Game 48: Ducks at Patriots

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First things first; a Happy Father’s Day everyone!

The Long Island Ducks began their eight-game road trip with a bang Saturday, sweeping the Somerset Patriots in a day/night doubleheader at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, N.J. Entering the series, Long Island was three-and-a-half games behind Somerset for first place in the Liberty Division. In addition, the Ducks had not won consecutive games since taking the first three games of a home series against the Lancaster Barnstormers at the beginning of June. That all changed yesterday with Long Island’s 4-1 win in game one, followed by a 5-2 victory in game two.

Ducks starting pitching once again stole the show in both games – a storyline that has continued over the last two weeks. In game one, Rob Whitenack made his Ducks debut and shut down the Patriots for three scoreless innings without allowing a hit on two walks and two strikeouts. Long Island took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Joash Brodin RBI double, and did not look back. The Flock added two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to increase their lead to 4-0. Somerset plated a run in the sixth, but that was all it would get against the Ducks, with Long Island taking game one 4-1.

Shaun Garceau led the way for the Ducks in game two. After allowing consecutive hits to the first two batters he faced, Garceau settled down to retire the next 11 in order, and 15 of the next 16. The righty worked seven innings, allowing just one run on six hits and a season-high nine strikeouts. Garceau worked with the lead after Lew Ford lifted his league-leading 10th homer of the year, a solo shot in the fourth, off Somerset starter Erik Arnesen. The Flock added to their lead in the fifth with three runs, all coming on infield singles from Fehlandt Lentini and Cody Puckett. Jon Meloan closed the door in the bottom of the ninth to earn his second save of the day.

CLICK HERE to read last night’s recap and listen to audio highlights of the doubleheader.

Today, Casey Barnes makes his third start of the season. Barnes is 0-1 with a 4.57 ERA, eight walks and 20 strikeouts in 21 and two-thirds inning over his 10 appearances. In Barnes’s last start, the righty worked five scoreless innings against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, limiting them to four hits and one walk. His counterpart today is Somerset starter Matt Zielinksi. The southpaw enters 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA in nine appearances (seven starts). Zielinski worked two and one-thirds innings of scoreless relief on April 26 in his lone appearance against Long Island this year.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Patriots: Today marks the ninth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Patriots, and the sixth of 10 games between the two in Somerset. The season series is currently tied at four. Long Island and Somerset have played 273 games against each other all-time, with the Patriots holding a 138-135 advantage and a 71-63 edge at TD Bank Ballpark.

Triple Crown Lew: Lew Ford continued his dominance of the Atlantic League this season with a pair of strong games Saturday. Overall, Ford went 4-for-7 in the doubleheader with a double, two runs scored and his league-leading 10th home run of the year. Ford now leads the league in batting (.397), home runs (10), and runs batted in (46). In addition to the triple crown categories, Ford also leads the league in runs (39), hits (73), total bases (116) and is second in on-base percentage (.459).

Starter Success: With two starts Saturday, Ducks starting pitching continued their streak of excellence. Rob Whitenack worked three scoreless, hitless innings in game one, while Shaun Garceau tossed seven innings of one-run ball on six hits and nine strikeouts in game two. In their last 13 games, Ducks starters are 7-2 with a 2.25 ERA. In 88 innings during that span, the starters have allowed just 24 runs (22 earned) on 70 hits, with 71 strikeouts to just 17 walks.

Go, Go Garceau: While Ducks starting pitching has been excellent as of late, Garceau has punctuated that success. Over his last seven starts, Garceau is 6-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 10 walks and 43 strikeouts. That includes two complete games and one shutout. Garceau is tied with teammate John Brownell for the league lead in strikeouts with 53.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With a hit in each game Saturday, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to nine consecutive games. During the nine games, he is batting .289 (11-for-38) with two doubles, one homer, seven RBI and eight runs. Lentini also stole two bases yesterday, and is 19-for-19 on the basepaths this year. Lentini previously had an eight-game hitting streak from May 22 to 30.

Approaching 1,000: The two victories Saturday were Long Island’s 26th and 27th of 2014. The Ducks have now totaled 999 regular season wins in franchise history, leaving them just one win shy of the magical 1,000-win plateau. Of those 999 victories, 605 have come at Bethpage Ballpark.

On the Air: Live audio of today’s broadcast can be heard both on 103.9 FM LI News Radio, as well as online by CLICKING HERE. Coverage begins at 12:50 p.m., with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m. Marc Schwartz will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are today’s starting lineups:

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

#6  Casey Barnes – RHP

Somerset
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#21 Adam Donachie – 1B
#2    Luis Montanez – CF
#15  Corey Smith – 3B
#5    Ty Wright – RF
#7   Eddy Martinez-Esteve – DH
#10 Brian Barden – 2B
#37 Damaso Espino – C
#12 Edwin Maysonet – SS

#31 Matt Zielinksi – LHP

Stay tuned for updates throughout the game as Long Island looks for it’s 1,000th regular season win in franchise history!

UPDATE (1:22): Brendan Harris gives the Ducks a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with a RBI single! Third consecutive game with an RBI for Harris!

UPDATE (1:36): Somerset responds with two runs in the bottom of the first on a two-run double from Corey Smith. 2-1 Patriots after one inning.

UPDATE (2:04): LEWWW!! Lew Ford with a solo home run, his league-leading 11th of the year, to trim the deficit to one! 3-2 Pats, bottom of the third.

UPDATE (2:28): The Patriots extend their lead to 5-2 on a two-run homer from Adam Donachie in the fourth inning.

UPDATE (3:04): Adam Donachie with a sac fly in the sixth to extend the Pats lead to 6-2.

UPDATE (3:11): Fehlandt Lentini with a RBI double in the top of the seventh to trim the deficit to 6-3!

UPDATE (3:36): Ducks trail 6-3 heading to the top of the ninth inning. The Flock still looking for their 1,000 regular season win in franchise history!

UPDATE (3:53): FINAL. Ducks plate a run in the ninth but fall to the Patriots 6-4. Recap to follow shortly.

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Posted on June 15, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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