Games 46 & 47: Ducks at Patriots

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While last night’s rain put a damper on Friday night for the Ducks, Long Island has hit the road to begin an eight-game road trip against a pair of New Jersey Liberty Division rivals. First off is a four-game set against the Somerset Patriots in a rematch of the 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series. Following the series with Somerset, the Flock will migrate south down I-95 to Camden for a four-game set with the Riversharks.

The road trip begins with a bang today as the Ducks and Patriots get set for a day-night doubleheader.  The first game, with first pitch set for 12:00, will be a seven-inning affair, with the night cap at nine innings. These two teams enter the series jockeying for position atop the Liberty Divison, highlighting the importance of each game. The Patriots are three-and-a-half games above the Ducks for first place, with 25 games left in the first half of the season.

Ducks starter Rob Whitenack will make his Long Island debut in game one today, toeing off against Patriots southpaw Matt Maloney. Whitenack, a North Massapequa native, spent his last season playing in the Cleveland Indians organization, reaching as high as Double-A Akron. His counterpart today, Maloney, enters 2-1 on the year in five starts with a 2.79 ERA. In game two, Shaun Garceau will take the hill for the Ducks against Somerset righty Erik Arnesen. Garceau boasts a 5-1 record with a 5.18 ERA while Arnesen enters 5-2 with a 3.57 ERA.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Patriots: Today marks the seventh and eighth meetings of the season between the Ducks and Patriots, and the fourth and fifth of 10 games between the two on in Somerset. The Patriots lead the series 4-2. Long Island and Somerset have played 271 games against each other all-time, with the Patriots holding a 138-133 advantage and a 71-61 edge at TD Bank Ballpark.

Lew’s Longballs Lead Long Island: Lew Ford’s pair of two-run homers in Thursday’s game increased his season total to nine home runs. That moves him two longballs ahead of Adam Bailey for the most on the Ducks this year. It also marked the second time a Duck compiled a multi-homer game this year (Randy Ruiz, 2, May 28 at Lancaster). Ford is now tied for the Atlantic League lead in homers with James Simmons of Bridgeport along with Brock Kjeldgaard and Cole Garner of Lancaster. He also has the highest batting average (.390) and RBI total (45) in the Atlantic League this season.

Starter Success: On Thursday, John Brownell turned in his second complete game of the year and Long Island’s fourth to continue a streak of strong starting pitching for the Ducks. In their last 11 games, Ducks starters are 6-2 with a 2.42 ERA. In 78 innings during that span, the starters have allowed just 23 runs (21 earned) on 64 hits, with 60 strikeouts to just 15 walks.

Ruiz Keeps Raking: With two hits in Thursday’s game, Ruiz extended his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games. During the streak, he is batting .300 (15-for-50) with one triple, one homer, seven RBI and four runs scored. The former big leaguer has at least one hit in 19 of his 22 games as a Duck.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With a single in the third inning Thursday, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to seven consecutive games. During the seven games, he is batting .310 (9-for-29) with one double, one homer, five RBI and six runs. Lentini previously had an eight-game hitting streak from May 22 to 30.

Approaching 1,000: Thursday’s victory was Long Island’s 25th of 2014. The Ducks have now totaled 997 regular season wins in franchise history, leaving them just three wins shy of the magical 1,000-win plateau. Of those 997 victories, 605 have come at Bethpage Ballpark.

On the Air: Live audio of the game one broadcast can be heard on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Coverage begins at 11:45 a.m., with first pitch set for 12:00 p.m. Game two can be heard both on 103.9 FM LI News Radio, as well as online 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 the starting lineups for game one:

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

#9  Rob Whitenack – RHP

#6   Jonny Tucker – 2B
#91 Aharon Eggleston – DH
#15 Corey Smith – 3B
#39 Mike Wilson – RF
#5    Ty Wright – LF
#7   Eddy Martinez-Esteve – 1B
#8   Cory Harrilchak – CF
#37 Damaso Espino – C
#12 Edwin Maysonet – SS

#22 Matt Maloney – LHP

UPDATE (12:16): A two-out rally, capped by a RBI double from Joash Brodin, gives the Ducks a 1-0 lead in the top of the first!

UPDATE (12:58): Rob Whitenack has not allowed a hit through the first three innings in his debut, with the Ducks still leading 1-0!

UPDATE (1:19): Rob Whitenack’s final line in his Ducks debut: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 46 pitches. Ducks lead 1-0, heading to the top of the fifth!

UPDATE (1:38): Ducks extend their lead to 3-0 w/ two runs in the fifth! RBI double from Lentini & sac fly from Puckett did the damage, heading to the 6th!

UPDATE (1:49): A RBI double from Brendan Harris in the top of the sixth increases the Ducks lead to 4-0! Somerset w/ just one hit so far!

UPDATE (2:02): Somerset adds a run in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single from Martinez-Esteve. Ducks still lead 4-1, heading to the top of the 7th!

UPDATE (2:07): On to the bottom of the seventh we go, Ducks leading 4-1! Jon Meloan looking for his third save of the year!

UPDATE (2:19): BALLGAME!! Ducks take game one today 4-1! The Flock improve to a season best six games over .500 (26-20) and move within 2.5 games of first!

Here are the starting lineups for game two:

#24 Fehlandt Lentini – CF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#22 Joash Brodin – RF
#50 Randy Ruiz – 1B
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#30 Sergio Miranda – SS
#23 Jan Vazquez – C

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

#6   Jonny Tucker – 2B
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#2    Luis Montanez – CF
#39 Mike Wilson – RF
#5    Ty Wright – 1B
#7   Eddy Martinez-Esteve – DH
#10 Brian Barden – 3B
#21 Adam Donachie – C
#12 Edwin Maysonet – SS

#20 Erik Arnesen – LHP

Stay tuned for updated throughout the second game of today’s doubleheader!

UPDATE (7:41): No score through two innings in the back end of today’s doubleheader against the Somerset Patriots.

UPDATE (8:00): LEWWW!! Lew Ford with a solo home run, his league-leading 10th of the year, to give the Flock a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning!! Ford now leads the league in batting (.394), home runs (10) and RBI (46)!

UPDATE (8:26): Ducks plate three in the top of the fifth! Lentini with an RBI infield single, and Puckett with a two-run single to extend the lead to 4-0!!

UPDATE (8:41): Make it a 5-0 lead for the Ducks! Brendan Harris with a RBI single in the sixth to end the lead for the Flock!!

UPDATE (8:58): Somerset with a run in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single from Mike Wilson. Ducks lead 5-1, heading to the bottom of the seventh!

UPDATE (9:11): Garceau works a scoreless seventh inning and has now tied a season high w/ nine strikeouts on the evening! Ducks still lead 5-1!

UPDATE (9:29): Somerset trims the Ducks lead to 5-2 on a RBI double from Mike Wilson, heading to the top of the ninth.

UPDATE (9:41): Jon Meloan will enter for the Ducks in the bottom of the ninth, looking for his second save of the day! Ducks lead 5-2!

UPDATE (10:00): BALLGAME!!! The Ducks sweep the doubleheader of the Somerset Patriots with a 5-2 victory in game two!! Recap to follow shortly!


Posted on June 14, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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