Game 67: Ducks vs Riversharks

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First things first; Happy Independence Day everyone!

July 4th is always an exciting time at Bethpage Ballpark, and this year promises to be no different. The Long Island Ducks begin a three-game series with the Camden Riversharks tonight. With the third of three-straight Pyrotecnico Fireworks Extravaganzas planned after the game, along with a bevy of additional promotions, Central Islip is certainly the place to be on Long Island for Independence Day. In addition to the fireworks, the Ducks will be wearing special camouflage jerseys which will be auctioned off during the game. Fans can place their bids by visiting the auction tables located on the concourse outside of the Waddle In Shop.

Last night, the Ducks wrapped up a five-game series with the Bridgeport Bluefish in a rain-shortened ballgame. After both teams alternated wins through the first nine meetings of the year, the Flock broke the trend last night with a 6-2 victory. The Bluefish took an early 1-0 lead on a fielder’s choice from Ramon Castro and a throwing error, which scored a run. Long Island evened the ballgame in the bottom of the third on a RBI single from Lew Ford.

Fehlandt Lentini gave the Ducks the lead in the fourth with a two-out, two-run double before Prentice Redman brought Bridgeport back within one on a solo home run in the fifth. Long Island added three runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend its lead to four. A RBI single from Brendan Harris, a run-scoring error of the bat of Jan Vazquez and a run-scoring wild pitch did the damage.

CLICK HERE to view the recap, listen to the highlights and watch postgame comments from last night’s ballgame.

Tonight, Bobby Blevins returns the mound for his 13th start of the year for Long Island. Blevins enters the ballgame 4-3 on the year with a 4.44 earned run average and 55 strikeouts to 16 walks in 77 innings of work. Despite struggling in his last two starts, Blevins earned his last win at Campbell’s Field against the Camden Riversharks on June 18. In that start, Blevins yielded four runs (three earned) on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts en route to an 11-8 victory.

His counterpart, Pedro Liriano, makes his 13th appearance (ninth start) of the year tonight. The righty began the year with the Bridgeport Bluefish and appeared in one game, allowing one run on one hit and one walk in one inning of relief. Since joining Camden, Liriano is 0-4 with a 5.52 ERA in 12 games (eight starts). Though Liriano has received a loss in his last two starts, he has struck out 12 batters in 11 innings without allowing a walk. In his June 19start against the Ducks, Liriano allowed just one run on four hits with three strikeouts.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the eighth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and fourth of 10 games between the two on Long Island. The Ducks currently lead the series four games to three. Long Island and Camden have played 252 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 131-121 lead in the series and a 65-57 edge at the Duck Pond.

Fehlandt’s on Fire
: Fehlandt Lentini earned two more hits on Thursday and has now hit safely in 27 of his last 28 games dating back to June 6. During those 28 games, he is batting .385 (45-for-117) and has earned multiple hits in 12 of those games. Lentini is one of only two players in the Atlantic League that has at least 90 hits (Lew Ford, 90). In addition, Lentini is now 29-for-29 in stolen base attempts after stealing third base in the third inning. He currently leads the league in hits (93), doubles (23),
stolen bases (29) and at-bats (278), and ranks third in runs (48) and batting (.335).

Back on Track
: Lew Ford recorded his second consecutive three-hit game on Thursday night and now has six hits in his last eight at bats after previously going 0-for-10 at the plate and 14 consecutive games without multiple hits. He now has seven three-hit games this season and a team-leading 26 multi-hit games. Ford currently leads the league in RBI (54) and runs (51), while ranking second in home runs (11), batting average (.361), on-base percentage (.438) and slugging percentage (.562).

What Can Brown-ell Do For You
? With a complete game on Thursday, John Brownell earned his league-leading fourth complete game of the year. He also picked up his eighth victory of the season, which ties him with teammate Shaun Garceau for most in the Atlantic League. Brownell leads the league in strikeouts (74) and innings pitched (96.1) as well. Last year, Brownell led the Atlantic League with seven complete games while finishing second in strikeouts with 133 (Chris Cody, York, 139).

Faithful Flock
: Thursday’s crowd of 6,578 was the Ducks’ fifth past-capacity crowd of the 2014 season and second consecutive sold out crowd. Long Island has now hosted 632 sellouts all-time, an Atlantic League record.

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. The broadcast can also be seen and heard online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak and David Weiss will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s lineups:

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

#18 Bobby Blevins – RHP

Riversharks
#3   Yasser Gomez – LF
#10 Paddy Matera – 2B
#24 Bryant Nelson – 3B
#19 Jose Julio-Ruiz – 1B
#34 Ryan Strieby – RF
#8   Alex Hudak – CF
#25 Brian Van Kirk – DH
#4   Zack MacPhee – SS
#7   Mike Albaladejo – C

#27 Pedro Liriano – RHP

Stay tuned here for updates throughout the game as the Ducks and Riversharks kick off their three-game set.

UPDATE (7:17): We are underway here at Bethpage Ballpark as Bobby Blevins tosses a scoreless top of the first inning!

UPDATE (7:39): Camden takes a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a RBI infield single from Zack MacPhee.

UPDATE (8:04): Camden still leads 1-0 over the Ducks through three innings at Bethpage Ballpark.

UPDATE (8:42): DUCKS TIE IT UP!! Fehlandt Lentini stays hot with a RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to even up the ballgame at one!

UPDATE (8:56): DUCKS LEAD! Lew Ford grounds into a run-scoring double play and the Flock take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth!

UPDATE (9:14): Dan Lyons with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning to increase the Ducks’ lead to 4-1!

UPDATE (9:17): LEWWW!! Make it 5-1 Flock thanks to an RBI single from Lew Ford!! Three runs on the board for the Ducks in the bottom of the seventh!

UPDATE (9:45): Ducks continue to lead 5-1 as we head to the top of the ninth! Last chance for the Riversharks. Eric Niesen on to finish the ballgame!

UPDATE (10:05): Camden squeaks across a run but nothing further, and the Ducks win it 5-2 over the Riversharks! Three straight wins for the Flock!

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Posted on July 4, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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