfielder Adam Bailey.

Tonight, right-hander Bobby Blevins takes the mound for the Ducks, and he has been excellent so far. He is 1-0 in two starts and has given up just five runs (four earned) in 13 innings. His most impressive stats: no walks and 14 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .130 against the righty so far this year. Left-hander Clayton Tanner will oppose Blevins as he makes his third start of 2014. In his first two starts, he’s posted an 8.68 ERA, allowing nine runs on 13 hits and three walks in nine and one-third innings. Opponents are batting .333 against Tanner.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the third meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and the third of 10 meetings between the two at Bethpage Ballpark in 2014. Long Island and Lancaster have played 176 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 93-83 advantage in the series and a 45-41 lead in Central Islip. The Barnstormers lead the 2014 season series two games to none.

Bailey Blasts Another: Adam Bailey’s two-run homer in the sixth inning on Wednesday was his team-leading third home run of the year. All three of his longballs have come on this homestand. The Ducks have now hit eight home runs as a team this year, six of which have come at home, and have gone deep in seven of their last eight games.

Ford’s Fury: With two hits in Wednesday’s game, Lew Ford earned his third consecutive multi-hit game and fourth multi-hit contest of the season. The last time he earned three straight multi-hit games with the Ducks was July 19-21, 2011 when he picked up a pair of two-hit games sandwiched around a three-hit contest. The former big leaguer also picked up his 500th career minor league RBI with his single to left in the eighth inning.

The Hit Parade: Bailey’s three-hit night on Wednesday was his first of the season, and Cody Puckett’s three-hit game was his second. Puckett is now tied with Ford for the team-lead with four multi-hit games, and Bailey now has two. Long Island set a season-high with 12 hits as a team on Wednesday.

Countdown to 6 Million: Wednesday’s crowd of 3,816 at Bethpage Ballpark increased the all-time attendance at the Duck Pond to 5,968,039. Long Island is now just 31,961 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 the starting lineups for the finale of this seven-game homestand:

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

#18 Bobby Blevins – RHP

Barnstormers
#1   Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#7   Greg Golson – RF
#2   Blake Gailen – CF
#8   Cole Garner – DH
#14 Fred Lewis – LF
#31 Tony Delmonico – 3B
#35 Austin Gallagher – 1B
#11 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#4   James Skelton – C

#10 Clayton Tanner – LHP

We’ll be updating this post throughout the game so be sure to refresh often and follow the Ducks on Twitter @LIDucks.

UPDATE (7:44): Lancaster grabs a 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Cole Garner in the top of the third.

UPDATE (8:13): Lancaster adds three runs in the fourth on a two-run double from Garner and a RBI single from Lewis. 4-0 Barnstormers.

UPDATE (8:49): A RBI single from Tony Delmonico increases the Barnstormers lead to 5-0 midway through the sixth

UPDATE (8:56): Ducks get one back on a sac fly from Adam Bailey. 5-1 Lancaster after six innings.

UPDATE (9:34): Ducks get two back on a two-run single from Fehlandt Lentini. Barnstormers lead 5-3 at the end of seven.

UPDATE (10:12): Lancaster adds two more in the top of the ninth on a two-run singe from Cole Garner. 7-3 Barnstormers

UPDATE (10:23): Ducks fall to Lancaster 7-3. Recap coming shortly

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Posted on May 8, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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