Game 114: Ducks vs. Patriots

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The Long Island Ducks wrap up their final home series against the Somerset Patriots today at Bethpage Ballpark. It will mark the fourth team to have finished their road schedule at the Duck Pond in the 2014 regular season. York, Sugar Land and Bridgeport have all played their last game in Central Islip already, while Camden, Southern Maryland and Lancaster still have trips scheduled during September. The Ducks have enjoyed their time at home this season, currently holding a 31-25 record on Long Island compared to a 29-28 record on the road. That said, the Flock will be looking to even up this four-game set against the Patriots today after dropping last night’s ballgame 7-3.

Looking to take a series lead over Somerset, Long Island took a 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI groundout from Lew Ford for the second consecutive night. However, that would be the only lead the Flock held in the ballgame. Somerset took the lead for good in the second on consecutive two-out RBI doubles from Brian Barden and Damaso Espino. The Patriots later tallied four more runs in the seventh on a pair of home runs and a sacrifice fly to extend their lead to 6-1

Long Island did rally in the ninth inning, eventually bringing the tying run to the plate. After Ty Wright increased the Somerset lead to six on a RBI double in the ninth, the Ducks brought eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the frame to threaten. Following sacrifice flies from Ford and Bill Hall which trimmed the deficit to four, the Flock loaded the bases and brought Joash Brodin to the plate, representing the tying run. With Somerset closer Jon Hunton in the game, Brodin grounded out to second on the first pitch to strand the bases loaded and end the ballgame.

CLICK HERE to read a full recap from Saturday, complete with audio highlights and postgame interviews with Kevin Baez and Cody Puckett.

Tonight, Long Island turns to Bobby Blevins – making his 22nd start of the year – to even up the four-game set. Blevins has arguably been the most consistent starting pitcher for the Ducks this year, carrying an 8-3 record with a 2.97 earned run into tonight’s ballgame. The third-year Duck ranks second in the Atlantic League in complete games (2) and innings pitched (148.1), while ranking third in ERA (2.97). Blevins has allowed just 23 walks against 87 strikeouts this season, including no walks in his last three starts (24.0 innings). The righty has not lost since June 29 at York – a stretch which spans nine starts. In his lone start against the Patriots this year (April 27 at Somerset), Blevins earned the win, allowing three runs (two earned) over six innings on just one hit with six strikeouts.

Gary Moran will make his 21st appearance (20th start) tonight when he gets the call for Somerset. The first-year Patriot is 10-3 this year with a 4.14 ERA and 74 strikeouts against 26 walks in 115 innings of work. While the righty has received a no-decision in each of his last three starts, he has not lost a game since June 5 against York. That is a stretch which spans 13 starts. Moran earned the win, tossing seven shutout innings on three hits and two walks on May 31 in his only only start this year against the Ducks.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Patriots: Tonight marks the 17th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Patriots and final of 10 games between them on Long Island. The series is tied at eight, and the Ducks have a 5-4 lead at home. Long Island and Somerset have played 281 games against each other all-time, with the Patriots holding a 142-139 lead. However, the Ducks have a 76-69 edge at Bethpage Ballpark.

Ford’s On Fire: Lew Ford extended his hitting streak to nine consecutive games with a single on Saturday. During the streak, he is batting .417 (15-for-36) with six doubles, eight RBI and 10 runs scored. Ford has scored a run in six of the nine games and has reached base safely in 12 of his last 13 games. The former big leaguer also drove in two runs for his 10th two-RBI game and 16th multi-RBI contest of the season. He ranks fourth in the Atlantic League with 76 runs batted in.

Cody’s Crushing It: With four hits on Saturday night, Cody Puckett picked up his second four-hit game of 2014. His first came on July 12 at Lancaster. The second-year Duck now has 37 multi-hit games this season. In addition, Puckett now has a 10-game hitting streak. During the 10 games, he is batting .409 (18-for-44) with two doubles, one triple, one homer, 12 RBI and four runs.

Fehlandt’s Fury: With three hits on Saturday, Fehlandt Lentini earned his eighth three-hit game of the year. The first-year Duck is now tied with Ford for the team lead with 42 multi-hit games. In addition, he stole his league-leading 42nd base in the first inning and has still yet to be caught stealing in 2014.

Oh, What a Relief He Is: Josh Lansford tossed a scoreless inning of relief in the eighth on Saturday. He has now allowed just two runs over his last 10 and one-third innings of work (11 appearances), which is good for a 1.74 ERA. In that span, he’s allowed 13 hits and two walks while striking out nine.

Blevins on the Bump: Entering Sunday, Bobby Blevins has tossed nine consecutive quality starts. The right-hander has allowed two runs or less and tossed at least six and two-thirds innings in all nine starts. In his nine straight quality starts, Blevins is 4-0 with a 1.39 ERA, allowing just 11 earned runs in 74.1 innings of work. In that span, he has yielded 60 hits and just seven walks while striking out 32. Blevins has not walked a single batter in six of those nine starts.

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. 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:

#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#29 Evan Crawford – RF
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#18 Bobby Blevins – RHP

#8   Cory Harrilchak – CF
#5   Ty Wright – LF
#35 Daryle Ward – DH
#15 Corey Smith – 3B
#2   Luis Montanez – RF
#10 Brian Barden – 1B
#26 Kevin Kotch – C
#12  Edwin Maysonet – SS
#1    Scott Kelly – 2B

#38 Gary Moran – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look to earn a split of their four-game set against the Patriots.

UPDATE (5:32): BOT 1: DUCKS LEAD! Adam Bailey with a two-run shot, his team-leading 16th of the year, gives Long Island a 2-0 lead!

UPDATE (5:41): TOP 2: A Corey Smith solo home run has brought the Patriots within one run. Ducks still lead 2-1.

UPDATE (6:25): BOT 4: The Ducks increase their lead to 3-1 on a run-scoring throwing error from Somerset starting pitcher Gary Moran!

UPDATE (6:46): TOP 5: Somerset evens the ballgame at three on a two-run single from Ty Wright.

UPDATE (7:00): BOT 5: LEWWW!!! Lew Ford gives the Ducks the lead with a solo home run, his 13th of the season! Ducks lead 4-3!

UPDATE (7:59): TOP 8: Patriots puts up five runs to take an 8-4 lead. Montanez RBI double, Kotch RBI fielder’s choice, Harrilchak three-run homer provide the damage.

UPDATE (8:24): FINAL: Ducks rally in the 9th on a solo home run from Adam Bailey, but ultimately fall short as the Patriots take the series finale 8-5.


Posted on August 24, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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