Game 90: Ducks at Riversharks

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Tonight marks the 90th game of the 2014 regular season for the Long Island Ducks. That means, after the Ducks open their three-game series against the Camden Riversharks, the Ducks will have 50 more games remaining in the season. As of today, the Ducks sit five games in back of the Somerset Patriots in the second half Liberty Division standings, four and a half games back of Lancaster for the top wild card spot and two games in back of Sugar Land for the second wild card spot.

That means, the Ducks are right in the thick of things after a thrilling 4-2 11-inning victory over the Bridgeport Bluefish on Tuesday night. The win game Long Island a 3-1 series victory at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard as well as a 9-8 lead in the 2014 Ferry Cup Series, putting the Ducks one win away from at least a share of the Ferry Cup title.

There were plenty of key contributors on Tuesday, but we’ll begin with starter Bobby Blevins, who was dominant on the mound outside of two pitches. The right-hander tossed nine innings, throwing 129 pitches total, 100 of which were strikes. That’s 78% of his pitches! He allowed seven hits in the ballgame, did not walk a batter, and tied his season-high with eight strikeouts. His only two mistakes: a solo homer in the first inning by Prentice Redman and a two-out, two-strike bottom of the ninth homer by Austin Gallagher that forced extra innings. Blevins said after the game that he simply just didn’t execute his pitch to Gallagher. He was understandably upset to not get the complete game win, but ultimately, he pitched a fantastic game.

Offensively, the Ducks left 10 on base and struggled to get the key hits early on that would have put the game out of reach. Still though, they managed to find a way to win. Adam Bailey, who had missed four games with a hamstring injury, came back with a vengeance. He finished the night with four hits, including a double to lead off the 11th inning in which the Ducks would rally for the game-winning two runs. Four other Ducks had two hits, including Lew Ford, who put the Ducks ahead 2-1 with a two-out RBI single in the third. Joash Brodin and Fehlandt Lentini each had their second consecutive multi-hit game, and Dan Lyons earned his second of the series. In the end though, Gallagher ended up going from hero to goat when his throw to third on a sacrifice bunt from Cody Puckett sailed up the third base line and allowed Bailey to score the go-ahead run in the 11th.

CLICK HERE to read a full recap from Tuesday’s victory, complete with audio highlights.

So with two legs of a 10-game road trip complete, the Ducks sit 4-3 in the first seven games and very well could be 7-0 if not for a couple of blown saves late in games. Now, Long Island returns to Camden for the second time on this trip. The Riversharks took two of three here last Thursday through Saturday, with both wins coming in walk-off fashion after the Ducks had a lead going into the bottom of the ninth.

For the series opener, Jared Lansford will take the mound for the Flock. He is 4-3 on the year with an impressive 3.26 ERA that is good for fourth in the Atlantic League. Lansford pitched fairly well on Friday in Camden, tossing seven innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk while striking out five. However, he earned his third consecutive no-decision and fifth in his last six starts when the Riversharks rallied to win. Lansford has eight no-decisions total in his 15 starts this season.

On the other side, the Riversharks will send Pedro Liriano to the hill. The former big leaguer is 0-6 with a 5.83 ERA in 17 games (12 starts) this year combined with the Riversharks and Bluefish. He kept his team in the ballgame last Friday against the Ducks, tossing five innings of four-run ball, allowing eight hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Despite not having a decision in three starts against Long Island, he has allowed seven runs in 18 innings, good for a 3.50 ERA.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the 14th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and eighth of 10 games between the two in Camden. The Ducks currently lead the series eight to five. Long Island and Camden have played 258 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 133-125 advantage and a slim 68-65 edge in Camden.

On-Base Machine: Brendan Harris picked up a single on Tuesday and has now reached base safely in 22 consecutive games, including seven straight with a hit. That’s the longest active on-base streak in the Atlantic League. During the streak, Harris is batting .316 (24-for-76) with two doubles, one homer, 11 RBI, 13 runs and 20 walks.

Back with a Bang: Adam Bailey returned to the lineup on Tuesday night after missing four games with a hamstring injury. He finished with a double and three singles to earn his first four-hit game of 2014. Bailey now has 23 multi-hit games this year. He also scored the game-winning run in the 11th inning.

Good Things Come in Pairs: Fehlandt Lentini, Lew Ford, Joash Brodin and Dan Lyons all had two hits on Tuesday. Lentini earned his team-leading 24th two-hit game, while Ford picked up his 21st, good for second on the Flock. Ford leads Long Island with 35 multi-hit games in 2014, while Lentini ranks second with 33. Brodin picked up his 21st multi-hit game, and Lyons collected his 14th.

Bullpen Success: Brett Lorin tossed two perfect innings of relief on Tuesday to earn the win for the Ducks. Long Island relievers have now given up just two runs over their last 17.1 innings, good for a 1.04 ERA. They’ve given up 10 hits and eight walks while striking out 10 in that span. Lorin has now tossed 10 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run, a span of 8.2 innings.

Blevins on the Bump: Bobby Blevins pitched his fifth straight quality start on Tuesday with nine innings of two-run ball. In those five starts, he’s combined to allow just eight runs over 38.1 innings of work, good for a 1.88 ERA. Blevins has given up 33 hits and just five walks in that span while striking out 18. His eight strikeouts on Tuesday tied his season high, which he earned on May 3 against York.

Jared’s Quality: Tonight’s starter, Jared Lansford, has also made five consecutive quality starts. In that span, he has given up just nine earned runs over 35 innings, good for a 2.31 ERA. He has combined to allow 26 hits and nine walks while striking out 26 in those five starts.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks official YouTube Channel and LIDucks.com. Live streaming audio will be available by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are the lineups for tonight’s game:

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – CF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#13 Adam Bailey – RF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#15 Jon Myers – LF
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#21 Jared Lansford – RHP

Riversharks
#4   Zack MacPhee – CF
#9   Jose Morales – C
#14 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#19 Jose Julio-Ruiz – 1B
#34 Ryan Strieby – RF
#30 Brett Bonvechio – DH
#25 Brian Van Kirk – LF
#7   Mike Albaladejo – 2B
#5   Brandon Chaves – SS

#27 Pedro Liriano – RHP

Stay tuned for updates throughout the game as the Ducks look to win their third consecutive game.

UPDATE (7:22): TOP 1: Three consecutive two-out singles, including a RBI base hit from Cody Puckett, give the Ducks a 1-0 lead!

UPDATE (8:25): Through four innings, the Ducks still lead 1-0. They are out-hitting Camden 6-2 to this point. Jared Lansford has three strikeouts.

UPDATE (9:03): At the seventh inning stretch, the Ducks still lead 1-0. Lansford with seven K’s through six innings!

UPDATE (9:32): Jared Lansford with eight shutout innings tonight! His nine strikeouts are a season-high! 1-0 Flock as we go to the ninth in Camden

UPDATE (9:50): BOT 9: David Kopp allows a lead-off solo homer to Bryan Pounds. We’re now tied at one and will play extra innings.

UPDATE (10:28): Both sides threaten but can’t score in the 11th. We head to the 12th inning tied at one.

UPDATE (10:42): TOP 12: Lew Ford draws a two-out bases loaded walk against T.J. Hose to force home a run! 2-1 Ducks lead!

UPDATE (11:02): FINAL: Mike Albaladejo lines a two-run single down the right field line off of Jon Meloan. Riversharks win 3-2 in 12.

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Posted on July 30, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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