Game 56: Ducks vs Skeeters

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Perfect weather once again graces Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, N.Y. today as the Ducks get set for the third game of a four-game set with the Sugar Land Skeeters. The Ducks enter today’s game a season-high nine games over .500 thanks to a sweep of yesterday’s day/night doubleheader. In a day in which the Flock welcomed 11,322 fans through the ballpark turnstiles, it was starting pitching that highlighted the success. Long Island took game one 3-1, before completing the sweep with a 2-1 victory in game two.

Massapequa resident Rob Whitenack started the opener of the doubleheader, and impressed in his Bethpage Ballpark debut. Whitenack tossed six innings, allowing just one unearned run on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts to earn his first win as a Duck. Offensively, the righty was helped out with a two-run home run from Adam Bailey in the second inning, which provided the eventual difference in the ballgame. Jon Meloan closed the door with a scoreless ninth inning, and is now seven-for-seven in save opportunities this year.

Similar to game one, the storyline on game two was featured on the pitching mound. Jared Lansford, in his ninth start of the year for Long Island, tossed his first complete game since 2006, which came as a member of the Kane County Cougars (A, Athletics). Lansford allowed one run in nine innings of work, scattering five hits with no walks and a season-high eight strikeouts. After allowing consecutive base hits to begin the second inning, Lansford retired the next 20 batters in order. It marked the fifth complete game for Ducks pitching this year.

CLICK HERE to view the recap, listen to the audio highlights and watch postgame comments from Kevin Baez, Rob Whitenack and Jared Lansford.

Today, John Brownell toes the rubber for Long Island against Skeeters righty Clint Everts. Brownell enters with a 6-3 record and a 3.89 ERA. In addition, Brownell is tied with teammate Shaun Garceau for the league lead in strikeouts (57), and has won five of his last six starts. His counterpart today, Everts, enters 1-5 on the year with a 5.71 ERA. Everts has lost his last four decisions dating back to a May 27 start against Bridgeport.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Skeeters: Today marks the sixth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Skeeters and third of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks currently lead the series four games to one. Long Island and Sugar Land have played 45 games against each other all-time, with the Skeeters holding a 27-18 lead. However, the Ducks have a 12-10 lead in 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 .376 batting average, which is one point higher than Lancaster’s Blake Gailen. His 11 home runs are one more than Lancaster’s Cole Garner, and his 50 RBI are nine better than Garner’s 41. Ford is also leading the league in hits (79), runs (47) and total bases (126) and has reached base safely in 20 of his last 22 games.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With singles in both games on Saturday, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to 17 consecutive games. That’s the longest hitting streak by a Duck this season. During the streak, Lentini is batting .365 (27-for-74) with six doubles, one homer, 10 RBI and 12 runs. Lentini also stole his Atlantic League leading 23rd base in the nightcap and is 23-for-23 in stolen base attempts this year. He is the current league leader in doubles (18) and at-bats (235) as well.

Starter Success: Both Ducks starters earned victories in Saturday’s twinbill. Rob Whitenack earned his first win as a Duck in the opener, in what was also his first game at Bethpage Ballpark. The righty has now tossed nine innings without allowing an earned run in a Ducks uniform. Jared Lansford’s complete game in the nightcap was the fifth of the year by Ducks pitching and his first of the season. It was the third complete game of Lansford’s career and first since 2006 as a member of the Kane County Cougars (A, Athletics). He also set a personal season-high with eight strikeouts.

Faithful Flock: Saturday night’s past-capacity crowd of 6,705 was the largest attendance of the season at Bethpage Ballpark. It was also Long Island’s third sellout of the season. The Ducks have welcomed a league-record 630 past-capacity crowds to the Duck Pond since their inaugural season of 2000.

On the Air: Today’s game can be heard on your radio dial at Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Live streaming video and audio will also be available on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak with call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are today’s lineups:

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

#7   John Brownell – RHP

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

#10 Clint Everts – RHP

Stay tuned here for updates throughout the game as the Ducks look to make it three straight wins over the Skeeters!

UPDATE (2:14): No score through two innings at the Duck Pond. John Brownell has retired all six batters he has faced thus far!

UPDATE (2:32): Sugar Land takes a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth on a RBI single from Travis Scott.

UPDATE (2:49): DUCKS GRAB THE LEAD!! Keith Castillo with a two-run single to give the Flock a 2-1 lead in the fourth!

UPDATE (2:52): Make it 3-0 Ducks!! Dan Lyons with a RBI single to increase the lead! Five consecutive Ducks batters have reached base in the fourth!

UPDATE (3:46): Skeeters trim the deficit to one in the top of the seventh on a run-scoring double play. Heading to the eighth now, Ducks still lead 3-2.

UPDATE (4:03): John Brownell heads back to the mound for the ninth, looking for his third complete game of the year! Ducks lead 3-1 over Sugar Land!

UPDATE (4:10): BALLGAME!!! John Brownell tosses his third complete game of the year as the Ducks defeat the Skeeters 3-2!! Recap to follow!


Posted on June 22, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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