Game 10: Ducks vs. Skeeters

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For the first time this year, the Ducks have the opportunity to earn themselves a series sweep. They’ll get their chance on Sunday afternoon against the Sugar Land Skeeters at Bethpage Ballpark thanks to their 10-2 rout on Saturday night, which followed up a 5-0 shutout win on Friday in the home opener. Pitching has been the story early on for the Ducks, as both the starting rotation and bullpen have been superb in Long Island’s 6-3 start. Although both were strong again on Saturday, the Ducks’ offense stole the show.

After Ian Marshall and Shane Loux dueled for five and a half innings to a 1-1 tie, Long Island put together an eight-run sixth inning to blow the game open. Skeeters relief pitcher Andrew Carpenter allowed the first seven batters of the inning to reach base, including six consecutive on hits after a leadoff walk. Lew Ford drove in two with a two-run double inside the third base bag, and Cody Puckett followed with a two-run home run to the scoreboard in left-center field. It was the third baseman’s second of the game, he also had a solo blast in the fourth, and his league leading fourth of the year. After Jose Morales double and Blake Davis singled, Mike Blanke picked up his second RBI of the year with a base hit to center. Carpenter settled down and recorded back-to-back foul pop outs, but Bryan Sabatella capped the scoring with his first Ducks homer, a majestic three-run blast over both walls in left. Gary Gaetti changed pitchers after the blast, but the damage had already been done.

Long Island’s offensive output was their largest of the season in terms of runs, hits (12), doubles (6) and home runs (3) in a single game. To go along with the 10-run evening, the Ducks’ pitching staff was terrific once again. Marshall earned his second win in as many starts with six innings of one-run ball, with the only run scoring in the fourth after two errors and a fielder’s choice groundout. The righty ended up allowing three hits and a walk and struck out three. Amalio Diaz and Bruce Kern each tossed a scoreless inning of relief in the seventh and ninth, respectively, and Matt Soren pitched in the eighth, allowing only a run on two doubles. If the Ducks get both pitching and offense like they have received in this series, watch out Atlantic League!

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Saturday’s victory
CLICK HERE to view postgame comments from Kevin Baez, Sabatella and Puckett
CLICK HERE to view Saturday’s box score

The finale of the three-game set will feature Eric Niesen on the mound for the Ducks. The southpaw pitched five innings in his season debut on Tuesday in Southern Maryland, and despite not having his best stuff, he limited the Blue Crabs to just two runs. He did not have his pinpoint control, allowing five hits and two walks while hitting two batters and throwing a pair of wild pitches. However, he struck out three and kept the score 2-0 before departing. Niesen appeared in seven games against the Skeeters in 2014, going 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA, allowing just one run and striking out 11 over six and one-third innings.

Sugar Land will counter with right-hander Sean Gallagher, who is coming off of a dominant start in his second outing of the year. He tossed six innings of hitless ball against the Camden Riversharks on Tuesday in Texas, allowing just one baserunner on an error. The former big leaguer struck out five batters, but he took a no decision as Camden went on to win the game 6-3. It was a very similar start to former Duck Nick DeBarr’s outing in the fourth game of the 2013 season when he threw six perfect innings in Sugar Land before being lifted, and the Ducks ended up losing the game 2-1. Gallagher also pitched on Opening Night for the Skeeters and allowed one unearned run in four innings, also receiving a no decision in a 4-1 victory. The 30-year-old appeared in three games (two starts) against the Ducks in 2014 and was 0-1 with a 6.60 ERA, yielding 11 runs in 15 innings of work.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Skeeters: Today’s game marks the 63rd all-time meeting between the Ducks and Skeeters. Sugar Land currently leads the series 33-29, but Long Island holds a 19-13 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Today is also the third of 19 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Ducks lead the series 2-0 and won the 2014 series 13-7, going 7-3 at home.

Rotation Domination: Ian Marshall continued the dominance for Long Island’s starting rotation on Saturday night. In nine games, Ducks starters have given up just eight runs (seven earned) in 48.2 innings of work, good for a 1.29 ERA. In that span, the starters have allowed just 29 hits and 12 walks while striking out 31 batters. Long Island has allowed three runs or less in eight of their nine games and has a 6-0 record when holding opponents to two runs or less.

Ian’s In A Groove: Marshall has now won both of his starts in 2015, defeating the Revolution last Sunday and the Skeeters on Saturday. In his two starts this year, the righty has allowed just one unearned run in 11 innings and has given up only six hits and one walk while striking out five batters. Dating back to 2014, Marshall has won his last three starts, allowing one earned run over 17 innings. In addition, he has a 4-0 record in his last five starts against the Skeeters.

Homer Party: Cody Puckett’s two home runs were his third and fourth of the season. He has now hit four of Long Island’s seven home runs thus far in 2015. Saturday was also the first time a Duck had multiple homers in a game since Joash Brodin launched two longballs on August 26, 2014 at Somerset. Last year, the infielder launched 10 home runs in his first season with the Ducks and now has 108 career homers.

Sabatella’s Sizzling: Bryan Sabatella is currently on a four-game hitting streak. During the streak, he has compiled eight hits in 16 at-bats with three doubles, one home run, four RBI, five runs and three walks. The Long Island native’s three-run homer in the sixth inning on Saturday was his first as a member of the Ducks. In 2014, Sabatella totaled three homers with the Kansas City T-Bones and now has 65 career longballs.

On the Air: Today’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Live streaming video and audio will be available 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
#28 Prentice Redman – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#22 Blake Davis – SS
#24 Mike Blanke – C
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#40 Anthony Vega – LF

#17 Eric Niesen – LHP

Skeeters
#14 Dustin Martin – RF
#4   Beamer Weems – SS
#24 Delwyn Young – DH
#20 Chris Wallace – C
#17 Denny Almonte – CF
#11 Jon Weber – LF
#16 Travis Scott – 1B
#6   Patrick Palmeiro – 3B
#9   Amadeo Zazueta – 2B

#36 Sean Gallagher – RHP

We’ll have updates for you throughout the afternoon as the Ducks look to complete the sweep of the Skeeters. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (1:42): MID 1: Eric Niesen works around a single in the top of the first to bring up the Long Island bats! Beautiful day for baseball!

UPDATE (1:47): BOT 1: Another day, another first HR for a Duck! Prentice Redman makes it 1-0 with his first Ducks homer!

UPDATE (2:39): MID 5: Eric Niesen strands a Skeeters runner at third, Ducks coming up to bat still leading 1-0!

UPDATE (2:54): TOP 6: The Skeeters tie it at 1 after a run-scoring single from Jon Weber.

UPDATE (3:14): TOP 7: The Skeeters take a 2-1 lead. Delwyn Young with the RBI double to right field.

UPDATE (3:33): TOP 8: Amadeo Zazueta with a RBI single up the middle makes it 3-1 in favor of Sugar Land.

UPDATE (3:51): BOT 8: In just his second game as a Duck, Prentice Redman ties the game at three with a two-run single to left! He has three RBI on the day!

UPDATE (4:18): END 9: With the score still 3-3, we are going to extras with Sugar Land from the Duck Pond!

UPDATE (4:32): TOP 10: The Skeeters take a 4-3 lead on a RBI single from Dustin Martin.

UPDATE (4:38): TOP 10: Back-to-back homers from Beamer Weems (3-run) and Delwyn Young (solo). Skeeters lead 8-3, middle of a pitching change for L.I.

UPDATE (4:48): BOT 10: Cody Puckett keeps the Ducks alive with a RBI single that scores Lew Ford! Ducks trail 8-4 with two outs.

UPDATE (4:52): FINAL: The Ducks fall 8-4 in 10 innings. Sugar Land salvages the rubber game of the series to avoid the sweep.

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Posted on May 3, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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