Game 72: Ducks vs. Skeeters

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It all started with a single admission doubleheader against the Bridgeport Bluefish nine days ago. The Bluefish took the opener by a slim 4-3 margin before the Ducks rallied back for a 10-3 rout in game two to earn a split of the series. Now tonight, the longest homestand of the season for the Flock will come to an end when the Ducks and Skeeters close out a three-game series. For Long Island, they will look to secure their second consecutive series sweep and eighth consecutive win overall after breaking out the bats again on Tuesday night for a 9-3 win.

There were a plethora of key contributors once again on Wednesday night. For the third consecutive game and fifth time in the last seven games, Lew Ford collected three hits. His pair of singles and double resulted in two RBI and two runs scored, increasing his league-leading totals in both categories. Adam Bailey and Jon Myers each had one hit, but they both cleared the fence. Long Island now has seven homers in the last two games after going five straight games without a longball. Cody Puckett and Joash Brodin each had a pair of hits and two RBI on the night, with a six-run fifth inning leading the way for the Ducks.

Not only was the offense impressive, but right-hander John Brownell was strong once again on the mound. Ultimately, he allowed only one run in seven innings of work to pick up his league-best ninth win of the year. Brownell ran into trouble throughout the course of the game, but he found ways out of almost every jam he faced.

First Inning: With runners at first and second with no outs, Brownell struck out Delwyn Young and got Brian Barton to hit into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play.

Third Inning: With the bases loaded and no outs, Brownell got Young to fly out to left, induced a sacrifice fly from Barton and retired Travis Scott on a grounder to first, limiting the damage to just one run.

Fourth Inning: With runners at first and third and one out, Brownell induced a fly out to shallow right from Danny Lehmann and retired Ryan Langerhans on a fly out to left.

The right-hander then ended his night by retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced, with a one-out double in the sixth by Nick Stavinoha serving as the only exception. Brownell was able to continue his dominance against the Skeeters and continue to show why he’s the ace of the Ducks’ staff.

CLICK HERE for a full recap of Tuesday’s game, complete with audio highlights and postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, Brownell and Puckett.

Tonight, the Ducks will send another one of their key arms to the mound to go for the sweep. Right-hander Bobby Blevins makes his 14th start of the season, entering with a record of 5-3 with a 4.18 ERA thus far. He was excellent in his last start, surrendering just one run on six hits with striking out three over seven innings in a 5-2 win against Camden on July 4. His two starts against Sugar Land have been night and day. In his first on May 24 in Texas, Blevins allowed just one run and four hits in seven innings but ultimately took a no-decision. His second on June 23 at the Duck Pond ended in a loss, with nine runs (eight earned) allowed on 11 hits in six and one-third innings.

Matt Wright will take the ball for the Skeeters to close out the series. Sugar Land’s ace enters at 6-6 on the year with a 3.47 ERA, good for seventh in the Atlantic League, through 14 starts. The right-hander, who ranks third in the league in strikeouts with 69, lost his last time out. He surrendered five runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks but struck out eight in five innings at Southern Maryland on July 4. His two starts against the Ducks have been very similar. Wright took the loss on May 23 in Sugar Land, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks while striking three in six and one-third innings. However, he picked up the win on June 23 at Long Island despite allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks with four strikeouts in six and two-thirds innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Skeeters: Tonight marks the 10th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Skeeters and seventh of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks currently lead the series seven games to two. Long Island and Sugar Land have played 48 games against each other all-time, with the Skeeters holding a 28-21 lead. However, the Ducks have a 15-11 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark.

Racking Up The Wins: The Ducks have won seven consecutive games, their longest winning streak of the year. Long Island’s previous high was five straight from May 19-23. All seven wins have been come-from-behind victories, and the Ducks have now totaled 25 comeback wins this season. In addition, the Ducks are now a season-best 13 games above .500 overall.

Bailey’s Blast: Adam Bailey hit his 11th home run of the year on Tuesday to tie him with Ford for the team lead. Bailey and Ford are now also tied for third in the Atlantic League in home runs. The second-year Duck has now gone deep in back-to-back games.

Myers is Mashing: Jon Myers has now hit safely in each of his last nine games after launching a solo home run in the fifth inning on Tuesday. During the nine games, Myers is batting .345 (10-for-29) with a homer, five doubles, four RBI and seven runs scored. The home run was his second of the year.

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned another hit on Tuesday and has now hit safely in 32 of his last 33 games, including 11 straight. In the 33 games, he is batting .364 (51-for-140). Lentini currently leads the Atlantic League in doubles (25), stolen bases (30) and at-bats (301) while ranking second in hits (99) and third in runs (53) and batting average (.329).

Heating Up: Lew Ford earned his third straight and team-leading 10th three-hit game this year on Tuesday. The former big leaguer now has multiple hits in six of his last seven games and has 18 hits in his last 29 at-bats, good for a .621 batting average. Ford leads the Flock with 30 multi-hit games this year and leads the Atlantic League in hits (102), RBI (58) and runs (58).

What Can Brown-ell Do For You? John Brownell earned his Atlantic League leading ninth win of the year on Tuesday. The third-year Duck also now leads the league in strikeouts (76), innings pitched (103.1) and complete games (four). In three starts against the Skeeters this year, Brownell is 3-0 and has allowed three runs over 23 innings (1.17 ERA) with 17 strikeouts to just five walks.

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 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
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#15 Jon Myers – DH
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#18 Bobby Blevins – RHP

#29 Ryan Langerhans – LF
#41 Adam Godwin – CF
#11 Brian Barton – RF
#24 Delwyn Young – DH
#21 Nick Stavinoha – 1B
#5   Chase Lambin – 2B
#6   Taylor Harbin – SS
#4   Dominic Ramos – 3B
#3   Danny Lehmann – C

#34 Matt Wright – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game as the Ducks look to close out the homestand with a 9-2 record!

UPDATE (7:43): We remain scoreless through the first two innings of tonight’s ballgame at Bethpage Ballpark.

UPDATE (8:32): In his Ducks debut, Brandon Bantz records his first hit of the year with a single in the fifth inning! Still no score through five innings.

UPDATE (8:57): We are locked in a pitcher’s duel here at the Duck Pond! Seventh inning stretch, still no score.

UPDATE (9:18): Sugar Land scores the first run of the game. Delwyn Young with a RBI single to right field to put the Skeeters in front 1-0 in the eighth.

UPDATE (9:28): Skeeters still lead 1-0, top nine. Blevins done after eight innings. His line: 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 100 pitches, 75 strikes.

UPDATE (9:41): Sugar Land adds a run in the ninth on a single from Ramos and a fielding error. Gary Majewski in for the save opportunity. 2-0 Skeeters.

UPDATE (9:51): TIE GAME!!! Brandon Bantz with a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at two!

UPDATE (10:10) Both teams fail to score in the 10th, so we head to the 11th inning! 

UPDATE (10:28): Adam Godwin with a two-out, two-run single in the top of the 11th inning to give the Skeeters a 4-2 lead.

UPDATE (10:32): Skeeters add another run on a wild pitch to increase their lead to 5-2. Ducks will have Ford, Bailey and Harris due up in bottom of the 11th.

UPDATE (10:39): FINAL: Sugar Land defeats Long Island 5-2 in 11 innings to end the Ducks seven-game win streak. Flock finishes 11-game homestand 8-3.


Posted on July 9, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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