Game 68: Ducks vs. Riversharks

No weather can prevent a packed house of 7,075 fans from enjoying a little Ducks baseball and fireworks on the Fourth of July. Despite Hurricane Arthur making for a soggy day at Bethpage Ballpark on Friday, the rain disappeared a couple hours before game time, and it ultimately turned into a beautiful night for baseball. The Ducks proceeded to treat the largest crowd of the season to their third come-from-behind win, rallying for two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to earn a 5-2 victory. Then, to cap off the night, the Duck Pond was treated to a magnificent Pyrotecnico Fireworks Extravaganza, presented by Atlantic Honda.

Last night featured several key players for the Flock, but we will focus on two. First and foremost, Dan Lyons played one of his best games of the season. Offensively, he started a rally in the sixth inning by reaching on an infield single, stealing second base, and scoring the tying run on a RBI single from Fehlandt Lentini. The following inning, he drove home Keith Castillo and Sergio Miranda with a two-run single to left-center. Defensively, he made several outstanding plays. In the third inning, he saved a throwing error on Bobby Blevins with a diving stop at second base AND kept his foot on the bag for a force out. In the subsequent at-bat, he did a great job of staying with a baseball that died after hitting the lip of the infield grass and started a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play. Then, in a one-run game in the seventh inning, he made a diving stop to his right on a hard hit grounder by Ryan Strieby and turned that into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Friday night was vintage Dan Lyons.

The other key last night was starter Bobby Blevins. After back-to-back rough starts in which he took losses in both and allowed 16 runs (13 earned) on 14 hits in 11.1 innings, he tossed seven innings of one-run ball to earn his fifth win of the year. The right-hander gave up just six hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out three, throwing 59 of his 82 pitches for strikes. He ran into some trouble over the first two innings, allowing four hits, but the only run he surrendered came on a fortunate slow roller up the third base line for Zack MacPhee in the second inning. He followed that up by retiring 13 of his last  15 batters faced and was uplifted too by several great plays from his defense.

CLICK HERE to read the full recap from last night’s game, complete with audio highlights and postgame interviews with manager Kevin Baez, Lyons and Blevins.

Tonight, the Ducks will send local product Rob Whitenack to the mound to make his fourth start of the season and try to give the Flock their fourth consecutive win. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA thus far this season, but is looking to rebound from a tough outing in game one of a doubleheader against Bridgeport on Monday. The Massapequa resident surrendered four runs on three hits and four walks, lasting just three innings in an eventual 4-3 loss. His night was marred by a first inning grand slam to Denny Almonte. The SUNY Old Westbury alum hopes for a better result tonight in his first start ever against the Riversharks.

Camden will go with righty Greg Miller who has struggled this year, going 0-4 with a 4.90 ERA. He too will be making his fourth start, but has also made 18 appearances out of the bullpen this season. Miller took the loss his last time out, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks in 5.1 innings at Sugar Land on Monday. His first start of the season came against the Ducks on June 18 at Camden, and he took the loss, yielding seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and three walks in just four innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the ninth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and fifth of 10 games between the two on Long Island. The Ducks currently lead the series five games to three. Long Island and Camden have played 253 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 131-122 lead in the series and a 65-58 edge at the Duck Pond.

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned two more hits on Friday and has now hit safely in 28 of his last 29 games dating back to June 6. During those 29 games, he is batting .388 (47-for-121) and has earned multiple hits in 13 of those games. Lentini is one of only two players in the Atlantic League that has at least 90 hits (Lew Ford, 91). In addition, Lentini is now 30-for-30 in stolen base attempts after stealing third base in the seventh inning. He currently leads the league in hits (95), doubles (23), stolen bases (30) and at-bats (282), and ranks third in runs (50) and batting (.337).

Back on Track: Lew Ford earned a hit in his third consecutive game on Friday night and now has seven hits in his last 12 at bats. He had previously gone 0-for-10 at the plate and 14 consecutive games without multiple hits. Ford currently leads the league in RBI (55) and runs (51), while ranking second in home runs (11), batting average (.360), on-base percentage (.435) and slugging percentage (.557).

Good Things Come In Pairs: With two hits apiece Friday, Lentini, Adam Bailey and Dan Lyons recorded their 17th, 15th and ninth multi-hit games of the season, respectively. Lentini now leads the Flock in two-hit games. Lyons’ two RBI gave him his third two-RBI and fifth multi-RBI contest of the year.

Blanking the Opposition: Eric Niesen threw one inning of relief without allowing an earned run on Friday. The southpaw has now made 11 consecutive appearances without giving up an earned run. In that span, he’s yielded just five hits and nine walks with eight strikeouts in 12 and one-third innings.

Faithful Flock: Friday’s crowd of 7,075 was the Ducks’ largest of the season and third consecutive sold out crowd. Long Island has now hosted six past-capacity crowds during the 2014 season and 633 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. Marc Schwartz will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

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

#9   Rob Whitenack – RHP

#3   Yasser Gomez – LF
#10 Paddy Matera – 2B
#14 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#19 Jose Julio-Ruiz – 1B
#34 Ryan Strieby – DH
#25 Brian Van Kirk – RF
#4   Zack MacPhee – CF
#9   Jose Morales – C
#2   Carlos Hughes – SS

#18 Greg Miller – RHP

Stay tuned here for updates throughout the game as the Ducks go for their fourth consecutive victory on the homestand.

UPDATE (7:18): Rob Whitenack works out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the first inning to keep the game scoreless!

UPDATE (8:12): Still no score at Bethpage Ballpark through three innings tonight. The Ducks are currently outhitting the Riversharks 4-3

UPDATE (8:38): Ducks starter Rob Whitenack has tossed five scoreless innings so far, yielding just three hits while striking out a pair. No score, bottom 5

UPDATE (9:05): Rob Whitenack’s night ends after six scoreless innings of work, allowing just four hits with two strikeouts. Still 0-0, top of the seventh.

UPDATE (9:14): Camden takes a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning on a solo home run from Carlos Hughes.

UPDATE (9:23): DUCKS TAKE THE LEAD!! Dan Lyons with a two-run triple in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the Flock in front 2-1!!

UPDATE (10:05): Ducks open up the ballgame in the eighth! Two-out, two-run singles from Jan Vazquez and Fehlandt Lentini have extended the lead to 6-1!

UPDATE (10:21): BALLGAME!!! Ducks win their fourth straight as they defeat the Riversharks 6-1!! Recap to follow shortly!


Posted on July 5, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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