Game 71: Ducks vs. Skeeters

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The Long Island Ducks began their quest for the second half Liberty Division title with an 8-1 victory over the Sugar Land Skeeters. It marked a season-high sixth straight win for the Ducks; all of which have been comeback efforts. Long Island is now an impressive 20-24 when allowing the opponent to score first. Time and time again, this team has shown a resiliency this year, and it was on full display again last night in a comeback victory highlighted by the longball.

The Ducks tied a season-high with five home runs in last night’s ballgame. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Adam Bailey lifted a majestic solo home run to right field to even the ballgame. Randy Ruiz then put the Flock in front with his first of two two-run homers on the night in the bottom of the third. Long Island capped the scoring with three more home runs in the bottom of the seventh. Solo home runs from Cody Puckett and Brendan Harris, along with Ruiz’s second two-run home run of the night highlighted the inning.

In addition to the offensive explosion, a strong night on the rubber from Ducks starting pitcher Jared Lansford also played a large role in Long Island’s first win of the second half. Earlier this year against the Sugar Land Skeeters, Lansford tossed his first complete game since 2006, yielding just one run on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts, while retiring 20 consecutive batters at one point. The third-year Duck had similar success last night, working eight strong innings and allowing one run on 10 hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. The only run Lansford allowed was on a solo home run to Ryan Langerhans on the first pitch of the ballgame.

CLICK HERE to view the recap, listen to the highlights and watch postgame comments from Ruiz, Lansford and Bailey.

Tonight, John Brownell returns to the mound for Long Island to make his team-leading 15th start of the year. The 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series MVP is 8-4 this year with a 4.01 earned run average. His eight wins tie him with teammate Shaun Garceau for the league lead, while he currently leads the league in strikeouts (74), innings pitched (96.1) and complete games (2). Brownell has been excellent in two starts against Sugar Land this year, going 2-0 and allowing just two runs over 16 innings on 14 hits, four walks and 15 strikeouts. That includes a complete game effort against the Skeeters at Bethpage Ballpark on June 22.

Sugar Land’s starting pitcher, Sean Gallagher, makes his fourth appearance (third start) of the year tonight. Gallagher made his season debut against the Ducks on June 21, tossing six innings of one-run relief on six hits with three strikeouts. Overall, Gallagher is 0-1 this year with a 4.00 ERA. He has worked at least six innings in each of his appearances this year, but walked seven his last time out against the Camden Riversharks on July 3.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Skeeters: Tonight marks the ninth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Skeeters and sixth of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks currently lead the series six games to two. Long Island and Sugar Land have played 47 games against each other all-time, with the Skeeters holding a 28-20 lead. However, the Ducks have a 14-11 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark.

Racking Up The Wins: The Ducks have won six consecutive games, their longest winning streak of the year. Long Island previously won five straight from May 19-23. All six wins have been come-from-behind victories, and the Ducks have now totaled 24 comeback wins this season. In addition, the Ducks are now a season-best 12 games above .500 overall.

Homer Party: The Ducks hit five home runs on Monday, tying their season-high for a single game. Long Island also hit five home runs at Lancaster on May 28. With two homers, Randy Ruiz earned his third multi-home run game of the year. The former big leaguer also went deep twice on May 28 at Lancaster and July 1 against Bridgeport. Adam Bailey hit his 10th homer of the season and is now one shy of Lew Ford for the team lead (11). Cody Puckett’s solo homer was his third of the season and first since May 22 against Southern Maryland. All three of Puckett’s longballs have been hit at Bethpage Ballpark. Brendan Harris’ solo homer was his third of the season, first since June 26, and first at home as a Duck.

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned another hit on Monday and has now hit safely 31 of his last 32 games, including each of his last 10 games. In that span, he is batting .370 (50-for-135). Lentini currently leads the league in doubles (24), stolen bases (30) and at-bats (295) while ranking second in hits (98), third in runs (51) and fourth in batting average (.331).

Heating Up: Lew Ford collected three hits on Monday for his team leading ninth three-hit game this year. The former big leaguer now has multiple hits in five of his last six games and has 15 hits in his last 25 at-bats, good for a .600 batting average. Ford leads the Flock with 29 multi-hit games this year and leads the Atlantic League in hits (99), RBI (56), runs (56) and on-base percentage (.445), ranks second in batting average (.372) and slugging percentage (.568), and sits third in home runs (11).

Dan Domination: Dan Lyons drove in a run for the fourth consecutive game with a sacrifice fly in the third inning on Monday. He has seven RBI and is batting .500 (6-for-12) in those four games.

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
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#15 Jon Myers – DH
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#7   John Brownell – RHP

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

#36 Sean Gallagher – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the night as the Ducks look to run their winning streak to seven games!

UPDATED (7:50): Sugar Land takes a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning on a sacrifice fly from Brian Barton.

UPDATE (8:16): TIE GAME! Cody Puckett with a RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to even the game at one!

UPDATE (8:37): DUCKS LEAD!! Jon Myers with a solo home run, his second of the year, to give the Flock a 2-1 lead in the fifth!

UPDATE (8:45): Cody Puckett with his second RBI single of the ballgame to extend the Ducks lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth!

UPDATE (8:50): LEWWW!!! Lew Ford increases the Ducks lead to four in the fifth with a two-run double! Ford is now 2-3 with a pair of RBI!

UPDATE (8:57): Make it six runs in the fifth! Joash Brodin with a two-run single and the Ducks now lead 7-1! That ties the highest scoring inning this year!

UPDATE (9:34): ‘Quack Attack’ continues! Adam Bailey with a two-run home run, his 11th of the year, increases the Ducks lead to 9-1 in the seventh!

UPDATE (10:04): Delwyn Young with a RBI single in the top of the ninth inning to cut the Ducks lead to 9-3.

UPDATE (10:08): BALLGAME!!! The Ducks defeat the Skeeters 9-3 to earn their seventh straight win! Long Island now a season-high 13 games over .500!

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Posted on July 8, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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