Game 21: Ducks vs. Riversharks
Sunday afternoon baseball returns the Duck Pond today, as the Ducks complete a three-game series with the Camden Riversharks. It is Sunday Family Funday at Bethpage Ballpark, meaning there will be an autograph session with the entire team on the field prior to the game. In addition, kids and kids at heart are welcome to run the bases on the field after the game. Also, the Ducks, in conjunction with Long Island Cares, Inc. and the Harry Chapin Food Bank, are hosting a food drive today. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the ballpark for donation.
Yesterday, the Ducks split a single-admission doubleheader with the Camden Riversharks. Camden took game one 6-4, and the Ducks responded a 6-4 victory in game two. The ‘Sharks jumped out to an early 5-1 lead through four innings in game one off Ducks starter Fernando Hernandez. A three-run fifth inning pulled the Flock to within one run, but Camden added an unearned run in the sixth to cap the scoring off at 6-4.
In game two, it was Camden once again who led early in the ballgame. After both teams exchanged zeroes through the first three innings, the Riversharks scored three times in the fourth, all with two outs, to chase Jared Lansford from his second start and take a 3-0 lead. Long Island tied the score at 3-3 in the fifth on an error by Riversharks second baseman Wilson Batista and a pair of two-out RBI doubles from Cody Puckett and Lew Ford. Camden regained a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth, only to have Joash Brodin crush a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to provide Long Island with its first lead of the night and the eventual game winning hit.
CLICK HERE to read a full recap from Saturdays twinbill, listen to the audio highlights from both games and hear from Kevin Baez and Brodin postgame.
With the split, the Ducks remain at .500 (10-10) on the season, while the Riversharks fell to 6-16. Long Island currently sits in third place in the Liberty Division, 2.5 games behind the Somerset Patriots.
Today, right-handed starter John Brownell gets the start for the Ducks. Brownell is 1-2 this year with a 5.04 ERA, 21 strikeouts and just three walks in 25 innings of work. Last year, Brownell was 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in four starts against the Riversharks. He will face off today with Camden southpaw Jay Voss. Voss enters with a 0-2 record and a 2.28 ERA. In four starts, Voss has received a total of just five runs of support. That includes a no-decision in his last start despite allowing just two hits over seven shutout innings against the Patriots.
The series finale also just had a bit of breaking news added to it. Former Duck Bryant Nelson, who was a part of the back-to-back championship teams in 2012 and 2013, has signed with the Riversharks today. The third baseman, who will serve as the DH this afternoon, had previously played with Camden back in 2009. Now, he will enter his ninth season in the Atlantic League and become the third player on the Riversharks that is a former Duck (T.J. Hose and Wynn Pelzer). Sure enough, he also arrives on the day where the first 1,500 fans will receive 15th Anniversary Team Card Sets, courtesy of AARP, and Nelson is one of the 15 members of the team as selected by the fans.
Here are today’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Riversharks: Today marks the third meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and the third of 10 meetings between the two at Bethpage Ballpark in 2014. Long Island and Camden have played 247 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 129-118 advantage in the series and a 64-57 edge in Central Islip. The Ducks won the 2013 season series 11-9 and have won three of the past four season series.
Ford’s Fury: Lew Ford earned hits in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader to extend his on-base streak to a Ducks season-high 13 consecutive games. During the streak, Ford is batting .426 (23-for-54) with five doubles, one homer, 10 RBI, 13 runs and five walks. Ford recorded two hits in game one, tying him with Cody Puckett for the team lead with eight multi-hit games this season. During his on-base streak, he has raised his batting average from .185 to .364, which is good for third in the league.
Cody Keeps Hitting: Puckett also hit safely in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader to extend his hitting streak to a Ducks season-high 10 games. It’s also the third-longest hitting streak in the league this season. During the streak, he is batting .381 (16-for-42) with two doubles, six RBI and one run. He has raised his batting average from .237 to .316 in that span, good for eighth in the league.
Brodin Blasts One: Joash Brodin’s pinch hit three-run home run on Saturday was his third longball of the year. He is now tied for second on the team in homers, trailing Adam Bailey by one. Brodin has now gone deep in each of the last three games in which the Ducks have left the yard. The home run was Long Island’s 12th of the year and first since May 10 at Lancaster when Brodin hit a three-run blast as well, ending a streak of five consecutive games without a longball.
Countdown to 6 Million: Saturday’s crowd of 6,435 at Bethpage Ballpark marked the first past-capacity crowd of the season. It was also the 628th sellout all-time, which is an Atlantic League record. The crowd increased the all-time attendance at the Duck Pond to 5,978,371, which is also an Atlantic League record. Long Island is now just 21,629 fans away from reaching the magical 6 million fan mark. Today, the Ducks will help the Atlantic League celebrate welcoming its 30 millionth fan.
On the Air: Today’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks official YouTube channel, with live streaming video and audio available online by CLICKING HERE. The game can also be heard on Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.
Finally, here are today’s lineups:
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – LF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#22 Joash Brodin – RF
#33 Ryan Strieby – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 2B
#15 Jon Myers – DH
#23 Brian Peacock – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#7 John Brownell – RHP
#4 Zack MacPhee – LF
#8 Alex Hudak – CF
#10 Paddy Matera – 2B
#34 Bryant Nelson – DH
#2 Jorge Cortes – RF
#9 Wilson Batista – 3B
#14 Bryan Pounds – 1B
#5 Bobby Stevens – SS
#7 Mike Albaladejo – C
#12 Jay Voss – LHP
We’ll be updating this post throughout the day from Bethpage Ballpark, so be sure to refresh often.
UPDATE (1:52): A two-run home run from Alex Hudak in the first gives Camden the early 2-0 lead.
UPDATE (2:02): Ducks respond with a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single from Lew Ford. 2-1 Riversharks.
UPDATE (2:32): Camden adds four runs in the third, highlighted by a three-run double from Paddy Matera. 6-2 Riversharks, heading to the bottom of the 3rd
UPDATE (2:45): Ducks get an unearned run in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 6-2.
UPDATE (2:58): A two-run single from Paddy Matera extends the Riversharks lead to 8-2, heading to the bottom of the fourth.
UPDATE (3:13): LEWWW!!! Ford with a grand slam, and the Ducks are back within two!! Ford’s third homer of the year makes it an 8-6 game heading to the 5th!
UPDATE (3:54): Camden adds a pair of runs in the sixth on RBI base hits from Wilson Batista and Bryan Pounds. 10-6 Riversharks through six innings.
UPDATE (4:23): Moving to the bottom of the eighth, Camden still leads 10-6
UPDATE (4:39): Heading to the bottom of the ninth, the Ducks trail the Riversharks 10-6, looking for their second consecutive comeback victory.
UPDATE (4:47): Final: Ducks fall in series finale to the Camden Riversharks 10-6. Recap to follow shortly
Posted on May 18, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 15th Anniversary Team, 2014, Atlantic League, Bethpage Ballpark, Bryant Nelson, Camden Riversharks, Jay Voss, John Brownell, Kevin Baez, Long Island Ducks, Sunday Family Funday. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.