Game 74: Ducks at Barnstormers

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Game one of a four-game series in Lancaster leading into this year’s All-Star break did not go the Ducks way. From a rough start by Rob Whitenack to a two hour and 18 minute rain delay to a late rally that came up just short, it wasn’t Long Island’s night at Clipper Magazine Stadium. In a game that started at 7:04 p.m. and didn’t end until 12:34 on Friday morning, it was the Barnstormers who struck first with a 9-5 win.

Most surprising about the Ducks not coming up with the victory was that they had scored the game’s first run. In fact, they scored the first two runs of the game. Long Island had been 21-5 this year when scoring first. However, the Ducks had just won seven games in a row where their opponent scored first, and the Ducks hadn’t scored first since their 9-4 loss to Bridgeport on July 1. On Thursday night, Lancaster took advantage of some wildness from the Ducks pitchers and turned it into a nine-run, 16-hit performance.

Whitenack had trouble from the get-go. He lasted just two innings due to the rain, though he might not have stayed in regardless for a third inning. The righty allowed five runs on four hits and five walks, marking his third consecutive outing with four or more walks. Bob Zimmermann relieved him after the rain delay, and he struggled as well. Lancaster batted around in the third inning, drawing five hits and a walk off Zimmermann to extend their lead to 8-2. David Kopp and Jeremy Accardo combined to allow just one run over the final three innings, but the damage had been done at that point.

Offensively, the Ducks got a solid night from Cody Puckett, who delivered three hits and scored twice. Jon Myers had a multi-hit and multi-RBI night with two apiece, picking up RBI singles in the first and eighth innings. The Ducks made it a ballgame in the eighth when they batted around against Shunsuke Watanabe. After the Japanese righty retired the first 12 Ducks batters he faced, Long Island picked up four hits and three runs off of him in the eighth, two of which came home on hit by pitches with the bases loaded. However, right-hander Pete Andrelczyk retired Dan Lyons and Fehlandt Lentini when they represented the tying run, and Zack Braddock recorded the final three outs after the Ducks put the first two on in the ninth inning. Close, but no cigar for the Flock.

CLICK HERE for a full recap of Thursday’s game, complete with audio highlights.

If you’re looking for a great pitching matchup, it doesn’t get much better than the one scheduled for Friday night in Lancaster. A pair of Atlantic League All-Stars will take the mound, as the Ducks send out right-hander Shaun Garceau, and the Barnstormers counter with righty Chris Schwinden. Garceau sports an 8-1 record with a 4.58 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) this year. He took a no-decision his last time out, surrendering four runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out five over six innings against Camden on July 6. He would have earned the win had Alex Hudak not hit a game-tying homer in the ninth inning before the Ducks waddled off with a win. Garceau’s most recent start against Lancaster was  a complete game gem on June 4 at the Duck Pond when he allowed just one run on seven hits and three walks while striking out a season-high nine.

Schwinden has been outstanding for Lancaster, sporting an identical 8-1 record with a league-best 2.65 ERA in 11 starts this season. He has won three consecutive starts, including his most recent one on July 6 against York. The righty allowed just one run on six hits and two walks in six innings while striking out six. He has made three starts against Long Island this year and is a combined 1-0 with a 2.46 ERA. June 3 at the Duck Pond when he allowed 11 hits but just two runs in 5.1 innings, earning a no-decision in an 8-4 Ducks win. The former big leaguer’s most recent came on The Ducks have 22 hits in 18.1 innings off of Schwinden, but have only scored six runs (five earned).

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 15th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and the eighth of 10 games between the two in Lancaster. The Barnstormers lead the series eight to six. Long Island and Lancaster have played 188 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 99-89 series lead and a 51-46 advantage at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned another hit on Thursday and has now hit safely 34 of his last 35 games, including 13 straight. In the 35 games, he is batting .360 (54-for-150). The first-year Duck currently leads the league in doubles (26), stolen bases (30) and at-bats (311) while ranking second in hits (102), third in runs (54) and fourth in batting average (.328).

Heating Up: Lew Ford continued to stay hot at the plate of late with another hit on Thursday. The former big leaguer has multiple hits in six of his last nine games and has 19 hits in his last 39 at-bats, good for a .487 batting average. Ford leads the Flock with 30 multi-hit games this year and leads the Atlantic League in hits (103), RBI (58), runs (58), and games played (73). He ranks second in batting average (.368), total bases (156), on-base percentage (.438) and slugging percentage (.557).

Big Nights at the Plate: Cody Puckett finished with three hits on Thursday night to earn his eighth three-hit game of the year. That’s second-most on the team behind Ford, who has 10. Puckett now has 25 multi-hit games this year and has hit safely in six consecutive games. Jon Myers picked up two hits and two RBI to earn his fourth multi-hit and second multi-RBI game of the year. Myers has now earned a hit in 10 of his last 11 games.

The Great Garceau: Tonight’s starter, Shaun Garceau, will be looking to earn his first win since June 26 at York. He has taken no-decisions in each of his last two outings, allowing four runs in each. Prior to his last two starts, he won five consecutive games from June 4 to 26. The Atlantic League All-Star’s only loss of the season came in his first start on April 26 at Somerset. He is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts against Lancaster this year, including a complete game victory on June 4 at Bethpage Ballpark.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. 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:

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

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

Barnstormers
#2   Lance Zawadzki
#10 Ben Francisco – LF
#8   Cole Garner – CF
#24 Andrew Clark – DH
#35 Brett Carroll – RF
#54 Brock Kjeldgaard – 1B
#6   Casey Frawley – 3B
#5   Dayton Buller – C
#4   Grant Zawadzki – 2B

#20 Chris Schwinden – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game from Clipper Magazine Stadium as the Ducks look to move back to a game over .500 in the second half.

UPDATE (7:13): We are underway at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Ducks pick up two hits in the opening inning.

UPDATE (7:27): The Ducks strike first! Jon Myers continues his hot hitting with a two-out RBI double in the second to give the Flock a 1-0 lead!

UPDATE (7:38): Lancaster answers with three runs, all with two outs in the second. RBI single by Dayton Buller and a two-run double by Grant Zawadzki.

UPDATE (7:47): Ducks get back within a run on a sac fly to left by Cody Puckett that scores Fehlandt Lentini! 3-2 Lancaster in the third.

UPDATE (8:05): Brock Kjeldgaard goes the other way for a solo homer in the fourth and puts the ‘Stormers back on top by two.

UPDATE (8:17): Long Island is back within a run again thanks to a two-out RBI single to left by Lew Ford! 4-3 Lancaster in the fifth.

UPDATE (8:31): Barnstormers strike for four in the fifth inning and have ballooned their lead to 8-3.

UPDATE (8:32): We are having technical difficulties on LI News Radio right now. Stay tuned for updates. We apologize for the inconvenience.

UPDATE (8:57): Puckett brings home another run with his second sac fly of the game. Ducks are within four at the seventh inning stretch.

UPDATE (9:07): Two-run homer by Andrew Clark in the seventh make it 10-4 Lancaster.

UPDATE (9:31): Lancaster wins it 10-4 to take the first two games of the series. Game three on Saturday night at 7:00.

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Posted on July 11, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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