Game 111: Ducks vs. Patriots

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The Ducks are the Ferry Cup champions once again! For the second straight year, Long Island claimed the season series against the cross-sound rival Bluefish, taking this year’s head-to-head matchup 11 games to nine. The Cup clincher came last night when the Ducks offense was once again superb in a 12-7 victory over the ‘Fish in Bridgeport that also gave the Ducks their third consecutive series victory.

The series in Bridgeport was a thing of beauty for the Ducks lineup. Long Island compiled 10 hits in the opener on Monday but only managed three runs as they left 12 men on base. One night later, the Ducks put together their second-best offensive performance of the year with 18 runs and 19 hits in an 18-1 rout. On Wednesday, 12 more runs and 15 more hits were added to cap off Long Island’s series win. From top to bottom in the lineup, everyone contributed in one way or another during the series. However, the following Ducks were the keys to the overall success of the lineup:

Brendan Harris: 6-for-13, one double, one homer, two RBI, six runs, two walks
Lew Ford:
7-for-12, four doubles, two RBI, six runs, one walk
Bill Hall:
4-for-10, one homer, six RBI, six runs, three walks
Adam Bailey
: 7-for-13, two doubles, grand slam, seven RBI, four runs, three walks
Cody Puckett: 6-for-14, one triple, one homer, nine RBI, three runs, one walk

Coincidentally, those are the two through six hitters in the Ducks lineup on a fairly regular basis. For a team to be successful, they need to get contributions from all nine hitters in the batting order. However, having the guys you expect to lead the way put together a series like these five did makes it incredibly difficult for opponents to navigate the lineup. The five combined to bat .484 (30-for-62) in the series and drove in 26 of the 33 runs scored by the Ducks in the series.

On the mound, Jared Lansford showed flashes of the dominant pitcher he’s been this season. After a 1-2-3 first inning, he allowed a single and homer in the second which cut Long Island’s lead to one. However, he followed that up by retiring 12 consecutive batters, as the Ducks offense built him a big lead. Then, things fell apart in the sixth, as Lansford allowed nine batters to come to the plate and surrendered four runs (two earned). The Bluefish didn’t hit the ball hard, but they found the right spots on the field. Long Island’s bullpen tossed the final three innings, with the only run scoring on a pair of two-out hits in the ninth off of Doug Arguello. However, by that point, the game was already out of reach. Lansford didn’t have his best stuff, but he got enough run support and pitched well enough to earn his sixth win of the year.

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

Tonight, the Ducks are back in the friendly confines of Bethpage Ballpark to take on a familiar foe: the Somerset Patriots. The Ducks just hosted the Pats this past weekend and sent them home without a win, sweeping all three games of the series. In the set, Long Island outscored Somerset 19-9 and took advantage of five Patriots errors. Those five errors led to 11 unearned runs. The Ducks now lead the season series seven games to six over the Patriots and are in the midst of a stretch in which 10 of their 13 games are against their division rivals.

The series opener will feature a rematch from Saturday’s game, as Shaun Garceau will start for the Ducks against David Harden of the Patriots. Garceau did not have his best stuff in that outing, surrendering four runs on six hits and two walks in just five innings of work. However, Long Island put together a five-run third inning (only one of which was earned) and a two-run fourth to give Garceau his 11th win of the year. Not to mention, the Ducks bullpen tossed four scoreless innings of relief. The second-year Duck has now won each of his last three starts and has a 3.00 ERA in that span, allowing six runs on 18 hits and four walks while striking out 14 in 18 innings. Overall, the righty is 11-3 with a 5.11 ERA through 22 games (21 starts).

Harden will make his sixth appearance (fifth start) of the year and enters at 1-2 with a 3.85 ERA. Last Saturday, he allowed the first eight batters to reach in the third inning before he was lifted for Derell McCall. In his two and two-thirds innings, Harden surrendered six hits and five runs (one earned) while walking one and striking out one. The big blows were a throwing error he made on a potential inning-ending double play ball off the bat of Lew Ford and a grand slam by Brandon Bantz. Harden has now lost two consecutive starts, allowing 11 runs (six earned) on 11 hits and four walks in just five and one-third innings combined in them.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Patriots: Tonight marks the 14th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Patriots and seventh of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series seven to six and have a 4-2 lead at home. Long Island and Somerset have played 278 games against each other all-time, with the Patriots holding a 140-138 lead. However, the Ducks have a 75-67 edge at Bethpage Ballpark.

Ferry Cup Winners: Thanks to Wednesday’s 12-7 victory in Bridgeport, the Ducks won the season series over the Bluefish 11 games to nine and earned their second consecutive Ferry Cup title. Long Island became the first team to win the Ferry Cup in back-to-back seasons since its inception in 2009. The Ducks have now won the Ferry Cup four times in six seasons (‘09, ‘11, ‘13, ‘14).

Offensive Onslaught: Long Island put together their best offensive series of the season this week, compiling 33 runs, 44 hits and 17 walks over three games in Bridgeport. That’s an average of 11 runs and nearly 15 hits per game. Their previous best had been May 27-29 at Lancaster when they totaled 31 runs, 36 hits and 17 walks. Long Island leads the Atlantic League with a .278 batting average.

Third Time’s a Charm: The Ducks continued their success in the third inning on Wednesday with six runs against the Bluefish. In their last five games, the Ducks have combined to score 21 runs in the third, an average of 4.2 per game. Long Island has scored at least once in the third in each of the five.

Ford’s On Fire: Lew Ford extended his hitting streak to six straight games with four hits on Wednesday. During the streak, he’s batting .500 (12-for-24) with five doubles, five RBI and 10 runs. Ford has scored a run in each of the six games and has reached base safely in nine of his last 10 games.

Starter Success: Ducks starting pitchers are 9-1 with a 2.21 ERA (25 earned runs in 101 and two-thirds innings) over their last 15 games after Jared Lansford allowed four earned runs in six innings on Wednesday. In that span, they’ve allowed 90 hits and 19 walks while striking out 65. Dating back to August 2, the starters are 11-2 with a 2.18 ERA, allowing 30 earned runs in 123 and two-thirds innings.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: The Ducks bullpen continued their strong pitching on Wednesday with three innings of one-run ball. In the last 10 games, Ducks relievers have allowed four runs over 23.1 innings (1.54 ERA). In that span, they’ve yielded 17 hits and six walks with 22 strikeouts. Sergio Perez now has seven shutout innings as a Duck, allowing three hits and three walks with three strikeouts.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast with live streaming audio on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can follow all the action by CLICKING HERE. Marc Schwartz and David Weiss 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

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

Patriots
#13 Jeff Dominguez – 2B
#10 Brian Barden – 1B
#35 Daryle Ward – DH
#15 Corey Smith – 3B
#2   Luis Montanez – RF
#5   Ty Wright – LF
#21 Adam Donachie – C
#8   Cory Harrilchak – CF
#1   Scott Kelly – SS

#25 David Harden – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look to win their third consecutive game.

UPDATE (7:41): BOT 2: A two-run blast from Joash Brodin gives the Flock a 2-0 lead!

UPDATE (8:28): BOT 5: Ducks chase Harden from the ballgame with two-out thanks to a RBI single from Brendan Harris! Flock on top of Somerset 3-0!

UPDATE (9:42): END 8: David Kopp enters the ballgame for the Ducks, looking to close things out against the Somerset Patriots! Ducks lead 3-1!

UPDATE (9:53): BALLGAME!! David Kopp closes the door as the Ducks defeat the Somerset Patriots 3-1! Long Island has won nine of its last 11 games!

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Posted on August 21, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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