Game 70: Ducks vs Skeeters

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Happy Opening Day, fans!

Well, sort of. Tonight marks the beginning of the second half of the 2014 Atlantic League season. It was certainly a memorable first half for the Long Island Ducks. The Flock won not only their 600th regular season home win, but also the 1000th overall regular season win in franchise history earlier this year. In addition, Bethpage Ballpark also welcomed in the six millionth fan through the turnstiles, allowing the Ducks to become the first team in the Atlantic League to reach that plateau. Long Island also tied a franchise record with 40 first-half wins.

The Ducks first half ended with a bang last night at Bethpage Ballpark in a thrilling 8-7 Long Island victory over the Camden Riversharks. The win completed the three-game sweep of the weekend series and has the Ducks currently riding a five-game win streak, which is tied for the season high. In addition, the win has also put the Flock a season-high 11 games over .500 at 40-29. All this thanks in large part to a walk-off RBI double from Joash Brodin in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Camden took a 3-0 lead in the first inning off Ducks starter Shaun Garceau on a pair of doubles and a two-run home run from Jose Juio-Ruiz. The Flock trimmed the deficit to one on a RBI double from Lew Ford and a RBI infield single from Jon Myers in the bottom of the first. Long Island later took the lead in the third with a bases loaded hit-batsman, walk, and two-run single from Dan Lyons. The Ducks then carried a 7-4 lead into the top of the ninth inning when a three-run home run from Alex Hudak off reliever Jeremy Accardo tied the game.

CLICK HERE to view the recap, listen to the highlights and watch postgame comments from Kevin Baez, Brodin and Myers.

Tonight, Jared Lansford makes his 12th start of the year for Long Island. The third year Duck enters tonight’s ballgame 3-3 on the year with a 3.77 earned run average and 50 strikeouts and 21 walks in 62 innings. In his last start at Bethpage Ballpark against the Sugar Land Skeeters, Lansford tossed a complete game, allowing just one run on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. In addition, at one point during the game Lansford retired 20 consecutive batters. Lansford has tossed at least five innings in all of his last nine starts, while allowing more than three earned runs just three times during that span.

Sugar Land has the Atlantic League ERA leader David Pauley toe the rubber tonight in the first game of this three-game series. Pauley enters with a 6-5 record and his league-best 2.50 earned run average. The second-year Skeeter has tossed four games in which he did not surrender an earned run. In his lone start against the Ducks on June 21, Pauley took a tough-luck loss after yielding two runs (one earned) on five hits over seven innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Skeeters: Tonight marks the eighth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Skeeters and fifth of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks currently lead the series five games to two. Long Island and Sugar Land have played 47 games against each other all-time, with the Skeeters holding a 28-19 lead. However, the Ducks have a 13-11 lead at Bethpage Ballpark.

Waddle-Off Magic: Sunday’s waddle-off win was the third of the year for the Flock. The first came on a RBI double from Cody Puckett in a 12-inning victory against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on May 21. The second came on a Joash Brodin RBI single against the Somerset Patriots on May 30.

Racking Up The Wins: The Ducks have won five consecutive games, tying their longest winning streak of the year. Long Island previously won five straight from May 19-23. All five wins have been come-from-behind victories, and the Ducks have now totaled 23 comeback wins this season. In addition, the Ducks are now a season-best 11 games above .500.

First Half Success: The Ducks tied the franchise record for most wins in the first half of the season with their 40th on Sunday. Long Island previously has won 40 games in the first half during the 2000, 2004 and 2011 seasons. The most wins in any half by the Ducks was 42, done in the second half of 2000.

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned another double on Saturday and has now hit safely in 30 of his last 31 games dating back to June 6. During those 31 games, he is batting .377 (49-for-130) and has earned hits in each of his last nine games. Lentini currently leads the league in hits (97), doubles (24), stolen bases (30) and at-bats (291), and ranks third in runs (51) and batting average (.333).

Heating Up: Lew Ford hit safely in his fifth straight game on Sunday and has 12 hits in his last 21 at bats, good for a .571 batting average. He finished with three hits to take over the team lead in three-hit games this season with eight. He also leads the Flock with 28 multi-hit games in 2014. Ford currently leads the Atlantic League in RBI (56) and runs (54), ranks second in batting average (.366), on-base percentage (.439), slugging percentage (.565) and hits (96), and sits third in home runs (11).

Dan Domination: Dan Lyons earned his third consecutive multi-hit and multi-RBI game with two apiece on Sunday. The fourth-year Duck now has 11 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI contests this year.

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:

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

#21 Jared Lansford – RHP

Skeeters
#29 Ryan Langerhans – DH
#5   Chase Lambin – 3B
#11 Brian Barton – RF
#24 Delwyn Young – 2B
#21 Nick Stavinoha – 1B
#16 Travis Scott – C
#41 Adam Godwin – CF
#2   Michael Rockett – LF
#4   Dominic Ramos – SS

#30 David Pauley – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the night as the Ducks look to begin the second half with a victory!

UPDATE (7:10): On the first pitch of the ballgame, Ryan Langerhans hits a solo home run to give the Skeeters a 1-0 lead.

UPDATE (7:43): TIE BALLGAME!! Adam Bailey with a solo home run, his 10th of the year, has tied the game at one in the last of the second!

UPDATE (8:07): RUIZ GOES YARD!! Randy Ruiz with a two-run home run, his seventh of the year, to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead in the third!

UPDATE (8:17): Dan Lyons adds a sacrifice fly to increase the Ducks’ lead to 4-1 in the third!

UPDATE (9:12): Through six innings at the Duck Pond, the Ducks remain in front of the Skeeters 4-1.

UPDATE (9:25): THREE HOME RUNS IN THE SEVENTH!!! Solo homers from Cody Puckett and Brendan Harris, w/ a two-run shot from Randy Ruiz makes it 8-1 Flock!!

UPDATE (9:47): Jared Lansford escapes a bases loaded jam in the top of the eighth inning to keep Sugar Land off the board! Ducks still lead 8-1!

UPDATE (9:55): Lansford’s strong night ends after eight innings. His line: 8.0 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 126 pitches, 79 strikes. Ducks up 8-1!

UPDATE (10:01): BALLGAME!!! Adam Bailey ends it with a highlight reel grab in left and the Ducks win their sixth straight game, 8-1 over the Skeeters!

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Posted on July 7, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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