Game 96: Ducks at Blue Crabs

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After the Ducks enjoyed their first day off since the Atlantic League All-Star break on Tuesday, baseball returns this morning at 11:05 a.m. in Southern Maryland. Long Island had played a stretch of 19 games in 18 days from July 18 through August 4, and today, they’ll begin a stretch of 19 consecutive games before their next scheduled off day on Monday, August 25. These are the dog days of summer, and for the Ducks right now, it’s all about winning series. The good news for the Flock: they just took a series from the First Half Freedom Division champions and are heading on the road to face a team they are 9-2 against this season as well as that same Revolution team they just took two of three from.

Although Scott Gorgen and the York bullpen stymied the Ducks offense and denied the Ducks a sweep on Monday, Long Island surely has to be somewhat pleased with the fact that they took two of three from a very good Revolution team. York had dominated the season series leading up to the three-game set, winning eight of the first 11 matchups. However, outstanding pitching from John Brownell and Bobby Blevins in the first two games of the series were the keys to taking both games. Jared Lansford and the bullpen kept the Ducks in the series finale as well, but the Ducks were only able to manage three hits and came up a run short. However, it’s clear that Long Island’s starting pitching has overall been very strong of late and the bullpen is hopefully getting back on the right track.

Fehlandt Lentini said after Monday’s 11:05 a.m. Camp Day at Bethpage Ballpark, “From personal experience, morning games are often either really good or really bad.” What he is referring to there is the offensive aspect of the game. Sometimes, teams just wake up with a good feeling and see the ball well. For example, the Ducks walloped the Blue Crabs 11-1 in a 10:35 a.m. game at Southern Maryland on May 1. The offense pounded out 11 hits in that game, including four doubles by four players and a three-run homer from Lew Ford. However, days like Monday are also possible. Lentini led the offense with two hits, including a two-run home run, and drove in all three Ducks runs. However, the rest of the lineup was a combined 1-for-26 in the game and drew just one walk in the game. The Ducks are hoping for a better showing from their bats against the Blue Crabs this morning.

CLICK HERE to read a full recap from Monday’s game, complete with audio highlights and postgame interviews.

Taking the mound for the Ducks today is right-hander Shaun Garceau. The second-year Duck is 8-3 with a 5.46 ERA this year and will be making 20th appearance (19th start) today. His last time out was on Thursday in Camden, and he allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits in six innings. Garceau did not walk a batter though, for the first time in four starts, and struck out three. However, the righty is hoping to get things back on track today after now having given up four runs or more in six consecutive starts. In two starts against the Blue Crabs this year, he is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA and three walks to 10 strikeouts in 13 innings. Included in that are seven innings of three-hit shutout baseball on May 20 at Bethpage Ballpark.

On the other side, the Blue Crabs will go with local boy Daryl Thompson. The right-hander, who hails from nearby La Plata, Md., is 3-3 on the year with a 5.50 ERA through 13 games (12 starts). In that span, he has walked 27 batters and struck out 56 over 67 innings of work. Thompson is coming off of a no-decision on Thursday at York where he surrendered five runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out six over six innings. He had won his previous two starts before that. Thompson’s only appearance against the Ducks this season was on June 8 in Southern Maryland when he threw a scoreless inning of relief. In 2013, he was 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA and one complete game in three starts against Long Island.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Today marks the 12th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and eighth of 10 games between them in Southern Maryland. The Ducks currently lead the series nine games to two. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 128 games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 69-59 lead in the series as well as a 36-25 advantage at Regency Furniture Stadium.

Lentini Leaves the Yard: Fehlandt Lentini’s two-run home run in the third inning on Monday was his third homer of the season. It was also his first in 19 games and first at Bethpage Ballpark as a member of the Ducks. His other two came in Southern Maryland (June 6) and Lancaster (July 12). Long Island has now gone deep in three of their first four games during the month of August.

He Can Do It All: Lentini also finished Monday’s game with two hits and three RBI. The first-year Duck leads the team with 26 two-hit games and is tied for the team lead in three-RBI games with three, joining Joash Brodin and Adam Bailey. Overall, he has 35 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI games. Lentini also picked up his league-leading 38th stolen base and has still yet to be caught stealing this season.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: The Ducks bullpen combined to throw four shutout innings on Monday. Sergio Perez and Tommy Organ each threw a scoreless inning in their Ducks debut, while Jon Meloan and Brett Lorin each followed with a scoreless frame. The four combined to allow three hits and two walks while striking out four. Lorin has made 13 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run, a span of 11 and two-thirds innings of work.

Welcome to Long Island: Evan Crawford made his Ducks debut when he started in center field on Monday. He picked up his first Ducks hit and stolen base in the third inning while drawing his first walk and scoring his first run as a Duck in the eighth. Crawford began the year with the River City Rascals of the Frontier League before he was acquired in a trade on August 2 and signed the next day.

Approaching Milestones: Joash Brodin is two doubles away from 100 for his career…Lew Ford is five games away from 1,000 in his minor league career…Dan Lyons is nine hits away from 600 in his career…Cody Puckett is eight RBI away from 400 for his career…Eric Niesen is four games away from 300 for his career.

On the Air: Today’s game will be broadcast online with live streaming audio available online on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Marc Schwartz will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are today’s starting lineups:

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

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

Blue Crabs
#20 Jermaine Mitchell – CF
#4    Bobby Stevens – SS
#2    Jake Opitz – 2B
#38 Luke Murton – LF
#44 C.J. Ziegler – 1B
#40 Jamar Walton – RF
#19 Angel Chavez – 3B
#8   James Skelton – C
#1   Amadeo Zazueta – DH

#32 Daryl Thompson – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Regency Furniture Stadium as the Ducks look to kick off a six-game road trip with a victory.

UPDATE (11:27): TOP 1: Ducks plate three runs on a two-run double from Bill Hall and a RBI single from Brandon Bantz! Flock lead 3-0!

UPDATE (11:32): Bot 1: Shaun Garceau strikes out the side on just 12 pitches! The Ducks continue to lead 3-0!

UPDATE (11:53): BOT 2: Southern Maryland gets on the board with a solo home run from C.J. Ziegler. Ducks lead 3-1

UPDATE (12:38): TOP 5: Consecutive two-out RBI base hits from Brandon Bantz and Joash Brodin increase the Ducks’ lead to 5-1!!

UPDATE (1:06): TOP 7: Cody Puckett launches a solo home run – his seventh of the year – to increase the Ducks lead to 6-1!

UPDATE (1:39): TOP 8: Two more runs come home for the Flock on a passed ball and a RBI single from Adam Bailey! 8-1 Long Island!

UPDATE (1:57): BOT 8: Southern Maryland plates three runs on a Opitz RBI single and a pair of bases loaded walks. Ducks still lead 8-4

UPDATE (2:13): BALLGAME!! The Ducks take the series opener over Southern Maryland 8-4 on 15 hits and a strong pitching performance from Shaun Garceau!

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Posted on August 6, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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