Game 97: Ducks at Blue Crabs

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The Long Island Ducks return to action tonight at 7:05 p.m. for the middle game of a three-game series at Regency Furniture Stadium against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. For a team in the Ducks position – trying to turn their second half around after a rough start –  they could not ask for a better opponent than the Blue Crabs. The Flock are now 10-2 this season against Southern Maryland after yesterday’s 8-4 victory; their best record against an Atlantic League opponent this year. In addition, the Ducks have now taken 15 of the last 17 dating back to the 2013 Liberty Division Championship Series, and 17 of the last 20 overall. While the Crabs still own the all-time series lead, Long Island has enjoyed more success against them then against any other team over the last two years.

The Ducks’ success against the Blue Crabs continued with yesterday’s 8-4 Camp Day victory. After enjoying their first day off since the All-Star Break, and last day off until August 25, the Flock bats’ hopped off the bus jumping as they plated three runs in the top of the first inning off Daryl Thompson. A two-run double from Bill Hall and a RBI single from Brandon Bantz highlighted the inning. Long Island never looked back, increasing their lead in the ballgame to an apex of 8-1 in the eighth after a run-scoring passed ball and an Adam Bailey RBI single. Both Bantz and Bailey enjoyed three-hit games each, while three other Ducks (Fehlandt Lentini, Brendan Harris and Joash Brodin) recorded two hits. Overall, Long Island had 15 hits in the game; five shy of the season-high (20, 5/28 at Lancaster).

The offense was not the only aspect of the game that worked well for the Ducks yesterday. Shaun Garceau, who was looking for his first win since June 26 against the York Revolution, was very strong on the hill. The second-year Duck needed just 75 pitches to work six one-run innings en route to his ninth win of the year. That included a 12-pitch bottom of the first in which Garceau struck out the side, and a seven pitch bottom of the third. Overall, the righty yielded five hits and no walks while striking out five. The lone damage done against Garceau was a C.J. Ziegler solo home run in the bottom of the second.

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

Tonight, Mitch Talbot toes the rubber for his sixth appearance (fourth start) of the year with Long Island. The former big-leaguer enters 2-1 on the year with a 4.50 earned run average and five walks against 15 strikeouts in 18 innings of work. In each of his three starts this year, Talbot has allowed no more than three runs. That includes his best start of the year, which came his last time out at Campbell’s Field against the Camden Riversharks. In that game, the righty tossed six innings of one-run ball on four hits while striking out a season-high seven en route to a no-decision. Tonight will mark his first appearance ever against Southern Maryland.

Talbot’s counterpart tonight with be Southern Maryland’s Jake Brown, who will make his 31st appearance (sixth start) of the year. The southpaw is 4-2 this season with a 3.23 ERA and 42 strikeouts and 25 walks in 61 and one-third innings pitched. Brown has tossed at least four innings in an appearance four times this year, but has yet to go five. In four relief appearances against the Ducks this season, Brown is 1-2, having allowed three runs on five hits over five and one-third innings of work (5.06 ERA). That includes an adventurous day on June 8 at Regency Furniture Stadium where the first-year Blue Crab factored into the decision in both games of a day/night doubleheader. Brown received the loss in game one after allowing two runs on two hits in one inning of work before earning the win in game two with two scoreless innings of relief.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Today marks the 13th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and ninth of 10 games between them in Southern Maryland. The Ducks currently lead the series 10 games to two. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 129 games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 69-60 lead in the series as well as a 36-26 advantage at Regency Furniture Stadium.

Puckett’s Got Power: Cody Puckett’s solo home run on Wednesday was his seventh home run of the season. Four of his seven homers have come in the last 11 games. The Ducks have now gone deep in four of the first five games in the month of August.

Three’s Company: Adam Bailey and Brandon Bantz each had three hits to lead the Ducks offense on Wednesday. Bailey has now picked up multiple hits in six of his last nine games, while Bantz has multiple hits in each of his last two games. Bailey now has 27 multi-hit games in 2014, and Bantz has six.

Good Things Come in Pairs: Fehlandt Lentini earned his team-leading 27th two-hit game of the year on Wednesday with a double and a single. He is now tied with Lew Ford for the team lead in multi-hit games with 36. Brendan Harris and Joash Brodin each picked up their 16th two-hit game of the year as well. Brodin has 22 multi-hit games this season while Harris has 19.

Go Go Garceau: Shaun Garceau earned his first win since June 26 on Wednesday with six innings of one-run ball. He had gone his previous six starts without getting a win. The right-hander has now tossed back-to-back outings without allowing a walk and has given up three walks in his last five starts.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: Brett Lorin pitched two-thirds of an inning on Wednesday without yielding a run. He has now made 14 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run, a span of 12 and one-third innings of work. Josh Lansford threw one scoreless inning on Wednesday. He has now gone six straight appearances without giving up an earned run, a stretch of six and one-third innings.

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

#32 Mitch Talbot – RHP

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

#46 Jake Brown – LHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Regency Furniture Stadium as the Ducks look to make it two-straight victories over the Blue Crabs!

UPDATE (8:01): We remain scoreless at Regency Furniture Stadium through the three innings.

UPDATE (8:37): TOP 5: Long Island grabs the lead! Adam Bailey with a two-out RBI single to put the Flock in front 1-0!

UPDATE (9:27): BOT 7: Southern Maryland ties the ballgame at one on a RBI single from Amadeo Zazueta

UPDATE (9:38): BOT 7: The Blue Crabs take the lead on a run-scoring error off the bat of Jermaine Mitchell. 2-1 Southern Maryland.

UPDATE (10:07): FINAL: Southern Maryland defeats Long Island 2-1. Recap to follow shortly

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Posted on August 7, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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