Game 69: Ducks vs Riversharks

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Well fans, we have officially reached the halfway point of the 2014 season. Around the Atlantic League, teams will be capping off the first half of the season. While the two first half playoff berths have already been decided – York in the Freedom Division and Somerset in the Liberty Division – there remains a lot to play for. Today marks a Sunday Funday at the ballpark, and the Ducks are hoping to translate that fun into a franchise record-tying 40th first half win. In addition, Peppa Pig and 1,500 Yellow and Navy Baseballs, courtesy of Yellow Dog Lawn Care will be present at Bethpage Ballpark, truly making it a “Sunday Funday.”

On the field, the Ducks look to make it five straight wins tonight as they take on a Camden Riversharks team that has lost seven straight. Last night the two teams were locked in a pitcher’s duel through the first six innings. Long Island native Rob Whitenack, making his fourth start of the year for the Flock, shut down Camden on four hits and four walks with two strikeouts over six innings.  Riversharks starter Greg Miller matched Whitenack through the sixth inning to keep the game scoreless, but the both teams’ bats woke up in the seventh.  A solo home run from Carlos Hughes off Mitch Talbot, making his Ducks debut, put the ‘Sharks in front 1-0.

Miller, looking for the first win of his professional career, came back on in the bottom of the seventh inning with the lead, but failed to keep the Flock off the scoreboard. For the second consecutive night, Dan Lyons came through with a big hit – this time a two-run triple – to give Long Island a 2-1 lead and chase Miller from the ballgame. The Ducks added four more runs in the bottom of the eighth on two-out, two-run singles from Jan Vazquez and Fehlandt Lentini to extend the lead to 6-1 and top off the scoring for the evening.

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

Tonight, Shaun Garceau looks to win his league-leading ninth game of the season. Making his 14th start of the year, Garceau enters the ballgame 8-1 with a 4.48 earned run average. The righty took a no-decision his last time out after allowing four runs on seven hits over seven and one-third innings Tuesday night against the Bridgeport Bluefish. Garceau has won eight of his last 10 starts, and has not lost since his first start of the year on April 26 at Somerset.

He will face off tonight against former Long Island Duck Nick DeBarr, who makes his second appearance of the year with the Riversharks. The righty appeared with the Ducks both in 2012 and 2013. This year, DeBarr allowed four runs on two hits and two walks in one-third of an inning in a July 1 relief appearance against the Sugar Land Skeeters.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Today marks the 10th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and sixth of 10 games between the two on Long Island. The Ducks currently lead the series six games to three. Long Island and Camden have played 254 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 131-123 lead in the series and a 65-59 edge at the Duck Pond.

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned another hit on Saturday and has now hit safely in 29 of his last 30 games dating back to June 6. During those 30 games, he is batting .381 (48-for-126) and has earned multiple hits in 13 of those games. Lentini currently leads the league in hits (96), doubles (23), stolen bases (30) and at-bats (287), and ranks third in runs (50) and fourth in batting (.334).

Heating Up: Lew Ford hit safely in his fourth straight game on Saturday and has nine hits in his last 16 at bats, good for a .563 batting average. He finished with two hits to pull even with Lentini for the team lead in two-hit games with 17. Ford currently leads the league in RBI (55) and runs (52), and ranks second in homers (11), batting (.362), on-base percentage (.436) and slugging percentage (.560).

Whitenack’s Wonderful: With six shutout innings on Saturday, Rob Whitenack did not allow an earned run for the third time in four starts. The Massapequa resident threw three scoreless innings in his debut on June 14 and gave up one unearned run in six innings on June 21 in game one of a doubleheader.

Record in Sights: With a win today, the Ducks will tie the franchise record for most wins in the first half of the season with 40. Long Island previously won 40 games in the first half during the 2000, 2004 and 2011 seasons, the last two of which eventually led to the Ducks reaching the Atlantic League Championship Series. The most wins in any half by the Ducks was 42, done in the second half of 2000.

Familiar Face: Today, the Ducks will face right-hander Nick DeBarr, who was a member of Long Island’s 2012 and 2013 Atlantic League championship teams. In 37 regular season games (16 starts) with the Flock, he compiled a 5-10 record with a 6.53 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 111.2 innings. During the playoffs, he allowed four runs on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts in 2.2 innings.

On the Air: Today’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 will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are today’s starting lineups:

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

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

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

#32 Nick DeBarr – RHP

Stay tuned here for updates throughout the game as the Ducks look to sweep the three-game series from the Riversharks and end the first half on a five-game winning streak.

UPDATE (5:09): Two batters in to the ballgame, Camden takes a 1-0 lead on a RBI double from Paddy Matera.

UPDATE (5:13): Riversharks add two more runs in the first on a two-run homer from Jose Julio-Ruiz. 3-0 Camden.

UPDATE (5:24): Lew Ford with a RBI single in the bottom of the first to get the Ducks on the scoreboard. 3-1 Riversharks.

UPDATE (5:31): Ducks add another in the bottom of the first on a RBI infield single from Jon Myers! Camden still in front 3-2.

UPDATE (6:00): Former Duck Ryan Strieby with a RBI single in the top of the third inning to increase the Camden lead to 4-2

UPDATE (6:08): Nick DeBarr hits two consecutive batters in the 3rd, including Jon Myers with the bases loaded to bring the Ducks within a run! 4-3 ‘Sharks.

UPDATE (6:10): TIE BALLGAME! DeBarr walks Miranda with the bases loaded to even the game at four! DeBarr’s day ends with no outs in the bottom of the third

UPDATE (6:21): DUCKS LEAD!! For the third straight game, Dan Lyons with a two-run base hit!! Here, his two-run single gives the Flock a 6-4 lead in the third inning!

UPDATE (7:10): Shaun Garceau escapes a leadoff double in the top of the sixth without yielding a run to keep the Flock in front 6-4!

UPDATE (7:57): Ducks increase their lead to 7-4 on a sacrifice fly from Fehlandt Lentini in the eighth! Last chance for Camden as we head to the ninth!

UPDATE (8:07): Camden ties the game at seven in the ninth on a three-run home run from Alex Hudak.

UPDATE (8:12): Game tied at seven, heading to the bottom of the ninth. Ducks will have the 3-4-5 batters due up, looking for their third walk-off this year

UPDATE (8:22): BALLGAME!!! Joash Brodin wins it in the ninth for the Ducks on a RBI single and the Flock sweep the Riversharks! Final: 8-7 Ducks!!

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Posted on July 6, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Intense game with a dramatic ending!

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