Game 128: Ducks at Skeeters

For a second consecutive night, the Ducks dropped a one-run game in Texas, falling to the Skeeters in a 4-3 nailbiter on Saturday. The Ducks had built an early 3-0 lead in the game, but one big inning turned the tables, and Long Island was unable to recover. After taking the first four games to open up this week-long series at Constellation Field, the Skeeters have rebounded with a couple of close wins entering today’s series finale.

The Skeeters have been the top defensive team in the Atlantic League this season. Entering Saturday, they had committed the fewest errors in the league and had the highest fielding percentage in the eight-team league. However, three errors over the first three innings led to three Ducks runs. Michael Rockett could not handle Brendan Harris’ ground ball two batters into the game, and then David Pauley airmailed a throw to first on a swinging bunt from Adam Bailey. Two runs would end up scoring on the overthrow. Then in the third, C.J. Retherford hit a slow roller to second, and Chase Lambin’s throw to first was mishandled by Delwyn Young. Ford scampered home from third on the miscue, which was ruled a straight error by Young, and the Ducks had a 3-0 lead.

Doug Arguello started for the Flock and threw four scoreless innings to open the game. However, things fell apart for him in the fifth. He allowed four straight singles to open the inning, cutting the Ducks lead to 3-1. Then, he did not get the call on two close pitches to Denny Almonte and eventually walked in the second run for the Skeeters. After Sergio Perez was brought into the game, the right-hander gave up back-to-back RBI singles before getting out of the inning. However, the damage had been done, and the Skeeters had a 4-3 advantage.

Long Island threatened later in the game a couple of times. They had two on with one out in the seventh, but Ford hit into what was called an inning ending double play despite Ford seeming to have beaten out the throw to first. Then in the ninth, Brandon Bantz led off the inning with a single, and Fehlandt Lentini was hit by a pitch from Brian Broderick with two outs. However, Harris grounded out to second base to end the game.

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

Today’s series finale will feature a rematch on the mound from Tuesday’s opener. The Ducks will send out John Brownell, who earned the win with eight innings of three-run ball. Brownell battled throughout the game, giving up nine hits. However, he did not walk a batter and kept the offense in the game until they were able to rally for four runs in the ninth inning off Gary Majewski. The righty is tied for the league lead in wins with 13 and has a 3.71 ERA this year. Brownell has tossed back-to-back quality starts and seven quality starts in his last eight outings.

He’ll be opposed by Steve Hammond, who would have earned the win on Tuesday had Majewski not blown the save in the ninth. The southpaw tossed six innings, allowing just one run on five hits and three walks while striking out six in the series opener. He is now 9-8 with a 3.27 ERA this season and has not allowed more than three earned runs in each of his last seven starts. Hammond is 0-2 in three starts against the Ducks this season and has a 3.71 ERA against Long Island.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Skeeters: Tonight marks the final meeting of the season between the Ducks and Skeeters and final of 10 games between them in Texas. The Ducks lead the series 13-6 and have a 6-3 lead on the road. Long Island and Sugar Land have played 59 games against each other all-time, with the Skeeters holding a 32-27 lead overall and a 19-10 advantage at Constellation Field.

Starter Domination: Ducks starters have been strong overall during Long Island’s last 10 games. Following Doug Arguello’s start on Saturday, Ducks starters have combined to post a 1.92 ERA over their last 10 games, yielding just 14 earned runs over 65.2 innings of work. They have also combined to allow just 58 hits and 12 walks while striking out 37.

Multi-Hit King: With two hits on Saturday night, Lew Ford earned his team-leading 51st multi-hit game of the season. The former big leaguer has 30 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 nine of his last 12 games overall. In those 12 games, he is batting .423 (22-for-52) with five doubles, two homers, 10 RBI and 11 runs.

Harris is Heating Up: With a single on Saturday, Brendan Harris extended his hitting streak to 20 consecutive games. During the streak, Harris is batting .400 (32-for-80) with six doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, 20 runs and 13 walks. He has multiple hits in eight of the 20 games.

Hot Start: Despite going hitless on Saturday, C.J. Retherford has picked up a hit in five of his first six games with the Flock. The infielder has eight hits in his first 24 at-bats with three RBI, four runs and two walks. Three of his first six 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 earned a hit on Saturday and has now reached base safely in 14 of his last 15 games. He’s earned a hit in 13 of them and multiple hits in eight. In those 15 games, Bailey’s batting .379 (22-for-58) with two doubles, three homers, 11 RBI, seven runs and seven walks.

Oh, What a Relief He Is: Brett Lorin tossed a scoreless inning of relief on Saturday. He has now pitched four consecutive scoreless outings and has allowed just one run over his past 16 games. In that span, the righty has a 2-1 record with a 0.63 ERA and has given up seven hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 14.1 innings of work. Lorin’s 1.94 ERA this season is the lowest among active Ducks pitchers.

On the Air: Today’s ballgame with be broadcast on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can also follow all of the action online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are today’s starting lineups.

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

#7   John Brownell – RHP

#41 Adam Godwin – CF
#9   Rene Tosoni – RF
#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 – 2B

#18 Steve Hammond – LHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Constellation Field as the Ducks and Skeeters close out their seven-game series here in Texas!

UPDATE (2:20): TOP 1: Ducks take advantage of two Skeeters errors and get the early lead on a sac fly to right by Lew Ford!

UPDATE (2:25): The skies have opened here in Texas as we were about to begin the bottom of the first. Stay tuned for updates on the weather here.

UPDATE (2:53): Rain still coming down quite hard in Sugar Land with a lot of lightning. No update on a start time yet.

UPDATE (3:31): The rain is still falling steadily, but it has definitely lightened up. Tarp remains on the field in Sugar Land.

UPDATE (4:35): The tarp is now coming off the field in Sugar Land. No start time announced yet. Skeeters staff working on field and dugouts now.

UPDATE (4:39): Once today’s game resumes, the broadcast will continue on our official YouTube channel and not on LI News Radio. The broadcast can be heard by CLICKING HERE.

UPDATE (4:58): Well, the tarp just went back on the field, as it appears that more rain is beginning to fall. Stay tuned for further updates.

UPDATE (5:46): Rain continues to fall steadily, and the tarp remains on the field. No update as to when they expect to resume play.

UPDATE (6:16): The Skeeters staff has officially taken the tarp off the field once again. Baseball may be starting in the near future. Despite the tarp removal, rain is still falling at Constellation Field.

UPDATE (6:39): Players slowly emerging from the clubhouses as the Skeeters staff works on the infield dirt. Rain delay is officially over four hours.

UPDATE (7:08): We are back underway in Sugar Land!

UPDATE (7:41): BOT 3: Skeeters tie the game at one on a RBI double to right by Rene Tosoni.

UPDATE (8:09): TOP 5: Brendan Harris puts the Ducks back in front with a two-run homer to left!

UPDATE (8:29): TOP 6: Ducks add another run in the sixth inning on a RBI infield single to short from Jan Vazquez! 4-1 Flock!

UPDATE (8:43): BOT 6: Skeeters close to within 4-3 on a two-out two-run double by Michael Rockett.

UPDATE (9:10): TOP 7: Ducks go back up by two on Adam Bailey’s sac fly to right!

UPDATE (9:41): FINAL: Skeeters rally for three runs in the ninth and win it 6-5 over the Ducks to close out the series.


Posted on September 7, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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