Game 91: Ducks at Riversharks

10585587_10203601670736889_1559847070_n(Photo courtesy of Christine Zichittella-Heeren)

The heartbreakers continue to pile up for the Ducks. On Wednesday night, Jared Lansford turned in a dominant start, and the Ducks looked poised to win their third game in a row. However, for the second straight night, a ninth inning homer, this time from Bryan Pounds, forced extra innings. Then in the 12th, the Riversharks rallied for their third walk-off victory over the Ducks in the last seven days. Long Island is now 4-4 on their 10-game road trip. In all four games, the Ducks took a lead into the bottom of the eighth. In their three losses on the trip to Camden, they took a lead into the ninth inning.

Despite the loss on Wednesday, the performance by Jared Lansford cannot be overlooked. His transformation from a reliever to a starter has gone more smoothly than anyone could have predicted, and his start against the Riversharks was one of his best this year. Lansford threw eight shutout innings at Campbell’s Field and allowed just four hits. The most impressive thing: only one hit left the infield, and coincidentally, it came from hitting coach/DH Brett Bonvechio, who had just one at-bat in a game since 2010. Lansford walked just one batter and set a personal season-high with nine strikeouts. He consistently threw strikes, kept the Riversharks off-balance, and was only denied the chance at a complete game because of some long innings in the seventh and eighth that ran his pitch count up to 115.

Offensively, the Ducks scored first for the sixth consecutive game thanks to three consecutive two-out singles in the first inning from Lew Ford, Adam Bailey and Cody Puckett. However, as has been the case of late, the offense failed to capitalize on chances to extend that lead early in the game. They left two runners on in the first and second inning and another in the third. Then, after Ford doubled to lead off in the third, the Riversharks pitching staff completely shut down the Ducks lineup, retiring 23 in a row until a two-out single from Dan Lyons in the 10th. In extra innings, the Flock took the lead in the 12th on a bases loaded walk by Ford. However, Long Island left the bases loaded in the 12th after leaving two on the 11th and one in the 10th.

After a stretch of five games in which the Ducks bullpen was particularly impressive, they faltered on Wednesday night with little margin for error. David Kopp, who earned saves in each of his first two opportunities, blew the save by allowing a leadoff homer to Pounds in the ninth. Jeremy Accardo was strong in his scoreless inning, and Eric Niesen threw a scoreless frame in the 11th. However, after the Ducks took the lead back, Niesen allowed back-to-back singles to open the 12th inning. Kevin Baez called on Jon Meloan to face pinch hitter Chase Patterson, who immediately squared to bunt. Meloan walked Patterson on four pitches, and after striking out Brian Van Kirk on a check swing, gave up a two-run single down the right field line to Mike Albaladejo that won the game for the Riversharks.

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

Tonight, Shaun Garceau takes the mound looking to turn his season around. Despite an 8-3 record, his ERA has ballooned to 5.43 in 18 games (17 starts). He faced the Riversharks last Saturday in Camden and got a no-decision, but allowed five runs in the fourth inning to turn a 4-0 lead into a 5-4 deficit. That inning ended his start at just 73 pitches. The right-hander has not won since June 26, a span of five starts, and has allowed four runs or more in each start. His previous start in Camden was quite impressive, as he tossed seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits in a 2-1 win.

The Riversharks will hand the ball to Wes Torrez for the middle game of the series. He also earned a no-decision last Saturday but struggled, surrendering five runs on five hits and a walk in five and two-thirds innings. Following that start, the son of former Major Leaguer Mike Torrez is now 3-2 with a  4.15 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) this season. In his previous start, the Riversharks righty earned a win at York, giving up just two runs and striking out six over six innings. Tonight will be his second start against the Flock.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the 15th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and ninth of 10 games between the two in Camden. The Ducks currently lead the series eight to six. Long Island and Camden have played 259 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 134-125 advantage and a slim 69-65 edge in Camden.

On-Base Machine: Brendan Harris drew a walk in the 12th inning on Wednesday and has now reached base safely in 23 consecutive games. That’s the longest active on-base streak in the Atlantic League. During the streak, Harris is batting .296 (24-for-81) with two doubles, one homer, 11 RBI, 13 runs and 21 walks. The former big leaguer has drawn a walk in 11 of his last 15 games.

Ford’s on Fire: Lew Ford earned his second consecutive multi-hit game with a pair of singles and a double on Wednesday. The former big leaguer leads the Ducks with 12 three-hit games and 36 multi-hit contests this year. Ford has now reached base safely in seven consecutive games.

Good Things Come in Pairs: Adam Bailey, Jon Myers and Dan Lyons all had two hits on Wednesday. Bailey now has three consecutive multi-hit games and four in his last five games. Lyons earned his second straight multi-hit game and third in his last four games. Bailey now has 24 multi-hit games in 2014 while Lyons has 15 and Myers has seven.

Jared’s Just Dominant: Jared Lansford tossed his sixth consecutive quality start on Wednesday with eight innings of shutout baseball. In that span, he has given up just nine earned runs over 43 innings, good for a 1.88 ERA. He has combined to allow 30 hits and 10 walks while striking out 35 in those six starts. His nine strikeouts on Wednesday were a personal season-high and tied the most by a Ducks pitcher in a single game this year.

Starter Success: Ducks starting pitchers have been outstanding in the last five games. They have combined to allow just 10 runs (nine earned) over 35.1 innings, good for a 2.29 ERA. In those five starts, they have given up just 30 hits and five walks while striking out 23 batters. The current Ducks starting rotation has a combined record of 29-16 with a 4.07 ERA this season.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks official YouTube Channel and 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:

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

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

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

#38 Wes Torrez – RHP

Stay tuned for updates throughout the game as the Ducks look to get back in the win column and move a game over .500 on the road trip.

UPDATE (7:33): BOT 2: Riversharks strike first on a solo homer to right by Jose Julio-Ruiz, his 14th of the season.

UPDATE (7:54): BOT 3: Two more runs on a RBI single by Bryan Pounds and a sacrifice fly by Julio-Ruiz extend Camden’s lead to 3-0.

UPDATE (8:07): TOP 4: The Ducks are on the scoreboard thanks two a two-out RBI double to left off the bat of Adam Bailey!

UPDATE (8:52): BOT 6: Chase Patters hits a two-run homer to left to give the Riversharks a 5-1 lead.

UPDATE (9:16): Birthday boy Josh Lansford tosses a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts!

UPDATE (9:42): TOP 8: Ducks have sent 10 men to the plate and have scored six runs so far to take a 7-5 lead over the Riversharks!

UPDATE (10:07): TOP 9: Sac fly to right by Cody Puckett scores Lew Ford and extends the Ducks to 8-5!

UPDATE (10:14): FINAL: Brett Lorin tosses a scoreless ninth inning for the save, and the Ducks win it 8-5 to even the series at one!


Posted on July 31, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: