Game 13: Ducks at Bluefish

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After a flurry of late runs gave the Bluefish a victory in the Ferry Cup Series opener on Tuesday, the Ducks sought to rebound on Wednesday night with their ace on the mound. Unfortunately, Bridgeport’s offense was in high gear from the get-go, as they scored five runs over the first three innings en route to a 9-0 shutout of the Ducks. It was the second time this year that Long Island has been shut out in a game, and this was one that the Ducks would like to forget as soon as possible. It has been rare for the Flock that all three facets of the game (offense, defense and pitching) struggled on the same night. However, on Wednesday, that was certainly the case.

Long Island’s offense was quieted by Mike Antonini, who earned his first win of the year. It also marked the first time the Ducks lost this year when a left-hander started the game. Antonini limited the Ducks to just three hits over seven scoreless innings, including back-to-back singles by Dan Lyons and Bryan Sabatella in the third and a triple to left by Reegie Corona in the fifth. The southpaw walked one batter and struck out nine. Sam Gervacio and Matt Iannazzo pitched the final two innings and allowed just one hit and one walk. The Ducks struggled to get any big rallies going, and when they did, they could not get the big hit they needed to cut into the deficit.

On the mound, John Brownell entered Wednesday’s start having tossed 15 scoreless innings in his first two starts. Things looked positive after he got out of the first inning without allowing a run despite giving up a leadoff triple. However, back-to-back walks to open the second innings eventually led to three runs scoring on a RBI single, a double play ball and a throwing error. Brownell allowed a two-run homer in the third to John Alonso and another run in the fifth on back-to-back doubles. His 10 hits allowed were four more than the combined total he gave up in his first two starts. As for the bullpen, Matt Soren, Frank DeJiulio, Jr. and Patrick Crider each surrendered a run in an inning of relief to further balloon Bridgeport’s lead. The Bluefish entered with the league’s best batting average and highest run total, and they continued to show why on Wednesday. The have now scored 39 runs in their last three games.

Defensively, the Ducks had a fairly sloppy night. Cody Puckett’s throwing error in the second inning with two outs allowed a run to score and kept the inning alive. Patrick Crider had trouble fielding a ground ball in the eighth that eventually led to a run. Jose Morales was charged with two passed balls, both of which aided in runs crossing the plate. The Ducks have been fairly strong on the defensive end early this season and entered the game with the third fewest errors in the league. However, Wednesday’s struggles aided a pitching staff that was having a tough game and helped make things more difficult for a Ducks offense that had been quieted.

CLICK HERE to view Wednesday’s box score

As Long Island looks to avoid the sweep, Ian Marshall will toe the rubber on Thursday night. The right-hander has yet to allow an earned run in two starts this season and has earned wins in both outings. He has combined to give up just one unearned run in 11 innings, yielding six hits and one walk while striking out five. Marshall’s goal this season has been to cut down the amount of hits and walks that he allows, and thus far, he has done a good job of improving those numbers. The notes below show how he has fared against the Bluefish in his previous two seasons in the Atlantic League. Although he has given up a few too many runs to the ‘Fish, he has done a good job of limiting the damage and finding was to get victories.

Marshall will be opposed by another left-hander for the Bluefish in Scott Maine. This will be his third start of the year, and thus far, he is 0-1 with a 2.79 ERA. Maine suffered the loss his last time out, giving up three runs (one earned) on eight hits in five and two-thirds innings. He walked just one batter though and struck out six. The southpaw has yielded 16 hits in just nine and two-thirds innings thus far, but he has also collected 14 strikeouts. Maine was 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in 19 games (one start) with the Bluefish in 2014 before he was signed by the Cincinnati Reds and pitched in 13 games for Double-A Pensacola. The University of Miami alum faced the Ducks once last year and gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits in one inning of relief.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 288th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish, the most for the Ducks against any other Atlantic League opponent. Bridgeport currently leads the series by a slim 145-142 margin and has an 80-63 advantage at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Tonight is also the third of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Ducks won the 2014 series 11-9 and were 7-3 in Bridgeport. This year marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series, with the Ducks winning the Cup in four of the first six years.

Rotation Domination: Despite John Brownell’s loss on Wednesday, the Ducks’ starting rotation has pitched very well this season. In 12 games thus far, Ducks starters have given up 18 runs (15 earned) in 64.2 innings of work, good for a 2.09 ERA. In that span, the starters have allowed 50 hits and 18 walks while striking out 45 batters. Long Island has allowed three runs or less in eight of their 12 games and have held opponents to two runs or less in all six of their wins.

Sabatella’s Streaking: Bryan Sabatella extended his on-base streak to seven games with a single on Wednesday. The streak ties Cody Puckett’s seven-game streak from April 24-30 for the longest by a Duck this year. During the stretch, he has compiled 10 hits in 28 at-bats (.357 AVG) with three doubles, one homer, four RBI, five runs and five walks.

Reegie’s Raking: Reegie Corona collected his third two-hit game of the year with a single and triple on Wednesday.  He is now tied with Lew Ford for second on the team with three two-hit games this season and is second behind Ford and Cody Puckett in multi-hit games. Corona’s triple in the fifth inning was the first three-bagger by the Ducks in 2015. Long Island totaled 23 triples in 2014.

Facing the Fish: Tonight’s starter, Ian Marshall, has made seven career starts against the Bluefish, all as a member of the Blue Crabs. The right-hander has a combined record of 4-1 and has struck out 26 batters while walking only nine in 35 and two-thirds innings. However, he has a 5.30 ERA, allowing 24 runs (21 earned) on 55 hits in those seven starts. In three starts at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard, Marshall is 2-0 with a 5.06 ERA, totaling 13 strikeouts to just three walks in 16 innings of work.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel and LIDucks.com. Live streaming 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 tonight’s starting lineups:

Ducks
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#28 Prentice Redman – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#26 Jose Morales – C
#29 Evan Crawford – LF
#11  Reegie Corona – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

Bluefish
#5   Nick Van Stratten – CF
#22 Sean Burroughs – 3B
#7   James Simmons – LF
#32 Andres Rodriguez – 1B
#26 John Alonso – DH
#19 Welington Dotel – RF
#12 Ryan Babineau – C
#6   Luis Rodriguez – 2B
#2   Ildemaro Vargas – SS

#24 Scott Maine – LHP

Stay tuned for updates through the game as the Ducks look to salvage the finale of the series before returning home. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (7:17): TOP 1: The Ducks score two runs against Scott Maine! Lew Ford with a RBI groundout and Jon Griffin with a RBI double!

UPDATE (7:38): TOP 2: Three more runs come home for the Flock! Bryan Sabatella and Cody Puckett have RBI singles, and Ford has a RBI double!

UPDATE (7:46): BOT 2: Bridgeport gets a run on a two-out RBI single to center for Ryan Babineau. Ducks lead is now 5-1.

UPDATE (8:04): BOT 3: Bridgeport gets another two-out RBI single, this time from James Simmons, to cut the Ducks lead to 5-2.

UPDATE (8:34): BOT 5: Bridgeport closes to within a run thanks to a RBI single by Sean Burroughs and a sac fly by Simmons. 5-4 ballgame.

UPDATE (9:19): BOT 7: Bluefish tie the game on a two-out, two-strike wild pitch from Amalio Diaz. 5-5 as we go to the eighth.

UPDATE (9:54): END 9: Ryan Kussmaul strands the winning run at second, and we’ll play extra innings here in Bridgeport. All tied at five apiece.

UPDATE (10:13): END 10: Kussmaul works his magic again! He gets out of a first-and-second, no-out jam! We’ll play an 11th inning in Bridgeport.

UPDATE (10:24): TOP 11: Dan Lyons comes through with a RBI double to left-center! Long Island leads it 6-5 over Bridgeport!

UPDATE (10:34): BOT 11: Bluefish tie the game after a dropped fly ball by Crawford and a RBI double by Vargas. However, Kussmaul keeps the game tied.

UPDATE (10:58): END 12: Tommy Organ strands the winning run at second base, and we will play a 13th inning in Bridgeport.

UPDATE (11:30): FINAL: A throwing error on what would have been an inning ending double play wins the game for Bridgeport, 7-6, over Long Island.

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Posted on May 7, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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