Game 76: Ducks at Barnstormers

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The Ducks have suffered their share of heartbreaking losses this season. There have been a handful of games in which they jumped out to a big lead early or had a lead late and could not come up with a win. Saturday’s game in Lancaster can certainly be filed under the heartbreaking loss category, as the Barnstormers rallied from 4-0 down to defeat the Ducks 5-4 in 12 innings and end Long Island’s three-series winning streak.

Things could not have gotten off to a better start, with Fehlandt Lentini burning his former team with a leadoff solo home run down the left field line to kick off the game. His second homer of the year was followed later in the inning by a RBI single from newcomer Brandon Bantz, his third RBI in three games with the Ducks. Two more runs in the fourth upped the lead to four, and Long Island ultimately carried a 4-1 lead into the ninth inning. However, Kevin Baez called on Jon Meloan to close out the game and earn his 10th save, but Lancaster had other plans. Andrew Clark’s solo homer, his second of the night, and Brett Carroll’s two-run blast, his first as a Barnstormer, tied the game at four. Three innings later, Gabe Jacobo ended the nearly four hour contest with a walk-off single to center.

The Ducks had their chances to extend leads throughout the game and win it in extra innings, but for a third straight night, they could not get the big hit they needed. Long Island had runners at first and second with one out in the first, first and second with no outs in the third, a runner at second with one out in the sixth, first and second with one out in the seventh, and first and third with one out in the 11th. However, the Ducks were unable to push across any runs in those situations. That proved to be a killer in the end.

Lost in the defeat was an outstanding start by Jared Lansford, who continues to excel on the mound in his first season as a starting pitcher with Long Island. He allowed just three hits and a run over eight innings, one of the hits being an infield single. Lansford walked two and struck out five, throwing 59 of his 98 pitches for strikes. Despite being denied his fifth win of the year, the third-year Duck saw his ERA drop to 3.23, which is now good for sixth in the Atlantic League.

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

The Ducks will look to avoid being swept in their final series before the All-Star break on Sunday afternoon at Clipper Magazine Stadium. John Brownell will get the start for the Flock, looking to become the first pitcher in the Atlantic League this season to win 10 games. He enters with a 9-4 record and a 3.83 ERA in 15 starts and also leads the league with 76 strikeouts, 103.1 innings pitched and four complete games. He has won each of his last two starts, including a 9-3 win on July 8 against Sugar Land when he allowed just one run on eight hits in seven innings. Last year’s Championship Series MVP is 2-1 with a 4.29 ERA in three starts against Lancaster this season, including a complete game win in his most recent outing against them on June 2 at Bethpage Ballpark.

Mark Rogers will counter Brownell and try to pitch the Barnstormers to a sweep. In nine starts this year, the right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.70 ERA but has walked 29 while striking out 20 in 41.1 innings of work. Rogers has not won since June 11 at Somerset and earned a loss his last time out, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks in four innings at Camden on July 8. He has only faced the Ducks once in 2014 but earned a win in that start, allowing one run on six hits and one walk while striking out five on June 5 at the Duck Pond. He also had to bat in that game and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Today marks the 17th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and the final of 10 games between the two in Lancaster. The Barnstormers lead the series 10 to six. Long Island and Lancaster have played 190 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 99-91 series lead and a 51-48 advantage at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned another hit on Saturday and has now hit safely 36 of his last 37 games, including 15 straight. In the 35 games, he is batting .356 (57-for-160), and in his current 15-game hitting streak, he’s hitting .328 (22-for-67). The first-year Duck currently leads the Atlantic League in hits (105), doubles (27), stolen bases (31) and at-bats (321) while ranking third in runs (56) and fourth in batting average (.327). Lentini’s home run was his second of the season, both of which have come on the road.

Heating Up: Lew Ford drew a pair of walks on Saturday and is continuing to produce at the plate. The former big leaguer has multiple hits in seven of his last 11 games and has 21 hits in his last 47 at-bats, good for a .447 batting average. Ford leads the Flock with 31 multi-hit games this year and leads the Atlantic League in hits (105), RBI (59) and games played (75). He ranks second in batting average (.365), runs (58), total bases (159), on-base percentage (.437) and slugging percentage (.552).

Multi-Hit Nights: Cody Puckett picked up four hits on Saturday for the first time this season. He now has totaled 26 multi-hit games in 2014. Ford and Lentini lead the Ducks with three four-hit games apiece. Adam Bailey had three hits on Saturday night to earn his fifth three-hit game of the year. The second-year Duck now has 18 multi-hit games. Ford leads Long Island with 10 three-hit games.

Streaks Continue: Puckett extended his hitting streak to eight consecutive games with four singles on Saturday. He’s batting .368 (14-for-38) during the streak. Adam Bailey now has a hit in six consecutive games and has a .385 average (10-for-26) in those six games. Jon Myers has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games and is batting .304 (14-for-46) in that stretch.

Jared’s Just Dominant: Jared Lansford continued his dominance on the mound with eight innings of one-run all on Saturday. In his last five starts, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA, having allowed just nine runs in 36 innings. In that span, he’s yielded 28 hits and seven walks while striking out 28.

On the Air: Today’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 this afternoon’s starting lineups:

Ducks
#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 – RF
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#7 John Brownell – RHP

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

#29 Mark Rogers – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game from Clipper Magazine Stadium as the Ducks close out this four-game road trip before enjoying four days off for the Atlantic League All-Star break.

UPDATE (1:19): Barnstormers strike first on a leadoff homer by Lance Zawadzki in the bottom of the first inning.

UPDATE (1:42): Nice scoop out of the dirt by Dan Lyons to record the final out of the second and strand a runner at second base!

UPDATE (2:04): Another homer from Lancaster, this time a two-run shot off the bat of Cole Garner, increases their lead to 3-0 after three.

UPDATE (2:31): The Ducks are on the scoreboard! Fehlandt Lentini delivers a two-out RBI triple in the fifth! It’s his second three-bagger of the year.

UPDATE (2:38): John Brownell picks off Lance Zawadzki at second base and then strikes out Grant Zawadzki for a scoreless bottom of the fifth!

UPDATE (2:58): Long Island pulls within one when Shunsuke Watanabe’s balk brings home Lew Ford from third! 3-2 Lancaster in the sixth.

UPDATE (3:24): Once again, Ford comes through with a two-out RBI single to left field in the seventh! Ducks have rallied to tie the game at three!

UPDATE (3:41): Fantastic throw from Adam Bailey to home plate on a single by Lance Zawadzki gets Dayton Buller to keep the game tied at three!!

UPDATE (3:59): The Ducks load the bases with two outs in the eighth, but a fly out to center ends the threat. Still tied at three.

UPDATE (4:11): Brilliant job by Eric Niesen as he strikes out Clark & Jacobo looking with the go-ahead run at second in the eighth! 3-3, onto the ninth!

UPDATE (4:27): David Kopp works a 1-2-3 ninth inning, and for the second straight day, we will have bonus baseball in Lancaster.

UPDATE (4:37): Two more are stranded in the top of the 10th on a ground ball to second, and we remain knotted at three.

UPDATE (4:44): A walk-off base hit to left by Lance Zawadzki gives the Barnstormers a 4-3 win. Ducks return to action on July 18 at Bethpage Ballpark.

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Posted on July 13, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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