Game 127: Ducks at Skeeters

For the first time since August 28 in Somerset, the Ducks were unable to exchange high fives on the field after the final out was recorded. Sugar Land claimed their first win of the series and ended Long Island’s season-high eight-game winning streak on Friday night, squeaking out a 2-1 victory in a great pitcher’s duel. Both sides had rallies that were squashed by key pitches from either the starters or relievers, but no play in the game was bigger than the one Sugar Land made in the top of the ninth inning.

With the Skeeters up one and one out in the inning, the Ducks put runners at second and third on Brandon Bantz’s single and Joash Brodin’s double. With Dan Lyons due up, Kevin Baez went to his bench and called on Bill Hall to pinch hit. The Skeeters brought the infield in, and Hall hit a ground ball to shortstop Dominic Ramos. Bantz tried to score from third on the play, but Ramos fired home and Todd Jennings applied the tag as Bantz slid into the plate. Home plate umpire Ryan Morehead called Bantz out on the close play, and Fehlandt Lentini followed with a strikeout to end the game. How close was close on the slide home by Bantz? Check out this screenshot we took from the ESPN3 broadcast last night:


It doesn’t get much closer than that folks! The call could have gone either way on that play, but unfortunately for the Ducks, Bantz was called out and the Skeeters went on to win.

Lost in the defeat was another fantastic start from Jared Lansford. The right-hander went seven and two-thirds innings in the game, coming one out shy of a complete game when he walked back-to-back hitters with two outs in the eighth. Eric Niesen would come on and strike out Travis Scott to get him out of the jam. Lansford made one bad pitch in the game when Denny Almonte hit a solo homer to lead off the second. Aside from that, the only other run he allowed came in the fourth when he allowed back-to-back two out hits before a run scored on a passed ball. It was a tough way to lose for Lansford, but he certainly was not to blame.

The Ducks offense appeared to catch a break when Matt Wright was scratched from the start due to upper body soreness. Instead, the Skeeters would go with right-handed reliever Ramon Delgado, who had just pitched an inning and a third two nights before. However, the Ducks managed just two hits and a walk against Delgado over five innings, and both hits came with one out in the first. Sugar Land robbed Long Island of several hits in the game with great plays in the field as well. Aside from the play in the ninth, Adam Godwin robbed Cody Puckett of a run-scoring extra base hit in the sixth with a sliding catch to end the inning. The hit would have tied the game. Ulimately, the Ducks left nine men on base and came just shy of pulling even in the game on multiple occasions.

CLICK HERE to view the full recap from Friday’s game, complete with audio highlights. CLICK HERE to check out the updated playoff scenarios following Friday night’s Atlantic League games.

Tonight, the Ducks will look to get back in the win column when they send southpaw Doug Arguello to the mound. The left-hander was strong in his first home start with the Flock on Monday, tossing six innings of four-hit ball against the Camden Riversharks. He allowed just one unearned run and one walk while striking out four to earn his first win of the season. Through six games (two starts), Arguello has a 1.28 ERA and has given up 13 hits and three walks while striking out 10 over 14 innings. This will be the first time he is facing the team that he played with just a year ago. He was 2-0 with a 3.68 ERA in seven games (six starts) with the Skeeters in 2013.

Long Island’s offense will have a tough task ahead of them tonight as they face the Sugar Land’s best starter this season in David Pauley. The right-hander is 11-6 this season with a league-best 2.46 ERA over 21 games (20 starts). He has won each of his last two starts and has not allowed more than three runs in each of his past eight starts dating back to July 25. In that span, he is 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA, allowing just 10 earned runs over 47 innings. Coincidentally, the last time he lost was on July 7 against the Ducks at Bethpage Ballpark. In that game, he surrendered four runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings in an 8-1 Ducks victory. Pauley also lost against the Flock on June 21 in the nightcap of a day/night doubleheader. Combined in two starts against Long Island, he has a 3.75 ERA and has given up six runs (five earned) on 13 hits and five walks while striking out seven in 12 innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Skeeters: Tonight marks the 19th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Skeeters and ninth of 10 games between them in Texas. The Ducks lead the series 13-5 and have a 6-2 lead on the road. Long Island and Sugar Land have played 58 games against each other all-time, with the Skeeters holding a 31-27 lead overall and an 18-10 advantage at Constellation Field.

Starter Domination: Ducks starters have been outstanding during Long Island’s last nine games. Following Jared Lansford’s seven and two-thirds innings of two-run ball (one earned) on Friday, Ducks starters have combined to post a 1.47 ERA during the streak, yielding just 10 earned runs over 61.1 innings of work. They have also combined to allow just 51 hits and 10 walks while striking out 33.

Jared’s Just Dandy: Despite suffering the loss on Friday, Jared Lansford tossed his fourth quality start in his last five outings. In that span, the righty is 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA, allowing just eight earned runs in 37.2 innings of work. He has given up 31 hits and seven walks with 28 strikeouts in those five starts.

Multi-Hit King: With two hits on Friday night, Lew Ford earned his team-leading 50th multi-hit game of the season. The former big leaguer has 29 two-hit games, a team-high 16 three-hit games and a team-best five four-hit contests. Ford has picked up multiple hits in eight of his last 11 games overall. In those 11 games, he is batting .417 (20-for-48) with five doubles, two homers, 10 RBI and nine runs scored.

Harris is Heating Up: With two hits on Friday, Brendan Harris extended his hitting streak to 19 consecutive games. During the streak, Harris is batting .408 (31-for-76) with six doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, 19 runs and 12 walks. He has multiple hits in eight of the 19 games and now has a total of 30 multi-hit games this season, 24 of which are two-hit contests.

Hot Start: C.J. Retherford earned a hit on Friday and has now picked up a hit in each of his first five games with the Flock. The infielder has eight hits in his first 20 at-bats with three RBI, four runs and two walks. Three of his first five games have been multi-hit contests, and two of his three runs batted in have come with two outs in an inning.

Bailey’s Bashing the Ball: Adam Bailey drew a walk on Friday and has now reached base safely in 13 of his last 14 games. He’s earned a hit in 12 of them, including multiple hits in eight. In those 14 games, Bailey’s batting .382 (21-for-55) with two doubles, three homers, 11 RBI, seven runs and seven walks.

On the Air: Tonight’s ballgame with be broadcast on Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather 103.9 FM LI News Radio. Fans can also follow all of the action online by CLICKING HERE. 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 – CF
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#35 Doug Arguello – LHP

#41 Adam Godwin – CF
#5   Chase Lambin – 2B
#24 Delwyn Young – 1B
#29 Ryan Langerhans – DH
#14 Denny Almonte – LF
#4   Dominic Ramos – SS
#7   Todd Jennings – C
#2   Michael Rockett – 3B
#6   Bridger Hunt – RF

#30 David Pauley – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Constellation Field as the Ducks look to win their fifth game of the series in Texas.

UPDATE (6:15): TOP 1: Ducks strike for two runs when David Pauley airmails a throw on Adam Bailey’s infield single down the right field line!

UPDATE (6:52): TOP 3: Ducks add another run when Delwyn Young commits a fielding error on a ground ball by C.J. Retherford to second! 3-0 Flock!

UPDATE (7:48): BOT 5: Skeeters score four times in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. RBI singles by Delwyn Young, Dominic Ramos and Todd Jennings in the frame.

UPDATE (8:58): FINAL: Ducks threaten but cannot score in the ninth. Skeeters hang on for 4-3 win. Series finale on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. CDT


Posted on September 6, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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