Games 54/55: Ducks vs Skeeters

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The Ducks return home with a bang today as they begin a four-game series against the Sugar Land Skeeters with a day/night doubleheader. The day game today will feature the Ducks lone “Peanut-Free” game of the 2014 season. Peanuts will neither be sold nor allowed into Bethpage Ballpark for game one, allowing fans and families with peanut allergies the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of a ballgame without the worries of allergies. After the night cap tonight, there will be a Pyrotechnico Fireworks Extravaganza, courtesy of NCYB! It certainly figures to be a fun day at the Duck Pond!

Long Island returns home after an eight-game road trip in which it took five-of-eight between the Somerset Patriots and the Camden Riversharks. The Ducks began the road trip with a sweep of the Patriots in a day/night doubleheader last Saturday, before Somerset took the final two games of the series Sunday and Monday, respectively. The Ducks began a four-game set with the Riversharks on Tuesday, proceeding to win the first three games thanks to some outstanding offensive efforts and solid starting pitching – namely from Shaun Garceau on Thursday.

Last night was a different story, however, as the Riversharks won an exciting 6-5 ballgame to prevent the Ducks from completing a four-game series. Camden got on the board first with a two-run triple from Bryan Pounds in the first, but Long Island later rallied with three unanswered runs to take a lead in the third inning. Former Duck Bryant Nelson tied up the ballgame with a RBI single in the fifth before a Randy Ruiz RBI single and a Brendan Harris sac fly regained the lead for the Flock in the sixth. Once again, however, it was Pounds answering the call for the Riversharks, lining a three-run double to center field in the seventh inning to put Camden in front for good.

CLICK HERE to view the recap and listen to the audio highlights from Friday night’s game.

In game one today, Ducks righty Rob Whitenack makes his second start of the season, toeing off against seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady for the Skeeters. In Whitenack’s lone start this season, he worked three scoreless innings against the Somerset Patriots last Saturday without allowing a hit. McGrady is 0-2 this year with a 7.94 ERA. In three starts, McGrady has allowed five runs on four hits and nine walks without striking out a batter. His longest outing of the season was two and two-thirds innings on May 22 against the York Revolution.

In game two, Jared Lansford will make his ninth start of the year for Long Island against Skeeters righty David Pauley. Lansford enters tonight’s game 2-3 with a 4.07 ERA this year, with 17 walks and 34 strikeouts in 42 innings of work. His counterpart tonight, Pauley, is 5-3 on the year while ranking third in the Atlantic League in earned run average (2.36). The Colorado native has allowed more than three earned runs just once this year in nine appearances (eight starts).

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Skeeters: Today marks the fourth and fifth meetings of the season between the Ducks and Skeeters and first two of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks currently lead the series two games to one. Long Island and Sugar Land have played 42 games against each other all-time, with the Skeeters holding a 27-16 lead in the series. The teams have split 20 games at Bethpage Ballpark.

Triple Crown Threat: Lew Ford is currently leading the Atlantic League in all three Triple Crown categories. The outfielder and hitting coach has a .384 batting average, which is nine points higher than Lancaster’s Blake Gailen. His 11 home runs are two more than three other players, and his 50 RBI are 10 better than York’s Johan Limonta. Ford is also leading the league in hits (78), runs (47) and total bases (124) and has reached base safely in 19 of his last 20 games.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With a double in the third inning on Friday, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to 15 consecutive games. That’s the longest hitting streak by a Duck this season. During the streak, Lentini is batting .379 (25-for-66) with six doubles, one homer, 10 RBI and 12 runs. Seven of the 15 games during the streak have been multi-hit contests, including five of the last six games.

Hometown Starter: Today’s starter, Rob Whitenack, makes his first home start as a member of the Long Island Ducks. The Massapequa resident made his Ducks debut last Saturday as the starter at Somerset and tossed three scoreless innings in an eventual 4-1 win. Whitenack played his high school baseball at Plainedge High School in Massapequa and played collegiate baseball at SUNY-Old Westbury. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the eighth round of the 2009 draft.

On the Air: Both games of the twinbill will be broadcast live online, with streaming audio and video available on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can follow game one of the twinbill by CLICKING HERE and game two by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are the lineups for game one:

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

#9   Rob Whitenack – RHP

#29 Ryan Langerhans – LF
#6    Taylor Harbin – SS
#24 Delwyn Young – 1B
#11  Brian Barton – RF
#16  Travis Scott – C
#21  Nick Stavinoha – DH
#5    Chase Lambin – 2B
#2    Michael Rockett – CF
#4    Dominic Ramos – 3B

#40 Tracy McGrady – RHP

Stay tuned here for updates throughout both games of the doubleheader today!

UPDATE (1:25): Ducks draw a walk against Tracy McGrady in the first, but a Lew Ford broken-bat double play gets him out of the inning unscathed. No score.

UPDATE (1:36): Daniel Meadows replaces Tracy McGrady in the bottom of the second. McGrady’s line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 15 pitches, five strikes.

UPDATE (1:40): DUCKS LEAD!! Adam Bailey with a two-run shot, his eighth of the year, to put the Flock on top 2-0 in the second inning!

UPDATE (2:13): Rob Whitenack has worked four scoreless innings so far, holding the Skeeters  to three hits with two strikeouts. Ducks lead 2-0, heading to the bottom of the fourth.

UPDATE (2:22): Keith Castillo adds an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to extend the Ducks lead to 3-0!

UPDATE (2:49): The Skeeters scratch out an unearned run against Whitenack in the sixth. Ducks still lead 3-1, heading to the bottom of the sixth!

UPDATE (3:00): Eric Niesen enters the game for the Ducks in the seventh. Whitenack’s final line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 78 pitches, 46 strikes

UPDATE (3:30): Jon Meloan enters the game in the top of the ninth, looking for his seventh save of the year. Ducks lead 3-1 in game one of the twinbill!

UPDATE (3:43): BALLGAME!!! Jon Meloan closes the door and the Ducks take game one 3-1!! Rob Whitenack earns his first win with the Flock! Recap to follow!

Here are the lineups for game two:

#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
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#21 Jared Lansford – RHP

#29 Ryan Langerhans – LF
#6    Taylor Harbin – SS
#24 Delwyn Young – 1B
#11  Brian Barton – RF
#16  Travis Scott – DH
#5    Chase Lambin – 2B
#32  Koby Clemens – C
#2    Michael Rockett – CF
#4    Dominic Ramos – 3B

#30 David Pauley – RHP

Stay tuned for updates throughout game two of the doubleheader as the Ducks look to sweep the Skeeters!

UPDATE (7:37): Ducks starter Jared Lansford works out of first-and-second, no-out jam to keep the game scoreless in the top of the second inning!

UPDATE (7:58): We remain scoreless at Bethpage Ballpark through three innings.

UPDATE (8:20): Lansford has retired the last 12 consecutive Skeeters batters! He has allowed two hits so far. No score, heading to the bottom of the fifth.

UPDATE (8:31): DUCKS TAKE THE LEAD! A throwing error from Skeeters shortstop Taylor Harbin brings home Adam Bailey for the first run of the game! 1-0 Flock

UPDATE (8:41): Lansford strikes out a pair in the sixth to tie a season-high w/ seven strikeouts on the night! He has retired 15 straight! 1-0 Ducks lead!

UPDATE (9:00): Make it 18 straight retired by Lansford! He also sets a new season high w/ eight strikeouts! Ducks still lead 1-0 through the top of the 6th!

UPDATE (9:08): Joash Brodin extends the Ducks lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh with a RBI single!

UPDATE (9:24): Michael Rockett reaches on an error in the 8th to break streak of 20 straight retired by Lansford, but is later stranded at first. 2-0 Ducks!

UPDATE (9:33): Lansford back to the mound, looking for the complete game! He has allowed just two hits so far! Ducks lead 2-0, heading to the ninth!

UPDATE (9:45): BALLGAME!!! Jared Lansford works his first complete game of the year and the Ducks sweep the twinbill 2-1!!

UPDATE (9:55): Lansford’s final line: 9.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K, 115 pitches, 74 strikes. It’s the fifth complete game tossed by Ducks pitching this year!


Posted on June 21, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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