Game 105: Ducks vs. Patriots

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Today the Long Island Ducks welcome in the Somerset Patriots for only the second series between the two teams at Bethpage Ballpark in 2014. This begins a stretch in which the Ducks will play their Liberty Division rivals 10 times in the next 13 games, including seven here at the Duck Pond. The Flock host Somerset for a three-game series beginning tonight, before hitting the road for a three-game set in Bridgeport against the Bluefish. Following that, Long Island and Somerset will play seven-straight games against each other to finish off the season series. This all coming on the heels of the Flock taking two games of a three-game set over the Sugar Land Skeeters.

It was an important series for Long Island, who are trying to make headway not only in the Liberty Division, but also in the Atlantic League Wild Card standings. The Ducks are currently two games behind the Lancaster Barnstormers for what would be the final playoff spot in the league if the season were to end today. Sugar Land remains in the conversation for the Wild Card standings however, because if they were to fall out of first place in the Freedom Division (currently 1.5 games up on the York Revolution), the Skeeters would still vying for a playoff spot.

Last night, Bobby Blevins led the way in a 5-1 Long Island victory over Sugar Land. Blevins worked his second complete game of the season, needing just 97 pitches to hold the Skeeters to one run on seven hits over nine innings. It marks yet another high-point for the third-year Duck in a strong season. Offensively, it was the bottom of the order who provided for most of the damage. The 7-8-9 batters in the order (Evan Crawford, Joash Brodin and Dan Lyons, respectively) combined to go 6-for-9 from the late with four runs scored, four runs batted in and two stolen bases. Specifically, Crawford was 3-for-3 with three runs scored, Brodin went 2-for-3 with one RBI and a steal, while Lyons was 1-for-3 with a run and a season-high three RBI.

CLICK HERE to read a full recap from Thursday’s game, complete with audio highlights and and postgame comments from Kevin Baez, Blevins and Lyons.

So as the Ducks welcome in the Patriots to the Duck Pond tonight, the starting pitching will once again be highlighted. Jared Lansford makes his 19th start of the year for Long Island. The third-year Duck is 4-4 on the year with a 3.25 earned run average (fourth in the league) and 85 strikeouts against 31 walks in 110 and two-thirds innings pitched. While the righty has allowed four runs in both of his last two starts, he was named the Atlantic League July Pitcher of the Month, where he posted a 1-0 record with a 1.88 ERA over six starts. In two starts against Somerset this year, Lansford is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA (nine earned runs in 12 innings).

The Patriots will send Matt Maloney to the mound tonight for his 16th start of the season. The first-year Patriot is currently 8-5 with a 3.26 ERA (fifth in the league) in 93 and two-thirds innings with 64 strikeouts against 20 walks. The southpaw has won each of his last three games, and four of his last five overall. In two starts against the Ducks this season, Maloney is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA (six earned runs in 12 and two-thirds innings), including a seven-inning complete game on June 14 in Somerset.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Patriots: Tonight marks the 11th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Patriots and fourth of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Patriots currently lead the series six games to four, including a 2-1 advantage at the Duck Pond. Long Island and Somerset have played 275 games against each other all-time, with the Patriots holding a slim 140-135 lead in the series. However, the Ducks have a 72-67 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark.

Going the Distance: Bobby Blevins tossed his second complete game of the year on Thursday night. Both of them have come in his last three starts, with the first coming on August 3 against York. The third-year Duck has now tossed eight straight quality starts and has allowed no more than two runs while working at least six and two-thirds innings each time. Over that span, the righty is 3-0 with a 1.40 earned run average (10 earned runs over 64 and one-third innings) and has allowed 52 hits and just seven walks with 25 strikeouts. The Ducks lead the Atlantic League with 10 complete games in 2014.

Starter Success: Ducks starting pitchers are now 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA (10 earned runs in 61 and two-thirds innings) over their last nine games after Blevins’ complete game effort on Thursday. In that span, they’ve allowed 50 hits and 11 walks while striking out 35 batters. Dating back to August 2, the starters are 6-2 with a 1.61 ERA, allowing 15 earned runs in 83 and two-thirds innings.

Off to the Races: Fehlandt Lentini stole his league-leading 41st base of the season on Thursday when he swiped second in the seventh inning. The first-year Duck is now a perfect 41-for-41 in stolen base attempts this year. Long Island stole three bases on Thursday and have now stolen 14 bases in their last six games. As a team, they have 95 steals this year, good for second in the league (York, 126).

Fast Start: With three hits on Thursday, Evan Crawford earned his first multi-hit game as a Duck. The 26-year-old is now 6-for-9 at the plate with four runs, three stolen bases, one RBI and two walks in his first four games with Long Island. He’s earned at least one hit in each of the four games.

Big Nights: Dan Lyons recorded his third three-RBI game of the year on Thursday. It was his first three-RBI game since June 27 at York. The fourth-year Duck now has nine multi-RBI games in 2014. Joash Brodin has now picked up two hits in three of his last six games and has reached base safely in five of those games. It marked the third-year Duck’s 19th two-hit and 25th multi-hit game this year.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast with live streaming video and audio on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can follow all the action by CLICKING HERE. The game can also be heard on Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Michael Polak 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 – DH
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#29 Evan Crawford – CF
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#21 Jared Lansford – RHP

Patriots
#6   Jonny Tucker – CF
#13 Jeff Dominguez – 2B
#5    Ty Wright – DH
#15  Corey Smith – 3B
#2    Luis Montanez – RF
#10  Brian Barden – 1B
#8    Cory Harrilchak – LF
#37 Damaso Espino – C
#1     Scott Kelly – SS

#22  Matt Maloney – LHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look to open up their season against the Patriots with a win!

UPDATE (8:06): END 4: Ducks and the Patriots knotted at zero in a pitchers’ duel. Both teams with two hits so far.

UPDATE (8:15): TOP 5: Somerset takes a 2-0 lead on a two-run, two-out single from Jonny Tucker

UPDATE (8:49): BOT 6: DUCKS LEAD!! Four-run two-out rally puts the Flock in front! Two-run double from Puckett & two-run homer from Bantz highlight inning!

UPDATE (9:14): MID 8: Jared Lansford is one-off his season-high with eight strikeouts tonight, and has retired the last 10 in order! Ducks lead 4-2!

UPDATE (9:33): BALLGAME!!! Jared Lansford tosses his second CG of the year – second straight for the Flock – as the Ducks defeat the Patriots 4-2!!

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Posted on August 15, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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