Game 30: Ducks at Barnstormers

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After a long day of travel from Sugar Land, Texas to Lancaster, Pennsylvania that included two bus rides sandwiched around a three hour plane trip, the Ducks were unable to quell the Lancaster Barnstormers offense in an 11-3 series-opening defeat. Long Island kept it close until the bottom of the seventh inning, when a seven-run frame put the game out of reach. Despite the loss, the Ducks still remained just three games behind the Somerset Patriots in the Liberty Division standings and have two games in hand.

The Ducks fell into a 3-0 hole after two innings thanks to a pair of two-out RBI hits by the Barnstormers, but a Cody Puckett sac fly brought the Flock within two in the third. Then, after Austin Gallagher put Lancaster back up with three with a solo homer, Puckett narrowed the deficit back to two with a RBI double to left in the fifth. However, the Ducks could not get the big hit to pull even, and the Barnstormers finally knocked Jared Lansford out of the game in the seventh with a single and a walk to start the inning. Steve Garrison came on and allowed a RBI single, a three-run homer, a solo homer and two more singles before he was lifted for Casey Barnes.

Lansford’s final line looks much worse than his actual start was. Through the first six innings, he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits and one walk while striking out six. However, the two batters he let reach in the seventh, when his pitch count crept over 100, ultimately came around to score. Lansford set season-highs for himself in innings (6.1), strikeouts (7) and pitches (105), but he suffered his first loss of the season, dropping to 1-1. The Barnstormers took advantage of the short porch in right with three home runs there, and that is something that is a stark contrast from Constellation Field in Sugar Land where the right field wall is much further away.

CLICK HERE to read a full recap from Tuesday’s game, including audio game highlights.

Tonight, the Ducks turn to right-hander John Brownell to even the series. Last year’s Championship Series MVP looked the part his last time out, dominating the Skeeters over seven shutout innings. He allowed eight hits and two walks while striking out seven and stranded eight Sugar Land runners on base. The win improved Brownell to 2-3 on the year, and he’ll be looking to get back to .500 this evening. On the other side will be righty Brian Grening, who makes his sixth appearance (fifth start) of the year. He is 1-2 thus far with a 6.05 ERA and hasn’t started since May 15 after dealing with a little bit of elbow soreness. He did pitch in relief on Monday at York and surrendered two runs on two-hits in one-third of an inning, though both runs scored after he left the game. Grening faced the Ducks on May 10 here in Lancaster and suffered the loss, surrendering two runs on three hits and five walks in five innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the eighth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and the fifth of 10 games between the two in Lancaster. The Barnstormers currently lead the series 5-2. Long Island and Lancaster have played 181 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 95-86 series lead and a 50-44 advantage at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Offensive Machine: Lew Ford extended his on-base streak to 22 consecutive games with a walk on Tuesday. That’s the longest by a Duck this season and the longest in the Atlantic League in 2014. Ford did see his 13-game hitting streak come to an end, which is the longest by a Duck and second-longest in the Atlantic League this year (Johan Limonta, 18). Ford ranks second in the league in batting average (.373), hits (41) and on-base percentage (.444), third in total bases (65) and slugging percentage (.591), fourth in RBI (25) and fifth in runs (24).

On-Base Streaks Continue: Cody Puckett has now reached base in 19 consecutive games after collecting a double on Tuesday. That’s the second-longest on-base streak by a Duck this year behind Ford. Puckett has earned at least one hit in 17 of those 19 games. Joash Brodin has reached base in 17 straight games after picking up a hit on Tuesday. During the streak, he’s batting .339 (21-for-62) and has raised his on-base percentage from .164 to .318.

Hitting Streaks Continue: Dan Lyons extended his hitting streak to eight consecutive games with a single on Tuesday. The shortstop has earned one hit in each game. He’s reached base in 12 straight games dating back to May 13. Adam Bailey and Fehlandt Lentini have each earned hits in five straight games. Bailey is hitting .474 (9-for-19) during the streak while Lentini is batting .409 (9-for-22).

Pitching Leads the Way: Despite a tough start from Jared Lansford on Tuesday, Long Island’s starting pitching has been strong of late. During their last eight games, the starters are a combined 5-1 with a 1.76 ERA. In 56.1 innings, they’ve allowed just 14 runs (11 earned) on 46 hits and 15 walks with 38 strikeouts. Lansford’s start was the first since May 18 in which a Ducks starter allowed more than three runs in a game.

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

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#27 Keith Castillo – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#7   John Brownell – RHP

Barnstormers
#1   Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#11 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#2   Blake Gailen – CF
#8   Cole Garner – LF
#35 Austin Gallagher – DH
#54 Brock Kjeldgaard – 1B
#7   Greg Golson – RF
#4   James Skelton – C
#5   Amos Ramon – 3B

#32 Brian Grening – RHP

Keep it here for updates from Clipper Magazine Stadium throughout the evening as the Ducks look to improve to 3-2 on their current road trip.

UPDATE (7:08): We are underway in Lancaster as Brian Grening takes the mound and Fehlant Lentini steps up to home plate!

UPDATE (7:26): Ducks jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first on Randy Ruiz’s grand slam down the left field line! It’s his first homer as a Duck!

UPDATE (7:41): John Brownell strands two on the bases in the bottom of the first by striking out Austin Gallagher! 4-0 Flock after one.

UPDATE (8:00): Brownell walks two with two outs in the second but again gets out of trouble, getting Kajimoto to ground out to second.

UPDATE (8:31): Another grand slam for the Ducks! This time, Lew Ford goes yard to left-center with two outs in the fourth! 8-0 Ducks lead!

UPDATE (8:43): Last time Ducks had two grand slams in same game: June 9, 2011, also at Lancaster in 25-10 win. Lew Ford and John Rodriguez hit them.

UPDATE (8:57): Five more runs in the fifth increases the lead to 13-0! Adam Bailey its a three-run homer and Ford adds a two-run double!

UPDATE (9:10): Ruiz goes yard yet again! His second homer of the game makes it 14-0 Ducks in the sixth! Ruiz is 4-for-4 with two homers, five RBI and three runs and is a triple shy of the cycle.

UPDATE (9:25): Lancaster breaks through for three against Brownell in the sixth on a two-run homer by Brock Kjeldgaard and a run-scoring fielder’s choice.

UPDATE (9:49): Josh Lansford takes over for Brownell in the seventh. Final line for Brownell: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 2 K, 126 pitches, 71 strikes.

UPDATE (10:05): The Ducks put up a three-spot in the eighth! RBI singles from Castillo, Puckett and Ford make it 17-3 Long Island! Ford now with seven RBI in the game which is one shy of the franchise record for a single game.

UPDATE (10:21): Make it five homers for the Ducks as Keith Castillo launches a two-run blast to right! His third of the year makes it 19-3 Long Island!

UPDATE (10:29): Jon Meloan works a perfect 1-2-3 ninth inning, and the Ducks even the series with a 19-3 rout of the Barnstormers!

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Posted on May 28, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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