Game 44: Ducks vs. Bluefish

The month of June has been kind so far to the Long Island Ducks. After beginning the month with a series victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers, the Ducks continued their strong play by taking three-of five games against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs over the weekend. The series played like a roller coaster, as the two teams exchanged victories one-after-the-other. The Flock won the first and third games, with the Crabs winning the second and fourth before Long Island won the series finale 7-4 Monday night.

Shaun Garceau, who had won four of his previous five starts entering Monday night’s ballgame, toed the rubber for the Flock against Southern Maryland righty Brian Baker, who entered the game third in the Atlantic League in earned run average. The Ducks grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the third inning on a bases loaded sac fly from Joash Brodin. Garceau cruised through the first three innings before allowing a lead-off home run to Angel Sanchez in the fourth.

Southern Maryland took a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning on a RBI double from Amadeo Zazueta and a two-run homer from Jermaine Mitchell. However, the Ducks responded with six unanswered runs over the next two innings to gain a 7-4 lead. A Randy Ruiz RBI single and a RBI groundout from Brendan Harris brought Long Island within one run in the sixth before the Flock posted four runs in the seventh. A Brodin bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch scoring Cody Puckett from third base, sacrifice fly from Harris and a RBI single from Adam Bailey plated the tying and go-ahead runs.

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

Tonight, the Ducks take on the Bridgeport Bluefish for the first time at Bethpage Ballpark this season. Earlier this season, Long Island took two-of-three from the Bluefish at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Jared Lansford makes the start tonight for Long Island. The righty is 2-1 this year with a 4.20 ERA in six starts. His counterpart tonight, Bluefish starter D.J. Mitchell, is 1-4 with a 4.50 ERA in eight starts.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the fourth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Bluefish and the first of 10 games between the two on Long Island. The Ducks currently lead the series 2-1. Long Island and Bridgeport have played 268 games against each other all-time, with the Bluefish holding a slim 135-133 advantage in the series. However, the Ducks have a 75-59 lead at Bethpage Ballpark. Both teams have played for the Ferry Cup since 2009, and the Ducks have won it in three of its five seasons (2009, 2011, 2013).

The Hitting Machine: Lew Ford earned at least one hit in all five games at Southern Maryland and currently has a nine-game hitting streak. During the nine games, he is batting .472 (17-for-36) with one double, one homer, seven RBI, eight runs and four walks. He also put together six consecutive multi-hit games from June 3 through 8. The former big leaguer leads the Atlantic League in batting average (.391), RBI (41), hits (66) and total bases (99) and his seven homers are two shy of the league lead.

Starter Success: Ducks starting pitchers have been dominant over the past two series. In nine games, the starting rotation is a combined 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA. In 63.0 innings during that span, the starters have allowed just 19 runs (17 earned) on 51 hits, with 49 strikeouts to 13 walks. Long Island has gone 6-3 during those nine games, winning series against Lancaster and Southern Maryland.

Good Starts and Ends: The Ducks continued their success when scoring first on Monday night. Long Island improved to 14-2 when scoring first, good for the highest winning percentage in the Atlantic League this year. The Flock also improved to 19-1 when leading after seven innings and once again reached their high water mark of the year at five games over .500.

Road Warriors: After winning three of five games in Southern Maryland, the Ducks improved their road record this season to 13-9. That’s good for the second-best road record in the league behind the Somerset Patriots (14-9). Long Island’s pitching staff has a 3.69 ERA on the road compared to a 3.84 ERA at home. In 2013, the Ducks posted a 27-42 record away from the Duck Pond.

On the Air: Live audio of tonight’s broadcast can be heard on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Coverage begins at 6:20 p.m., with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. Chris King will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

#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

#21 Jared Lansford – RHP

#7   James Simmons – CF
#27 Prentice Redman – DH
#15 Ramon Castro – 2B
#23 J.R. Towles – C
#33 Joe Mather – LF
#19 Luis Lopez – 3B
#20 Denny Almonte – RF
#34 Austin Gallagher – 1B
#5 Juan Martinez – SS

#18 D.J. Mitchell – RHP

Be sure to follow the blog throughout the evening as the Ducks look to widen their lead over the Bluefish in the Ferry Cup Series.

UPDATE (7:24): Bluefish grab a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on a solo home run from Juan Martinez.

UPDATE (7:38): The Ducks answer back in the bottom of the third, as Fehlandt Lentini grounds a RBI single up the middle! 1-1 after three.

UPDATE (8:25): Jared Lansford works out of a first and second, no-out jam in the sixth to keep the game even at one!

UPDATE (8:36): Denny Almonte leads off the top of the seventh inning with a solo home run, and Bridgeport takes a 2-1 lead.

UPDATE (9:15): Through eight innings, the Bluefish continue to lead the Ducks 3-1.

UPDATE (9:27): FINAL: Bluefish take the opener of the three-game series 3-1. Recap to follow shortly.


Posted on June 11, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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