Spring Training Ends; Opening Day Looms
This year’s edition of Ducks Spring Training was certainly going to be an interesting experience before it even began. With 20 new faces in camp at the outset and just eight returners from 2014 (only five from last year’s season opener), the need for meet-and-greets and a comfortable atmosphere was at a high level. In addition, the team wanted to develop some confidence early on as they begin a quest to return to the postseason after a rare miss in 2014.
What the Ducks got was a quick-developing chemistry between the returning veterans and newcomers and a perfect 4-0 record during the exhibition slate, including three shutouts. Long Island showed they could win with all three facets of the game: outstanding pitching, timely hitting and strong defense. Two wins were against a Bluefish team which also has a lot of new faces, and two were against the semi-pro Long Island Black Sox. However, wins are wins no matter the circumstance. Now, it will be up to the Ducks to take their strong play into the regular season.
Wednesday’s Spring Training finale featured a great pitcher’s duel for the first seven innings. Sergio Perez started for the Ducks and threw two dominant innings, retiring all six batters he faced and striking out four of them. Eric Niesen followed and lasted four innings on the mound, yielding just one hit and two walks while striking out four as well. Long Island appeared like they would break out the bats early against former Duck Chris McCoy, but the right-hander held the Ducks to just one run on eight hits and a walk while striking out five.
Offensively, the Flock scored a run in the first on Lew Ford’s RBI single, but they failed to push across anything further until the eighth. Despite having a runner on every inning, Long Island had trouble getting the big hit. That was until James Roubal came on to pitch. The Ducks batted around in the eighth, putting up five runs on four hits and a walk to put the game out of reach. The frame was highlighted by a two-run double from Blake Davis and a three-run homer off the bat of Reegie Corona.
Once again, the bullpen was spectacular for the Ducks. The trio of Spring Training invitees (Matt Soren, Frank DeJiulio, Jr. and Bruce Kern) each threw a scoreless inning, giving up just two hits while striking out three. When both teams decided to play an extra inning to get work in, Mickey Jannis tossed a scoreless inning as well to close the game. There were a lot of things that stood out this spring, but the overwhelming theme in the clubhouse was how impressive the bullpen has been.
CLICK HERE to view a box score from Wednesday’s game
Following the win, we caught up with Davis and Niesen to get their thoughts:
So, with the final team workout taking place on Thursday, the Ducks will get their final swings and throws in before they venture west to York, Pennsylvania for Opening Night. For those who are looking to follow along from home, there will be plenty of ways to do so. Whether it be via the game broadcast, Poinstreak’s pitch-by-pitch GameLive tracker, the Ducks’ official Twitter account, or right here on Quack of the Bat, the Ducks will be providing complete coverage during the opening series and road trip of the year. We’ll provide links to all in Friday’s game preview post. Before we wrap things up, here are the pitching matchups for the first series of the season between the Ducks and Revolution:
LI: RHP John Brownell (2014 with Long Island: 13-9, 3.61 ERA)
YK: RHP Shawn Hill (2014 Combined: 7-8, 4.58 ERA)
LI: RHP Mark Rogers (2014 with Lancaster: 5-6, 4.17 ERA)
YK: RHP Anthony Lerew (2014 with York: 1-1, 2.25 ERA)
LI: RHP Ian Marshall (2014 with Southern Maryland: 10-10, 4.09 ERA)
YK: LHP Logan Williamson (2014 with York: 6-7, 2.72 ERA)
Buckle up, Ducks fans! Opening Day has just about arrived!
Posted on April 23, 2015, in Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Atlantic League, Bethpage Ballpark, Blake Davis, Eric Niesen, Lew Ford, Long Island Black Sox, Long Island Ducks, Reegie Corona, Sergio Perez, Spring Training, York Revolution. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.