Game 52: Ducks at Riversharks

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The Ducks offense was at it again on Wednesday night, lifting Long Island to back-to-back victories in the first two games against the Camden Riversharks at Campbell’s Field. A night after pounding out 15 runs on 17 hits, the Flock racked up 11 more runs and 12 more hits to defeat the Riversharks 11-8. While every win is important here during the stretch run of the first half, Wednesday’s was especially so because the Somerset Patriots lost a 2-1 decision in Southern Maryland to the Blue Crabs. Their loss and the Ducks win moves Long Island to within two and a half games of the Patriots for first place in the Liberty Division and just two games in the loss column.

Randy Ruiz was a major contributor in the series opener, going 3-for-6 with a double, a homer, three RBI and three runs scored. Last night, the former big leaguer was at it again. With two swings of the bat, Ruiz picked up two extra-base hits, drove in seven runs and scored twice. With the score tied at two in the third, Ruiz launched a long grand slam to center field off Greg Miller. It was Ruiz’s second grand slam of the year, and both he and Lew Ford have now each hit two. Then in the eighth inning, with the Ducks clinging to a three-run lead, he lined a three-run double down the right field line off Jonathan Lucas to extend the Ducks lead to 10-4. Ruiz’s seven RBI tied him with Lew Ford (5/28 at Lancaster) for the most by a Duck in a game this season and came up just one shy of the franchise record for RBI in a game (8, John Rodriguez, 6/9/11 at Lancaster).

Aside from Ruiz, the rest of the offense also found ways to contribute in the win and stave off another battle from the Riversharks. Fehlandt Lentini continued his hot hitting with two singles and a run scored, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Cody Puckett, who was the only Duck without a hit on Tuesday night, singled in his first three at-bats, drove in a run, scored twice and drew a walk. Joash Brodin had two hits and a run scored after getting a day off on Tuesday night. The list goes on and on.

Bobby Blevins battled on the mound, tossing six innings of four-run ball (three earned). He gave up nine hits and two walks while striking out two, but made key pitches to get out of jams just like John Brownell did the night before. Blevins escaped a first-and-second, one-out jam in the second, a bases loaded, two-out jam in the third and a first-and-second, no-out jam in the fourth. That was good enough to earn the righty his fourth win of the season.

CLICK HERE to view last night’s game recap, complete with audio game highlights.

Tonight, the Ducks will look to guarantee themselves a series win over the Riversharks and a winning road trip overall. They’ll call on one of their most reliable starters this year in right-hander Shaun Garceau, who looks to become the first pitcher in the Atlantic League with seven wins this year. He is 6-1 to this point with a 4.75 ERA through 11 games (10 starts). On paper, that ERA does not look impressive, but considering his ERA was 34.71 after his first start and was 11.17 six starts ago, the dramatic decrease has been impressive. He has yet to start against Camden but allowed two runs in one inning of relief on May 18. Garceau will be opposed by right-hander Pedro Liriano, who is 0-2 with a 6.92 ERA in nine games (five starts) this season. He took a no-decision last time out on June 14 against York, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks over five innings in an eventual 6-5 defeat. Liriano has not yet faced the Ducks in 2014.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the sixth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and third of 10 games between the two in Camden. The Ducks currently lead the series three games to two. Long Island and Camden have played 250 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 130-120 advantage in the series and a slim 65-63 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 .391 batting average, which is 16 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 (77), runs (45) and total bases (123) and has reached base safely in 17 of his last 18 games.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With two hits on Wednesday, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to 13 consecutive games. That’s tied for the longest hitting streak by a Duck this season (Ford, 13 games, 5/13-5/25). During the streak, Lentini is batting .386 (22-for-57) with five doubles, one homer, 10 RBI and 12 runs. Six of the 13 games during the streak have been multi-hit contests, including each of the last four games, and Lentini now has 20 multi-hit games this season.

The Great Garceau: Tonight’s starter, Shaun Garceau, has won each of his past three starts and five of his past seven starts. In those seven starts, the right-hander has compiled a 2.25 ERA, allowing just 13 runs in 52 innings. During that span, he has surrendered  38 hits and 10 walks while striking out 43. Garceau is currently tied with teammate John Brownell for the Atlantic League lead in wins (six) and third in strikeouts with 53, just four behind Brownell for the league lead.

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

#28 Shaun Garceau – 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
#34 Ryan Strieby – RF
#25 Brian Van Kirk – DH
#7   Mike Albaladejo – C

#27 Pedro Liriano – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the night from Campbell’s Field, where the sun has popped out after a rainy start to the day and where it is a bit cooler than it has been over the past two days.

UPDATE (7:33): No score after one at Campbell’s Field. Each side has had one base runner thus far.

UPDATE (7:53): After allowing a pair of one-out walks, Shaun Garceau induces back-to-back flyouts to get out of trouble in the second!

UPDATE (8:21): The Ducks strike first on a RBI double to left-center by Adam Bailey in the fourth that scores Lew Ford!

UPDATE (8:32): Garceau gets out of a first-and-second, no-out jam in the fourth by striking out Hudak and getting Strieby to hit into a 6-4-3 double play!

UPDATE (9:33): Riversharks tie the game in the seventh on a RBI double to left by Brian Van Kirk after Garceau does not get a strike three call on Strieby.

UPDATE (9:42): Ducks have re-taken the lead on a RBI single to left by Cody Puckett in the eighth!

UPDATE (9:59): Houdini delivers! Eric Niesen walks the first two in the eighth but gets out of the inning without allowing a run! 2-1 Ducks after eight!

UPDATE (10:24): Jon Meloan strands the tying run at first to record his sixth save, and the Ducks win their third straight by a final score of 2-1!


Posted on June 19, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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