Game 42: Ducks at Blue Crabs

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The Long Island Ducks and the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs match up today in Waldorf, Md. for the finale of a five-game series. So far, the two teams have split the first four games (played in three days) two games apiece. The Flock took game one Friday night 11-6 over the Crabs. That game featured five different Ducks batters recording at least two hits, with Fehlandt Lentini (2-3, HR, two runs, three RBI) and Joash Brodin (2-5, HR, four RBI) leading the way. Southern Maryland evened the series Saturday night with a 3-2, 11 inning victory despite John Brownell’s strong start (7.0 IP, seven hits, two runs, three walks, five strikeouts). Yesterday, the two teams split a single-admission doubleheader which featured six-and-a-half hours of baseball.

The Ducks took game one of the doubleheader 3-2 in 12 innings. Long Island starter Bobby Blevins received a no-decision despite tossing one of his best starts this year. The third-year Duck worked eight innings, allowing just one run on three hits. Blevins retired  19 of the last 20 batters he faced, including  13 straight. The game was tied at one until the top of the 12th, when Adam Bailey’s two-out, two-run double  plated the winning runs in the ballgame.

Game two was a far more efficient game for both sides. In seven innings, which took  a little over an hour-and-a-half to complete, the Blue Crabs defeated the Ducks 2-0. Casey Barnes, in his second start of the season, worked five scoreless innings for the Flock, allowing just four hits and one walk. Southern Maryland’s two runs came in the bottom of the sixth inning on a RBI single from Dave Sappelt and a sacrifice fly from Jake Opitz.

CLICK HERE to read yesterday’s recap and listen to the audio highlights.

In tonight’s series finale, Shaun Garceau takes the hill for the Ducks against Blue Crabs’ starter Brian Baker. Garceau enters 4-1 on the year with a 5.08 ERA, 16 walks and 40 strikeouts in nine appearances (eight starts). The righty has excelled  of late with wins in four of his past five starts. In that span, Garceau has allowed just eight runs in 39 innings of work (1.85 ERA), while striking out 30 compared to 11 walks. His counterpart tonight, Baker, is 1-4 this year despite ranking third in the Atlantic League in ERA (2.63). In eight starts, the righty has struck out of 23 batters against just 11 walks.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Today marks the 11thmeeting of the season between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and the seventh of 10 games between the two in Southern Maryland. Long Island currently leads the season series 8-2. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 127 games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 69-58 series lead and a 36-24 advantage at Regency Furniture Stadium.

Puckett’s Streak Ends: Cody Puckett had his 29-game on-base streak end Saturday night after an 0-5 performance against the Blue Crabs. It was the longest on-base streak in the Atlantic League this year – four more than teammate Lew Ford’s 25-game streak from May 3 to 30.

Starting Things Right: With two more excellent starts Sunday, Ducks starting pitchers continued their streak of dominance. Bobby Blevins allowed just one run on three hits in eight innings in game one, while Casey Barnes tossed five scoreless innings on four hits in game two. In the past eight games, Ducks starters are 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA (14 earned runs), 45 hits allowed, 12 walks and 46 strikeouts in 57 innings.

Fords Fury: With two hits in game one Sunday, Ford picked up his team-leading 20th multi-hit game of the season, three more than Cody Puckett. The former big leaguer is 16-33 (.485 avg.) in his last eight games with one home run, six runs scored and seven RBI. Ford currently leads the league in batting average (.392), RBI (41) and hits (65), while tied for third in the league in home runs (7).

Silencing the Crabs: Long Island is 8-2 against the Blue Crabs, including 4-2 at Regency Furniture Stadium. The Flock have outscored the Southern Maryland by an aggregate of 51-23 in their ten games, the largest aggregate differential for the Ducks against any other Atlantic League team this year. Long Island saw a streak of 10 consecutive wins against Southern Maryland, dating back to the 2013 Liberty Division Championship Series, end Saturday night in the Crab’s 3-2, 11 inning victory.

On the Air: Live audio of tonight’s broadcast can be heard on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m., with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Marc Schwartz 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
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#28  Shaun Garceau – RHP

Blue Crabs
#7   Jonny Kaplan – LF
#19 Angel Sanchez – SS
#44 C.J. Ziegler – 1B
#38 Luke Murton – DH
#2   Jake Opitz – 3B
#4   Dave Sappelt – CF
#1   Amadeo Zazueta – 2B
#13  Juan Medina – C
#20 Jermaine Mitchell – RF

#23 Brian Baker – RHP

Be sure to follow the blog all day long as the Ducks look to exit Southern Maryland with a series victory.

UPDATE (7:54): Ducks grab a 1-0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly from Joash Brodin!

UPDATE (8:18): Angel Sanchez leads off the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run. Ballgame tied at one, moving to the top of the fifth.

UPDATE (8:36): Southern Maryland plates three runs in the fifth, including a two-run home run from Jermaine Mitchell, to take a 4-1 lead.

UPDATE (8:48): Two runs for the Ducks in the top of the sixth has chased Blue Crabs starter Brian Baker from the ballgame! Ruiz and Harris w/ the RBIs!

UPDATE (9:28): Ducks grab the lead in the seventh!! Two hits, three walks, including one with the bases loaded, and a wild pitch has given the Ducks a 2-0!

UPDATE (9:32): Ducks add two more runs in the seventh!! Brendan Harris with a sacrifice fly and Adam Bailey with an RBI single to give the Flock a 7-4 lead

UPDATE (10:09): Ducks still lead 7-4, heading to the bottom of the ninth inning! Jon Meloan on the mound, looking for his second save of the year!

UPDATE (10:20): BALLGAME!!! Jon Meloan closes the door and the Ducks win it 7-4! The Flock erase a 4-1 deficit to improve to 24-19 on the year!!

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Posted on June 9, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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