Game 119: Ducks vs. Riversharks

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The Long Island Ducks returned home yesterday with authority. In the first of a four-game series against the Camden Riversharks, the game belonged to the Ducks. With a commanding 7-0 victory, combined with a Somerset Patriot extra-inning loss last night, the Ducks are once again five games out of first place in the Liberty Division. However, Lancaster won last night, so Long Island remains three games back in the wild card race, now with 22 games left in the 2014 regular season. For more information regarding the playoff race, CLICK HERE.

Last night’s game at Bethpage Ballpark was highlighted by Bobby Blevins. The third-year Duck had arguably one of his best starts of the season, limiting the Riversharks to just six hits over nine scoreless innings with five strikeouts en route to his third complete game, and first shutout, of the season. In addition, Blevins retired 17 of the final 18 batters, with the lone exception coming on a wild pitch. The righty did not allow a hit after the fourth inning and faced just five over the minimum.

Offensively, the Flock hit Camden starting pitcher Ryan Kulik hard for five runs on nine hits over five innings. RBI base hits from Brandon Bantz, Dan Lyons, Fehlandt Lentini and Adam Bailey all provided the damage against Kulik. Long Island later added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh on consecutive bases-loaded walks to Bailey and Cody Puckett.

CLICK HERE to read a full recap from Thursday, complete with the box score and audio highlights.

Shaun Garceau toes the rubber for the Ducks tonight in his 24th appearance (23rd start) of the year. The second-year Duck has had a rollercoaster season, but is currently on the upswing, having won his last four starts. Overall, Garceau enters tonight 12-3 with a 4.90 earned run average and 91 strikeouts against 46 walks in 135 and two-thirds innings of work. In his last four starts, Garceau has allowed just seven earned runs in 25 and one-third innings (2.49 ERA). The righty has not lost in his last six starts since July 21 vs Bridgeport. In five appearances (four starts) against the Riversharks this season, Garceau is 1-0 and has allowed 16 earned runs in 24 innings pitched.

Camden will send Cesar Sanchez to the mound for his first start not only with the Riversharks this season, but his first professional baseball game ever on American soil. The Dominican countryman had previously spent three years playing as a teenager in the Dominican Summer League for the Toronto Blue Jays affiliate. From 2009-to-2011, the righty appeared in 38 games (26 starts), posting a 6-14 record with a 3.75 ERA over 141 and two-thirds innings without allowing a home run.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the 18th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Riversharks and eighth of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series 10-7 and have a 5-2 lead at home. Long Island and Camden have played 262 games against each other all-time, with the Riversharks holding a 135-127 lead overall and a 65-61 edge at Bethpage Ballpark.

Blevins on the Bump: Bobby Blevins tossed his third complete game and first shutout of the season on Friday with nine shutout innings. The third-year Duck has now worked 11 consecutive quality starts dating back to July 4 against Camden. In his 11 straight quality starts, Blevins is 5-0 with a 1.44 ERA, giving up just 14 earned runs in 87 and one-third innings of work. In that span, he has yielded 73 hits and just nine walks while striking out 44. Blevins has not walked a single batter in seven of those 10 starts and has walked just four in his last 65 and two-third innings.

Harris is Heating Up: With a single in the seventh inning on Friday, Brendan Harris extended his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games. During the streak, Harris is batting .408 (20-for-49) with four doubles, one home run, six RBI, 10 runs and five walks. He has multiple hits in five of the 11 games.

Ford’s on Fire: With two hits on Friday, Lew Ford earned his 25th two-hit and team-leading 44th multi-hit game of the year. He has now hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games and 19 of his last 22 contests. Over his last 18 games, the former big leaguer is batting .389 (28-for-72) with 10 doubles, one homer, 12 RBI, 17 runs and five walks. Six of the 16 games in which he recorded a hit were multi-hit contests.

Bailey’s Bashing the Ball: With two hits on Friday, Adam Bailey earned his 25th two-hit and 36th multi-hit game of the year. In addition, Bailey has now hit safely in six consecutive games, recording two hits in five of those six. During that stretch, the second-year Duck is batting .432 (11-for-23) with one double, two home runs, eight RBI and four runs scored. The Nebraska native also recorded his 13th two-RBI and team-leading 22nd multi-RBI game of the year. Bailey currently ranks third in the Atlantic League in runs batted in with 80, three behind Cole Garner (Lancaster) for the league lead.

Cody’s Crushing It: Cody Puckett hit a double on Friday and has now hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games dating to August 14. In those 15 games, he’s batting .375 (24-for-64) with three doubles, one triple, one homer, 14 RBI and six runs. Seven of the 13 games with a hit have been multi-hit contests.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather 103.9 LI News Radio.Live streaming audio and video will also be available on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can follow all the action by CLICKING HERE. 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 – 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

Riversharks
#5   Brandon Chaves – SS
#10 Paddy Matera – 2B
#14 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#19 Jose Julio-Ruiz – 1B
#9   Jose Morales – DH
#8   P.J. Phillips – CF
#7   Mike Albaladejo – C
#18 Eric Perez – RF
#4   Zack MacPhee – LF

#29 Cesar Sanchez – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look to make it two straight wins over Camden!

UPDATE (7:24): BOT 1: DUCKS LEAD! Lew Ford with a RBI single and the Flock are out in front 1-0!

UPDATE (8:07): MID 4: Two-run homer from Lew Ford in the bottom of the third increases the lead to three before a Camden run-scoring FC makes it 3-1!

UPDATE (8:31): BOT 5: DUCKS LEAD 5-1! A Fehlandt Lentini solo home run and a run-scoring wild pitch increase the Flock lead to four!

UPDATE (9:28): END 8: Ducks continue to lead 5-1, looking for their second-straight win! Starter Shaun Garceau went 7 IP w/ 1 R, 7 H, 0 BB and 4 K!

UPDATE (9:34): BALLGAME!! Ducks win their second straight as they defeat the Riversharks 5-1! Garceau earns his 13th win of the year! Enjoy the fireworks!

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Posted on August 30, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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