Game 51: Ducks at Riversharks

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Prior to Tuesday night, only two other Atlantic League teams had ever amassed 1,000 wins. The Bridgeport Bluefish became the first team to do so on June 27, 2012 with a 2-1 win over the York Revolution at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Almost a month later on July 24, the Somerset Patriots accomplished the feat with a 6-5 victory over the Sugar Land Skeeters at TD Bank Ballpark. Though they were unable to secure win number 1,000 at home, the Ducks achieved the milestone win in blowout fashion at Campbell’s Field on Tuesday, routing the Riversharks 15-8. For a team that has won 11 half season division titles and has held the league’s best overall record twice (2000, 82-58 and 2011, 78-47), the victory was another historic moment in this, the franchise’s 15th Anniversary Season.

Not only was the win special, but the Ducks offense once again displayed the incredible firepower they are capable of. Not to mention, they did it without the likes of Joash Brodin in the lineup. Every Ducks batter reached base at least once, with eight of the nine recording at least one hit and seven of the nine recording multiple hits. Seven batters also earned at least one RBI AND one run scored in the victory. It was a top-to-bottom effort that had to make everyone feel good after the team failed to score more than five runs in any of the four games against Somerset.

John Brownell was not at his best on Tuesday night, tying a season-high for a Ducks pitcher with 11 hits allowed. He surrendered five runs over six innings, needing 108 pitches to get through, and struck out four while walking one. Though he battled from the get-go, he limited the damage and was helped out by key defensive plays. A 6-4-3 double play turned in the first inning and then a 4-6-3 twin killing with the bases loaded in the fourth were huge for the right-hander. Ultimately, his effort was good enough to earn his sixth win of the season, tying him with teammate Shaun Garceau for the league lead, and extend his league-leading strikeout total to 57.

CLICK HERE to view last night’s game recap, complete with audio game highlights and postgame interviews with manager Kevin Baez and first baseman Randy Ruiz.

Tonight, the Ducks will send another one of their best arms to the mound as they look for a second consecutive win. Bobby Blevins will toe the rubber, sporting a 3-1 record and a 3.28 ERA that is good for seventh in the Atlantic League. The right-hander has not lost since May 8 against Lancaster, a span of six consecutive starts, and has allowed more than the three runs just once in that stretch. In those six starts, Blevins is 2-0 with a 2.98 ERA, allowing 14 earned runs over 42 and one-third innings of work. He has struck out 29 and walked just eight in that stretch as well. He’ll be opposed by Riversharks righty Greg Miller, who has an 0-2 record with a 3.96 ERA in 18 games, all out of the bullpen. In 25 innings of work, he has allowed 22 hits and 18 walks with 20 strikeouts. His longest outing came in his most recent appearance, June 12 against York, when he tossed three and one-third innings, allowing a run on a hit and three walks while striking out three.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the fifth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and second of 10 games between the two in Camden. The series is currently tied at two. Long Island and Camden have played 249 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 130-119 advantage in the series and a slim 65-62 edge in Camden. The Ducks won the 2013 season series 11-9 and went 7-7 at Campbell’s Field.

Triple Crown Threat: Lew Ford is currently leading the Atlantic League in all three Triple Crown categories. The outfielder and hitting coach has a .392 batting average, which is 17 points higher than Lancaster’s Blake Gailen. His 11 home runs are two more than three other players, and his 49 RBI are 10 better than Lancaster’s Cole Garner. Ford is also leading the Atlantic League in hits (76), runs (43) and total bases (122) and has reached base safely in 16 of his last 17 games.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With three hits on Tuesday, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to 12 consecutive games. That’s the second-longest hitting streak by a Duck this season (Ford, 13 games, 5/13-5/25). During the streak, Lentini is batting .354 (20-for-52) with five doubles, one homer, 10 RBI and 11 runs. Five of the 12 games during the streak have been multi-hit contests, including each of the last three games, and Lentini now has 19 multi-hit games this season.

What Can Brown-ell Do For You? John Brownell earned his fifth win in his last six starts on Tuesday night and has not received a loss since May 18 at home against Camden. In those six starts, the 2013 Championship Series MVP has compiled a 2.45 ERA, allowing just 13 runs (12 earned) in 44 innings of work. In that span, he has surrendered 41 hits and 16 walks while striking out 32.

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:

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

#18 Bobby Blevins – RHP

#4   Zack MacPhee – LF
#10 Paddy Matera – 2B
#24 Bryant Nelson – 3B
#19 Jose Julio-Ruiz – 1B
#14 Bryan Pounds – SS
#8   Alex Hudak – CF
#25 Brian Van Kirk – RF
#34 Ryan Strieby – DH
#7   Mike Albaladejo – C

#18 Greg Miller – LHP

Keep it here for updates from another scorcher of a day at Campbell’s Field as the Ducks look to make it back-to-back wins over the Riversharks to open this four-game series.

UPDATE (7:23): No score after one inning at Campbell’s Field. Cody Puckett, the only Duck without a hit last night, singles in the opening inning.

UPDATE (7:30): The Ducks strike for two in the second on a RBI groundout by Jan Vazquez and a throwing error by Bryant Nelson on a ground ball off the bat of Dan Lyons!

UPDATE (7:47): Camden ties the game in the second when Joash Brodin loses a throw to first in the sun and Mike Albaladejo delivers a RBI single.

UPDATE (7:59): Long Island re-takes the lead! Randy Ruiz launches his second grand slam of the season & second homer of the series! 6-2 Ducks in the third.

UPDATE (8:15): Camden squeaks out a run in the third on Alex Hudak’s RBI single, but Blevins leaves the bases loaded to keep Long Island up 6-3.

UPDATE (8:31): A third hit of the night for Puckett, this time a RBI single, puts the Ducks up 7-3 in the fourth!

UPDATE (9:04): A two-out RBI double from Strieby in the bottom of the fifth brings the Riversharks to within three at 7-4.

UPDATE (9:17): Both offenses have been quieted, and after six innings, the Ducks hold a 7-4 lead over the Riversharks.

UPDATE (9:35): Camden puts two on with one out in the seventh, but Eric Niesen gets Brian Van Kirk to ground into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play!

UPDATE (9:58): Seven RBI for Ruiz! He lines a three-run double down the right field line, and Bailey follows with a RBI single! 11-4 Flock in the eighth!

UPDATE (10:14): Jose Julio-Ruiz brings the Riversharks back withing four on a grand slam to right in the eighth inning. Now an 11-8 Ducks lead.

UPDATE (10:29): Jon Meloan works a perfect ninth inning, and the Ducks take their second straight game over the Riversharks by a final count of 11-8!


Posted on June 18, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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