Game 131: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs

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The Long Island Ducks look to salvage their three-game series tonight when they take on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at Bethpage Ballpark. Before the game, the Ducks will be paying tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The ballpark flags will be at half-staff, a giant American flag will be unfurled behind home plate and there will be a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the tragedy 13 years ago today. In addition, fans can pay tribute by visiting the steel beam from the World Trade Center and a plaque honoring the Long Islanders who perished in the attacks located on the plaza outside of Bethpage Ballpark behind home plate.

Last night, the Ducks dropped their second straight against the Blue Crabs, and fifth overall game, in a 9-7 seesaw battle. Both teams combined for 26 hits in the contest, which saw two ties and two lead changes. In just the first inning alone, both teams plated two runs apiece to get the scoring started. A sac fly from Jake Opitz and a run-scoring double steal gave the Crabs the early lead before the Flock evened things up on RBI singles from Lew Ford and Cody Puckett. Southern Maryland regained the lead in the third inning on a two-run double from Steve Moss, who finished the game 2-4 with three RBI and a run scored.

Long Island took its first lead of the series in the bottom of the fourth with three runs on a two-out rally, including a two-run single from Adam Bailey, to take a 5-4 lead. The Blue Crabs responded with four runs (one in the sixth, three in the seventh) to regain an 8-5 lead only to see the Ducks storm back again. This time, however, Long Island would come up short. Two-out RBI singles from Bailey and C.J. Retherford brought the Flock within a run, before a wild pitch put the tying run at third base and the go-ahead run at second with Cody Puckett at the plate. With momentum on the Ducks’ side, Puckett fouled out to Blue Crabs first baseman C.J. Ziegler to end the threat, and ultimately the team’s hopes of coming back in the ballgame.

CLICK HERE to view the full recap from Wednesday’s game, complete with the audio highlights and postgame comments from Kevin Baez and Ford.

Jared Lansford toes the rubber tonight for the Ducks in his 24th start of the year. The third-year Duck is 8-5 this year with a 2.91 earned run average and 113 strikeouts against 38 walks over 148 and one-third innings of work. Lansford’s 2.91 ERA and 113 strikeouts both rank fourth in the Atlantic League. The righty has allowed just one earned run in each of his last three starts, and has won four of his last five starts. In two starts against the Blue Crabs this season, Lansford is 2-0, having allowed five runs (two earned) over 11 innings.

Southern Maryland will send Jake Hale to the mound for his 24th appearance (13th start) of the season. The first-year Blue Crab originally began the season with the Camden Riversharks, posting a 5-3 record with a 3.85 ERA over 12 starts. Since coming over to Southern Maryland, Hale is 1-0 over 11 relief appearances with a 3.62 ERA. Overall, Hale has tossed 104 innings this year, striking out 49 batters against just 24 walks. Hale has twice worked four innings of relief for Southern Maryland this season, but will be making his first start in a Blue Crabs uniform tonight. In two appearances (one start) against the Flock this year, Hale has allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks with one strikeout over six innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Tonight marks the 17th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and seventh of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series 11-5 and have a 4-2 lead at home. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 133 games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 72-61 lead overall and a 35-34 advantage on Long Island.

Harris Remains Hot: Brendan Harris picked up a single on Wednesday to extend his on-base streak to 25 consecutive games. He has earned hits in 22 of the 25 contests. Cody Puckett has the longest on-base streak by a Duck this year (29, 5/6-6/6). During the 25-game on-base streak, Harris is batting .354 (35-for-99) with six doubles, three home runs, 15 RBI, 22 runs and 17 walks.

Three’s Company: With three singles on Wednesday, Adam Bailey picked up his 11th three-hit game and 40th multi-hit game of the year. The second-year Duck has now earned at least one hit in 15 of his last 18 games and multiple hits in nine of them. In addition, Bailey drove in three runs for the sixth time this year, the most on the Ducks. He leads the team with 23 multi-RBI games this year.

Ford’s on Fire: With two singles on Wednesday, Lew Ford earned his 32nd two-hit and team-leading 53rd multi-hit game of the year. The former big leaguer has multiple hits in 10 of his last 14 contests. During that span, Ford is batting .421 (24-for-57) with four doubles, one home run, 10 RBI and 12 runs. The fifth-year Duck has now hit safely in five consecutive games and in 23 of his last 26 games.

Fehlandt’s Fury: With a double and a single on Wednesday, Fehlandt Lentini collected his team-best 34th two-hit game and 46th multi-hit contest overall. The double was his 33rd of the year, which ranks third in the Atlantic League, five behind league leader and teammate Ford.

Hot Start: With a RBI single on Wednesday, C.J. Retherford has picked up a hit in eight of his nine games with the Flock. The infielder has 11 hits in his first 33 at-bats (.333 AVG) with five RBI, five runs and four walks. Three of his five RBI have come with two outs in an inning.

Oh, What a Relief He Is: Tommy Organ tossed a scoreless one-third of an inning on Wednesday. He now has appeared in seven consecutive games without allowing a run. In that span, the southpaw has given up just three hits and two walks while striking out five over seven innings of work. In addition, Organ has allowed a run in just one of his 15 games thus far with Long Island (3 on 8/24 vs. Somerset).

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

Finally, here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Ducks:

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

#21 Jared Lansford – RHP

Blue Crabs
#4   Bobby Stevens – SS
#20 Jermaine Mitchell – CF
#15 Cyle Hankerd – RF
#2   Jake Opitz – 2B
#12 Steve Moss – DH
#44 C.J. Ziegler – 1B
#23 Mike Schwartz – LF
#19 Angel Chavez – 3B
#8   James Skelton – C

#28 Jake Hale – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look to salvage the series finale.

UPDATE (6:45): Giant American flag on the field along with several Veteran groups for tonight’s moment of silence & National Anthem:

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UPDATE (6:54): TOP 1: A two-out RBI single from Jake Opitz gives the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead

UPDATE (7:27): BOT 2: DUCKS LEAD! Bill Hall and Adam Bailey go back-to-back w/ solo homers before Cody Puckett goes deep to give the Flock a 3-1 lead!

UPDATE (7:45): TOP 3: Blue Crabs tie the ballgame on a two-out, two-run single from C.J. Ziegler

UPDATE (8:17): TOP 5: Southern Maryland regains the lead on a RBI single from Jake Opitz. 4-3 Blue Crabs

UPDATE (8:28): BOT 5: TIED AGAIN! Brendan Harris with a two-out RBI double to extend his on-base streak to 25-consecutive games and even the game at four!

UPDATE (9:06): TOP 7: A run-scoring error, bases-loaded walk and sacrifice fly gives the Blue Crabs a 7-4 lead

UPDATE (9:25): TOP 8: Bobby Stevens with a solo home run to increase the Blue Crabs lead to 8-4

UPDATE (9:56): FINAL: Blue Crabs defeat the Ducks 8-4. The Flock now hit the road for a three-game series in York before returning home Tues., Sept. 16th

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Posted on September 11, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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