Game 53: Ducks at Riversharks

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The Ducks and Riversharks combined for 42 runs and 57 hits over the first two games of this four-game series in Camden, with Long Island winning both games by 15-8 and 11-8 margins. On Thursday night, the focus turned from the offense to the men on the mound, as Shaun Garceau and Pedro Liriano locked up in a terrific pitcher’s duel. Despite the change of focus, the Ducks prevailed once again, winning by a 2-1 count to guarantee themselves a series win and a winning road trip.

Long Island needed just two big hits to secure the win, getting a one-out RBI double from Adam Bailey in the fourth and a RBI single to left by Cody Puckett in the eighth inning. Liriano held the Ducks offense in check, allowing just one run on four hits over seven innings. However, T.J. Hose, a former Duck, could not keep the game tied at one in the eighth and ultimately took the loss. Garceau battled through seven innings for the Flock, also yielding a run on three hits. His pinpoint accuracy wasn’t at its best on Thursday, as evidenced by his five walks. However, the only run he surrendered was on a RBI double by Brian Van Kirk in the seventh after he walked Ryan Strieby following two close pitches where the call did not go his way.

Garceau, along with relievers Eric Niesen and Jon Meloan, were helped out by four double plays throughout the course of the game. Garceau picked up inning-ending double plays in the third, fourth and seventh innings, the latter two of which came with a runner in scoring position. Niesen worked out of a first-and-second, no-out jam in the eighth, and Meloan induced a double play after allowing the leadoff batter to reach in the ninth. The Ducks made the key pitches when needed, and that is why they earned a third consecutive victory on Friday night.

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

Tonight, the Ducks will look to sweep the four-game set in Camden and finish their eight-game road trip with a 6-2 record. Casey Barnes will take the mound for Long Island, looking for his first victory of the year. He is 0-2 to this point with a 5.26 ERA in 11 games (three starts). He took the loss his last time out on Sunday in Somerset, allowing five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in four innings. Previously, he had thrown five scoreless innings at Southern Maryland on June 8. The difference, according to Barnes and pitching coach Steve Foucault was his “aggressiveness,” and that is what Barnes has said he will look to improve tonight. The first-year Duck threw three scoreless innings against Camden on May 18. On the other side will be Riversharks right-hander Jake Hale, who enters with a 4-3 record and a 3.74 ERA in 10 starts. He’s been Camden’s most consistent starter to this point and earned a win his last time out, allowing four runs on six hits in seven and two-thirds innings at York on Sunday. Hale has yet to face the Ducks this season.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the seventh meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and fourth of 10 games between the two in Camden. The Ducks currently lead the series four games to two. Long Island and Camden have played 251 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 130-121 advantage in the series and a slim 65-64 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 .388 batting average, which is 13 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 and York’s Johan Limonta. Ford is also leading the league in hits (78), runs (46) and total bases (124) and has reached base safely in 18 of his last 19 games.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With a single in the eighth inning on Thursday, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to 14 consecutive games. That’s the longest hitting streak by a Duck this season. During the streak, Lentini is batting .393 (24-for-61) with five doubles, one homer, 10 RBI and 12 runs. seven of the 14 games during the streak have been multi-hit contests, including each of the last five games.

The Great Garceau: With his win on Thursday, Shaun Garceau, has now won each of his past four starts and seven of his past eight starts, earning a no-decisions in the other. In those eight starts, the righty has compiled a 2.14 ERA, allowing just 14 runs in 59 innings. In that span, he’s yielded  41 hits and 15 walks while striking out 47. Garceau currently leads the Atlantic League in wins (seven) and tied with teammate John Brownell for the league lead in strikeouts (57).

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Live streaming audio will also be available online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

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

#6 Casey Barnes – RHP

Riversharks
#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
#9   Jose Morales – C

#28 Jake Hale – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the night from Campbell’s Field, where the sun is shining, and the weather couldn’t be better for baseball!

UPDATE (7:34): Camden scores two in the first inning on a two-run triple to right by Bryan Pounds.

UPDATE (7:47): Long Island responds with a run in the second on a RBI double to right by Joash Brodin!

UPDATE (8:07): Ducks take their first lead in the third on a solo homer to right by Jan Vazquez and a sac fly to right by Lew Ford! 3-2 Flock!

UPDATE (8:50): Camden squeaks out a run in the fifth to tie the game at three on a RBI single to right by Bryant Nelson.

UPDATE (9:03): A RBI single by Randy Ruiz and a sac fly from Brendan Harris have put the Ducks back on top in the sixth and knocked Jake Hale out of the game!

UPDATE (9:55): A three-run double to center by Pounds has put the Riversharks back on top 6-5 after seven inning.

UPDATE (10:20): Ducks put the tying run on in the ninth, but a close call at first goes Camden’s way, and the Riversharks take the finale 6-5. Long Island ends road trip with a 5-3 record and returns home on Saturday for a day/night doubleheader with the Skeeters.

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Posted on June 20, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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