Game 135: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

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Welcome to the last homestand of the season, Ducks fans! It has been a long, rollercoaster season for the Long Island Ducks, which now has entered its final stretch. Off the heels of a three-game weekend series in York, Pennsylvania against the Revolution – in which the Revs took two-of-three games – the Flock now welcome in the Lancaster Barnstormers for the first game of a three-game series. Entering tonight’s ballgame, the Ducks are on the outside of the Atlantic League playoff picture, looking in. The magic number for the Somerset Patriots to clinch the Liberty Division second half title is at one, meaning any Patriot win or Duck loss through the rest of the season would clinch the division. As for the wild card, the tragic number that would eliminate the Ducks from contention is at two, with the Ducks trailing the Barnstormers and Sugar Land Skeeters by five games, should Sugar Land fall back into a wild card spot.

CLICK HERE to check out the updated playoff scenarios for the Ducks entering Tuesday’s action.

Long Island entered the weekend in York in must-win mode. The Ducks then proceeded to take the first game of the series in extra innings thanks to a three-run tenth, but later failed to carry that momentum in the latter two games of the series. Saturday night saw the Flock drop a 2-1 pitchers duel, despite five three-hit, shutout innings from the bullpen.

Sunday didn’t see much more success, either. Bobby Blevins, who has been outstanding this season, took the mound against long-time Revolution starter Corey Thurman. On paper, the matchup favored the Ducks, but Blevins struggled, allowing six runs in four and one-third innings on eight hits and a season-high four walks. It was an uncharacteristic performance for the third-year Duck, who saw his earned run average rise above 3.00 for the first time since August 24th. Offensively, Dan Lyons went 2-4 with his fourth home run of the year and two runs driven in, but it was not enough. A four-run fourth and a two-run sixth provided enough damage for the Revolution.

CLICK HERE to view the full recap from Sunday’s game, complete with audio highlights.

With yesterday’s off day behind them, the Ducks now will begin their three-game series with the Barnstormers at Bethpage Ballpark. Lancaster has already claimed the season series, having won 11 of the first 17 meetings between the two teams. Tonight, Long Island will send Shaun Garceau to the mound for his 27th appearance (26th start) of the season. The second-year Duck enters the ballgame 13-3 on the year, tied with teammate John Brownell, Chris Schwinden (Lancaster) and David Pauley (Sugar Land) for the league-lead in wins. Garceau also brings a 4.90 earned run average along with 105 strikeouts against 50 walks in 154 innings pitched. The righty has not lost in his last nine starts, dating back to July 21 against Bridgeport. In three starts against the ‘Stormers this year, Garceau is 1-1, having allowed 15 runs over 19 innings (7.11 ERA). That includes a complete game effort at the Duck Pond on June 4, in which he allowed just one run over the full nine innings while striking out a season-high nine batters.

His counterpart tonight is Lancaster southpaw Dan Osterbrock, who makes his 30th appearance (22nd start) of the year. The first-year ‘Stormer is 11-4 this season with a 3.84 earned run average and 80 strikeouts against 27 walks in 135 and two-thirds innings of work. Osterbrock is 3-0 in his last five starts, and has only lost once since the beginning of August. Over that stretch, the Ohio native has tossed five quality starts in eight appearances, including eight shutout innings against Bridgeport on August 8. Osterbrock’s lone appearance against the Ducks cam in relief on May 7, where he allowed two runs on two hits in one inning of work.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 18th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and eighth of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Barnstormers lead the series 11-6, including a 4-3 edge at Bethpage Ballpark. Long Island and Lancaster have played 191 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 99-92 lead and a 48-43 advantage at home.

Lyons Launches One: Dan Lyons hit his fourth home run of the season with a solo blast over the Arch Nemesis in the fifth inning on Sunday. The four homers are the most that Lyons has hit with the Ducks in a single season since joining the team in 2011. He had combined to hit five homers over his first three seasons with the Flock. The Ducks have now launched 99 home runs as a team in 2014.

The Streak Continues: With two hits on Sunday, Cody Puckett has now hit safely in five consecutive games. During the streak he is batting .350 (7-for-20) with two doubles, one homer, two RBI, three runs and one walk. Puckett has now totaled 28 two-hit and 42 multi-hit games this season.

Three’s Company: Lew Ford picked up his second triple of the season on Sunday. His first came back on May 17 against Camden. Ford also had a three-bagger during the All-Star Game on July 16 at Sugar Land. The former big leaguer has now collected nine triples in a Ducks uniform after previously earning two in 2009, ‘11 and ‘12 and one in 2013.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: In three games at York this past weekend, the Ducks bullpen combined to allow just one run over 11 and two-thirds innings (0.77 ERA). In the three games, Ducks relievers gave up just nine hits and three walks while striking out 14 batters. Sergio Perez made two scoreless appearances and has now gone seven straight games without allowing a run. Tommy Organ pitched a scoreless inning on Saturday and has now appeared in nine consecutive games without allowing a run. In addition, the southpaw has yielded a run in just one of his 17 games with the Ducks (3 on 8/24).

Smacking the ‘Stormers: Ford has been outstanding against the Lancaster Barnstormers this season. He leads all Ducks players with a .457 batting average, 22 RBI, 15 runs, 32 hits and a .531 on-base percentage in 17 games against the ‘Stormers. On the mound, Josh Lansford and Brett Lorin have combined to throw eight and two-thirds scoreless innings against Lancaster in 2014. Tonight’s starter, Jared Lansford, leads all Ducks starters with a 3.12 ERA this season against the Barnstormers.

On the Air: Today’s ballgame with be broadcast with live streaming audio and video available on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are today’s starting lineups.

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
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

Barnstormers
#1   Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#10 Olmo Rosario – 3B
#2   Blake Gailen – CF
#8   Cole Garner – LF
#24 Andrew Clark – DH
#35 Brett Carroll – RF
#15 Gabe Jacobo – 1B
#4   Lance Zawadzki – SS
#27 Juan Apodaca – C

#41 Dan Osterbrock – LHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks kick off their final homestand of the season!

UPDATE (7:08): TOP 2: The Barnstormers grab a 1-0 lead on a two-out RBI double from Juan Apodaca

UPDATE (7:37): TOP 4: An RBI double from Lance Zawadzki increases the Lancaster lead to 2-0

UPDATE (8:09): TOP 6: Lancaster goes on top 3-0 on a RBI double from Gabe Jacobo

UPDATE (8:17): BOT 6: A sacrifice fly from Lew Ford trims the deficit to two! Lancaster still leading 3-1

UPDATE (8:48): BOT 7: TIE GAME! A solo home run from Adam Bailey and a two-out RBI single from Fehlandt Lentini evens the game at three!

UPDATE (9:23): TOP 9: Lancaster regains a 5-3 lead on a two-out, two-run single from Blake Gailen. Last licks in the bottom of the ninth for the Ducks

UPDATE (9:33): FINAL: Jason Urquidez locks down the save with a scoreless ninth as the Ducks fall to the Lancaster Barnstormers 5-3.

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Posted on September 16, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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