Game 3: Ducks at Revolution

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One of the biggest factors in the Ducks missing the playoffs this past season was their difficulty winning close games, specifically, one-run games. Long Island went 19-33 in one-run games during 2014, often times losing leads late in games or having missed opportunities come back to hurt them in the end. While Saturday’s 3-1 defeat against the Revolution will not classify as a one-run loss, it certainly falls into the latter of those two categories of tough losses. It’s much too early in the season to get upset about Saturday’s loss, but it was a game the Ducks could have easily won and have to hope will not come back to bite them later on.

The game featured two turning points that spun things in York’s favor:

Top of the Third Inning
The Ducks had taken a 1-0 lead in the second inning against Revs starter Shawn Hill on Jon Griffin’s RBI single. In the third, they loaded up the bases with no outs on singles by Evan Crawford and Bryan Sabatella as well as a walk by Dan Lyons. Erik Komatsu then came up to the plate, and nearly plated at least two run when he grounded a ball up the first base line. Unfortunately for the Ducks, the ball was foul by a couple of feet. Komatsu grounded the next pitch back to the mound to start a 1-2-3 double play, and Lew Ford followed with a ground out to first. After putting Ducks on the Pond with no outs, the Ducks came up empty.

Bottom of the Fourth Inning
Long Island still held a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth, but Mark Rogers was pitching well. He had two outs in the inning with a runner at second base and had Bryan Pounds in a 1-2 hole. Rogers’ next pitch was low in the zone, and Pounds swung at it and missed for what appeared to be an inning-ending strikeout. However, the ball squirted through the legs of catcher Jose Morales, and Pounds was able to race to first base. Rather than a third out, the Ducks would have to face Brandon Jones with two men on. The next pitch from Rogers was belted over the right-center field wall for York’s first home run of 2015, and it proved to be the difference in the game.

Long Island had several opportunities to pull even after falling behind, but they consistently left runners on base. After leaving two on in the third and one in the fourth, the Ducks left six men on after falling behind. Their biggest chance came in the sixth inning when Morales and Cody Puckett each singled with one out against Beau Vaughan. However, Griffin struck out and Blake Davis flied out to center field. The Ducks finished with nine men left on base and had at least one runner on in every inning but the first.

Overall, Mark Rogers pitched well in his first Ducks outing. He threw 73 pitches (46 strikes) in five innings of work, giving up five hits and one walk while striking out four. After walking 59 batters and striking out just 44 a year ago, Saturday’s ratio was a good start towards improving the difference. The brightest spot for the Ducks yesterday was their bullpen. Tommy Organ, Bruce Kern and Patrick Crider all made their season debut, and each tossed a scoreless inning. Organ allowed a single but nothing further, Kern struck out the side in an impressive inning, and Crider struck out two in his one frame. The relievers did their job to keep the game close, but the offense just couldn’t get the big hit they needed.

CLICK HERE to listen to the highlights from Saturday’s game
CLICK HERE to view Saturday’s box score

So, the loss sets up our first rubber game of a series on Sunday evening at 5:00. For a second straight day, the Ducks starter will be making his debut with the team. Ian Marshall will take the mound on Sunday for his first stint with Long Island after two years in Southern Maryland. Marshall made one appearance in Spring Training, facing the Long Island Black Sox on Tuesday. He threw three innings, giving up two runs in the first inning but nothing further. He finished with five hits allowed but did not walk a batter, and he struck out three. Marshall was 10-10 with a 4.09 ERA a year ago and went 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA in three starts against York.

On the other side will be the first southpaw starter Long Island faces this year: Logan Williamson. He played with four teams in 2014, starting with Aguascalientes (Mexican League) before moving on to Amarillo (American Association), San Angelo (United League) and finally, the Revolution. With York, he posted 6-7 record but had a 2.72 ERA in 20 starts. The lefty had a bad strikeout-to-walk radio last year, compiling only 62 strikeouts while walking 56 batters in 109 and one-third innings. However, he found a way to limit the damage. Williamson was dominant against the Ducks in 2014, going 1-1 with a 0.53 ERA, allowing five runs (one earned) in 17 innings. He yielded 21 hits and six walks while striking out nine.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Revolution: Tonight’s game marks the 158th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Revolution. The Revolution currently lead the all-time series 79-78 and have a 47-32 edge at Santander Stadium. It also marks the third of 16 games between the two in 2015. The season series is currently tied at one game apiece.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: The Ducks bullpen tossed three scoreless innings of relief on Saturday night. Tommy Organ, Bruce Kern and Patrick Crider combined to allow three hits and no walks while striking out five. In Long Island’s four Spring Training wins, Ducks relief pitchers combined to allow just one run in 19 innings of work. In that span, they gave up only eight hits and five walks while striking out 17 batters.

Multi-Hit Nights: Cody Puckett and Dan Lyons each picked up their first multi-hit game of the season with two hits on Saturday. Puckett finished third on the Ducks with 31 two-hit games and 47 multi-hit contests in 2014. Lyons was seventh on the team with 22 two-hit games and finished the year with 24 multi-hit contests.

Double the Fun: Puckett’s double in the second inning on Saturday was the Ducks’ first double of the 2015 season. Long Island totaled 231 doubles during the 2014 season, finishing second in the Atlantic League behind the Lancaster Barnstormers (252). Lew Ford led the league with 40 doubles, while Puckett finished the year with 17 two-baggers.

Debut and a Milestone: Ian Marshall will be making his Ducks debut tonight. He spent the previous two seasons with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Atlantic League, combining to post a 22-18 record with a 4.04 ERA and 176 strikeouts in 54 starts. He has made six career starts against the Revolution and is 3-3 with a 3.71 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 34 innings. Tonight is also the 100th game of Marshall’s professional career.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast with live streaming audio on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Fans can follow all the action with live streaming audio online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play. Fans can also follow a pitch-by-pitch account of the game via Pointstreak’s GameLive application by CLICKING HERE.

Finally, here are today’s starting lineups:

Ducks
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#29 Evan Crawford – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#24 Mike Blanke – C
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#40 Anthony Vega – LF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

Revolution
#33 Brandon Boggs – CF
#21 Wilson Valdez – SS
#4   Eric Patterson – 2B
#7   Andres Perez – 1B
#14 Johan Limonta – DH
#37 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#31 Brandon Jones – LF
#34 Salvador Paniagua – C
#1   Desmond Henry – RF

#26 Logan Williamson – RHP

We’ll have updates for you throughout the evening as the Ducks look to win their first series of the season. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (5:15): TOP 1: Ducks strike first once again! Cody Puckett raps a double off the Arch Nemesis in left for his second RBI and second two-bagger!

UPDATE (5:47): END 3: Three innings complete, and the Ducks still lead the Revs 1-0! Ian Marshall has retired nine of the first 10 hitters he has faced!

UPDATE (6:24): TOP 6: Long Island scores twice against Ian Durham! A run-scoring wild pitch and a RBI single by Jon Griffin extend the lead to 3-0!

UPDATE (6:40): BOT 6: York pulls back to within one on a two-run homer by Eric Patterson, but Bruce Kern induces a flyout from Pounds to end the inning.

UPDATE (7:07): TOP 8: Ducks get a two-run lead back on a RBI single to left by Lew Ford! His third RBI of the year makes it 4-2 Long Island!

UPDATE (7:20): END 8: Strong debut for Hector Ambriz, as he works a 1-2-3 inning, retiring the side on just eight pitches! 4-2 Ducks as we go to the ninth!

UPDATE (7:30): TOP 9: Ducks add another insurance run on a sac fly to center by Bryan Sabatella, his first RBI as a Duck! 5-2 Flock!

UPDATE (7:40): FINAL: Ryan Kussmaul earns his second save with a 1-2-3 ninth, the Ducks win 5-2 and they take two of three from York to open the season!

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Posted on April 26, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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