Game 66: Ducks vs Bluefish

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Despite rain falling at Bethpage Ballpark last night, briefly pausing the game for a 27-minute delay, nine innings were played with the Long Island Ducks defeating the Bridgeport Bluefish 6-5. It was the ninth game of the year between the cross-sound rivals, and continued a trend of each team alternating wins throughout this season. Similar to the Ferry Cup through its five-year history, no team has won consecutive games this year against each other. With the second of three-consecutive Pyrotencico Fireworks Extravaganza planned after the game tonight, the excitement in Central Islip promises to continue!

Last night, the Ducks fell behind early for the seventh time in the last eight games. A two-out, two-run double from Ramon Castrol gave Bridgeport a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Long Island trimmed the deficit to one in the bottom of the sixth, after the rain delay, on an infield single from Brendan Harris and a throwing error, which allowed Lew Ford to score. After Bridgeport regained its two-run lead in the top of the seventh, the Flock bats went to work.

Five runs would score for Long Island in the bottom of the seventh inning, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 lead. Three-straight RBI singles from Fehladnt Lentini, Cody Puckett and Ford followed by back-to-back bases loaded walks to Randy Ruiz and Brendan Harris. The Bluefish plated two unearned runs in the top of the eighth to pull within one run, but Jon Meloan closed the door in the ninth inning to earn his ninth save of the year.

CLICK HERE to view last night’s recap, listen to the audio highlights and watch postgame comments from Kevin Baez, Jared Lansford and Ford.

Tonight, John Brownell returns to the mound for Long Island. The 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series MVP enters tonight’s ballgame 7-4 on the year with a 4.08 ERA. In 13 starts this season, Brownell has struck out a league-leading 70 batters against just 25 walks over 90 and one-third innings. Despite allowing seven runs on 11 hits his last time out, the righty has earned a win in six of his last eight starts, including a league-leading three complete games.

Brownell works against Bridgeport southpaw Hunter Jones tonight. Jones is 3-6 this year with a 4.10 ERA and 34 strikeouts to 14 walks over 72 and one-third innings. The second-year Bluefish has won just one of his last five starts, allowing at least four runs in four of the five games. In two starts against the Ducks this season, Jones is 0-1, allowing seven runs (six earned) over 14 innings of work on 14 hits and three walks while striking out three.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 10th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Bluefish and seventh of 10 games between the two on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series five to four, with both teams having alternated wins in the first nine games. Long Island and Bridgeport have played 274 games against each other all-time, with the Bluefish holding a slim 138-136 advantage. However, the Ducks have a 78-62 lead at Bethpage Ballpark. Both teams have played for the Ferry Cup since 2009,
with the Ducks winning it in three of its five seasons (2009, 2011, 2013).

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned another hit on Wednesday and has now hit safely in 26 of his last 27 games dating back to June 6. During those 26 games, he is batting .381 (43-for-113) and has earned multiple hits in 11 of those games. Lentini remains the only player in the Atlantic League that has at least 90 hits. He currently leads the league in hits (91), doubles (21), stolen bases (28) and at-bats (274) while ranking third in runs (47) and fourth in batting (.332).

Back on Track: Lew Ford recorded three hits on Wednesday night to break an 0-for-10 streak at the plate as well as a streak of 14 consecutive games without multiple hits. The former big leaguer now has six three-hit games this season and a team-leading 25 multi-hit games. Ford currently leads the Atlantic League in RBI (53) and runs (50), while ranking second in home runs (11), batting average (.354) and on-base percentage (.432).

Shutting the Door: Ducks closer Jon Meloan earned his ninth save in 10 opportunities on Wednesday night with a scoreless ninth inning. He has allowed a run in just two of his 16 appearances this season and has walked just three batters while striking out 14 over 17 innings. Long Island also earned their 30th win of the season when leading after seven innings this season.

Faithful Flock: Wednesday’s crowd of 6,021 was the Ducks’ fourth past-capacity crowd of the 2014 season. Long Island has now hosted 631 sellouts all-time, an Atlantic League record.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Live streaming video and audio will be available online by CLICKING HERE. Chris King will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s lineups:

#24 Fehlandt Lentini – CF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#50 Randy Ruiz – 1B
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#22 Joash Brodin – RF
#15 Jon Myers – LF
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#7   John Brownell – RHP

#7   James Simmons – CF
#27 Prentice Redman – RF
#15 Ramon Castro – 3B
#19 Luis Lopez – DH
#20 Denny Almonte – LF
#9   Luis Rodriguez – C
#34 Austin Gallagher – 1B
#5   Juan Martinez – 2B
#2   Mike Richard – SS

#28 Hunter Jones – LHP

Stay tuned here for updates throughout the game as the Ducks look to make it two straight over the Bluefish.

UPDATE (7:28): Bridgeport takes a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a fielder’s choice from Castro and a throwing error which scored Simmons.

UPDATE (7:50): John Brownell escapes a bases loaded jam in the top of the second to keep the score at 1-0 Bridgeport.

UPDATE (8:22): LEW!!! Lew Ford ties the game with an RBI single in the third! Ford increases his league-leading RBI total to 54!

UPDATE (8:46): FEHLANDT’S ON FIRE!! His league-leading 23rd double drives in two runs in the fourth to put the Ducks in front 3-1 over the Bluefish!

UPDATE (9:00): Prentice Redman homers in the top of the fifth inning, but the Ducks respond on a RBI single from Brendan Harris to take a 4-2 lead!

UPDATE (9:11): The Flock add three two more runs on a RBI single from Jan Vazquez and a run-scoring wild pitch! 6-2 after five innings!

UPDATE (9:56): Tonight’s game has been officially been called, and is an official game. The Ducks defeat the Bluefish 6-2 and take the series!


Posted on July 3, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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