Game 73: Ducks at Barnstormers
Yes, that is the General Lee from the movie “Dukes of Hazzard” this afternoon at a rest stop in Pennsylvania filling up with gas. Oh the many different things you’ll see while driving along from one ballpark to another. Today, the Ducks are making the approximately four hour trek west to Lancaster, Penn. to kick off a four-game series with the Barnstormers before the Atlantic League All-Star Break. For the Ducks, it is their third and final regular season trip to Clipper Magazine Stadium, with the first six games split evenly between the two sides.
Long Island took two of three in Lancaster from May 9-11, taking the first two games by 10-8 and 5-0 scores before dropping the finale 8-1. The opener featured a three-run ninth inning rally by the Ducks to win after losing a 7-0 lead in the game. Game two featured a terrific performance by Jared Lansford and the bullpen to hold the ‘Stormers to just four hits.
The Ducks returned here at the end of May and were denied a series win in heartbreaking fashion. Lancaster outslugged the Ducks 11-3 in the series opener, but Long Island answered in a big way in the middle game of the series. The Ducks pounded out season-highs in runs (19), hits (20) and home runs (5) to rout the Barnstormers 19-3. Both Lew Ford and Randy Ruiz had four hits in the game, with Ford driving in seven of the 19 runs. Then, in the series finale, the Ducks jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three and a half innings. However, Lancaster stormed back with three in the fourth and six in the seventh to take a 9-6 lead. The Ducks though would respond immediately with three runs in the top of the eighth to pull back even, but it would be for naught. A two-out RBI double by Yusuke Kajimoto off of Jeremy Accardo in the bottom of the eighth proved to be the difference in a 10-9 loss for the Ducks.
The Ducks enter this series after seeing a seven-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday in the homestand finale against the Sugar Land Skeeters. Matt Wright and Bobby Blevins locked up in a terrific pitcher’s duel, with Wright throwing seven shutout innings and Blevins tossing eight innings of one-run ball. The Skeeters took a 2-0 lead into the ninth but, once again, the Ducks found a way to come back. This time, it was newcomer Brandon Bantz who came through. After his error in the top of the ninth allowed a second run to score for Sugar Land, Bantz redeemed himself with a game-tying two-run single to center field. That sent the game to extra innings, where the Skeeters would eventually score three times in the top of the 11th off of closer Jon Meloan to end Long Island’s winning streak. It was a tough loss for a Ducks team hoping to sweep their second consecutive series, but a valiant effort once again by the Flock.
CLICK HERE for a full recap of Wednesday’s game, complete with audio highlights and postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, Bantz and Blevins.
Tonight, the Ducks will hand the ball to Rob Whitenack for just his second road start of the year. His first came in his Ducks debut on June 14 at Somerset when he tossed three scoreless innings en route to a 4-1 Ducks victory in the opener of a day/night doubleheader. Whitenack was strong his last time out, pitching six scoreless innings against Camden on July 5. The righty did walk four and allowed four hits while striking out two, but he ultimately kept the Flock in the game until Long Island could rally for a 6-1 win. The Massapequa resident is now 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts this year.
He’ll be opposed by former New York Yankees pitcher Cory Wade, who has made nine appearances but just one start this season for Lancaster. That start came in his most recent outing on July 5 against York when the righty gave up two runs on six hits in five innings while striking out one. However, he suffered the loss in the game that clinched the First Half Freedom Division title for the Revolution. Overall, Wade is 2-2 with a 2.07 ERA in 21.2 innings of work this year. The Indianapolis native spent parts of four seasons in the big leagues, including two with the Yankees in 2011 and 2012. He combined to go 7-2 with a 4.23 ERA in 79 games with New York and was 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 161 Major League games overall.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 14th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and the seventh of 10 games between the two in Lancaster. The Barnstormers lead the series seven to six. Long Island and Lancaster have played 187 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 99-88 series lead and a 51-45 advantage at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Streak Snapped: The Ducks saw their season-high seven-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night. Long Island’s previous long was five straight from May 19-23. All seven wins during were come-from-behind victories, and the Ducks have totaled 25 comeback wins this season. In addition, the Ducks improved to a season-best 13 games above .500 overall during the streak.
Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned two more hits on Wednesday and has now hit safely 33 of his last 34 games, including 12 straight. In the 34 games, he is batting .366 (53-for-145). In addition, Lentini now leads the team with 18 two-hit games this year. The first-year Duck currently leads the league in doubles (26), stolen bases (30) and at-bats (306) while ranking second in hits (101), third in runs (53) and fourth in batting average (.330).
Heating Up: Despite going hitless on Wednesday, Lew Ford has still been red hot at the plate of late.The former big leaguer has multiple hits in six of his last eight games and has 18 hits in his last 34 at-bats, good for a .529 batting average. Ford leads the Flock with 30 multi-hit games this year and leads the Atlantic League in hits (102), RBI (58), runs (58), on-base percentage (.442) and games played (72). He ranks second in batting average (.371), total bases (155) and slugging percentage (.564).
Bobby on the Bump: With eight innings of one-run ball on Wednesday, Bobby Blevins has now tossed back-to-back quality starts. In those two starts, the right-hander has allowed two runs on 12 hits over 15 innings pitched, good for a 1.20 ERA. It also marks the second time Blevins has allowed one run to the Sugar Land Skeeters while tossing at least seven innings (May 24 at Sugar Land).
Ducks Debut: Brandon Bantz made his Ducks debut on Wednesday and picked up his first multi-hit and multi-RBI game with the Flock. His first hit came on a single in the fifth inning, while his first two RBI came on his game-tying single in the ninth. Bantz reached the Major Leagues with the Seattle Mariners in 2013 and recorded two at-bats against Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.
On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Live streaming audio will be available online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.
Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#15 Jon Myers – LF
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#9 Rob Whitenack – RHP
#14 Fred Lewis – LF
#35 Brett Carroll – RF
#8 Cole Garner – CF
#24 Andrew Clark – DH
#15 Gabe Jacobo – 1B
#2 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#27 Juan Apodaca – C
#6 Casey Frawley – 3B
#4 Grant Zawadzki – 2B
#11 Cory Wade – RHP
Keep it here for updates throughout the game from Clipper Magazine Stadium as the Ducks look for their first road win of the second half!
UPDATE (7:20): The Ducks strike for two in the opening inning!! A RBI groundout by Adam Bailey and a RBI single by Jon Myers do the damage!
UPDATE (8:05): Barnstormers strike for five runs in the second inning on three hits and three walks. They now lead it 5-2.
UPDATE (8:19): The wind has picked up, and rain is in the area. We are officially in a rain delay in the middle of the third inning. Stay tuned for updates.
UPDATE (9:04): The rain continues to fall here in Lancaster at a steady rate. No update yet as to game status. Stay tuned for more information.
UPDATE (9:31): Announcement just made in the ballpark that we continue to remain in a rain delay but that they plan on resuming play at some point.
UPDATE (10:06): The tarp is currently coming off of the field, and it has just been announced that we will resume play at approximately 10:30 p.m.
UPDATE (10:23): Appears as though Bob Zimmermann and Shunsuke Watanabe will take over on the mound for the Ducks and Barnstormers, respectively.
UPDATE (10:47): Lancaster bats around and scores three more following the two hour, 18-minute rain delay. 8-2 Barnstormers after three.
UPDATE (11:25): Score remains 8-2 as we go to the bottom of the sixth. David Kopp on to pitch for the Flock.
UPDATE (11:46): Kopp retires Lancaster in order for the first time tonight by striking out the side in the seventh inning!
UPDATE (12:01): We’ve got a game! Three have scored in the eighth for the Ducks! Bases loaded hit by pitches of Brodin & Vazquez and a RBI single by Myers!
UPDATE (12:29): Trailing 9-5 in the ninth, the Ducks have put Cody Puckett and Lew Ford on with no outs. Braddock coming on to face Adam Bailey.
UPDATE (12:36): Braddock retires three straight, and Lancaster takes the opener 9-5. Series continues Friday night at 7:00 p.m.
Posted on July 10, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2014, Bobby Blevins, Brandon Bantz, Clipper Magazine Stadium, Cory Wade, Fehlandt Lentini, Lancaster Barnstormers, Lew Ford, Long Island Ducks, New York Yankees, Rob Whitenack. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.