Game 14: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

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After a difficult start to the Ferry Cup Series, the Ducks return home to Bethpage Ballpark tonight with a chance to get back on track against the defending Atlantic League champion Lancaster Barnstormers. After dropping two straight games to start the week, the Ducks needed a win in the rubber game on Thursday night to avoid the sweep. However, the Bluefish prevailed 7-6 in a 14-inning affair thanks to some timely hitting and untimely miscues from Long Island’s defense. It was the first time this season that the Ducks were swept by an opponent.

Amassing just two runs in the first two games of the series, the Ducks’ bats were finally able to break through in game three, posting five runs off of Bluefish starter Scott Maine through two innings. Lew Ford was the offensive catalyst for the Ducks, plating a run on a groundout in the first frame and another on a double in the second. Jon Griffin had a RBI double of his own in the first, which, combined with RBI singles from Cody Puckett and Bryan Sabatella in the second, made it 5-0 Ducks. However, Maine and the Bluefish bullpen would hold the Ducks both scoreless and hitless from the third inning through the 10th inning, as Long Island failed to continue adding to their early advantage.

The ‘Fish would take over the game in the second and third thanks to a pair of two-out hits. In the bottom of the second, Ryan Babineau singled in a run off of Ducks starter Ian Marshall. James Simmons followed suit in the bottom of the third to cut the Ducks’ lead to 5-2. Marshall finished his outing in the fifth by allowing two more runs, and after being given a 5-0 lead, left the start with only a one-run advantage. Bruce Kern protected the lead with a 1-2-3 sixth inning, but Amalio Diaz struggled in the seventh and allowed the tying run to score on a two-out, two-strike wild pitch.

Despite several rallies by the Bluefish, they were unable to break through with the winning run. The Ducks took the lead back in the 11th inning on a drive to left-center by Dan Lyons that was ruled a single and an error, with the latter allowing Reegie Corona to score. Ryan Kussmaul came back out for his second full inning of relief, but Evan Crawford dropped a fly ball to left off the bat of Sean Burroughs to start the inning. Ildemaro Vargas followed with a RBI double to left that tied the game back up at six. After escaping another jam, Long Island threatened over the next two innings to regain the lead, but they failed to do so. Then, in the bottom of the 14th, Bridgeport took advantage of another Ducks’ mistake. Corona threw away an inning ending double play ball at second base, which allowed John Alonso to score the game winning run. A game that lasted four hours and 24 minutes ended with disappointment for the Flock.

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

Back in the comfortable atmosphere of their home ballpark, the Ducks hope to end their four-game skid tonight with Eric Niesen on the mound. The left-hander has yet to pick up a win, but he’s pitched well in two starts. He has combined to allow just three runs over 11 innings thus far (2.45 ERA), giving up 12 hits and just two walks while striking out 11. In his last start against Sugar Land on Sunday, Niesen gave up just one run over six innings and struck out eight batters. Check out the notes below for his numbers over his Ducks career against the Barnstormers. Tonight will be the first time he faces Lancaster, who enters at 5-9 and in last place in the Freedom Division, as a starter.

Opposing Niesen will be Bryan Evans, who will be making his fourth start of the year. Thus far, the right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA and has allowed six runs on 12 hits and five walks while striking out 15 batters in 15 innings. His last start came on Sunday against Southern Maryland, and he earned the win, tossing seven innings of three-hit shutout baseball, yielding two walks while striking out six. Evans spent all of 2014 with New Orleans (AAA, Marlins) and compiled a 5-8 record with a 4.42 ERA and two saves in 36 games (14 starts). This is his first Atlantic League season.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 195th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Barnstormers. The Ducks lead the series 100-94 and have a 49-45 record at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight is also the first of 20 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. Lancaster won the 2014 series 13-7 and won six of the 10 games at the Duck Pond. The Barnstormers have won each of the last three season series.

Sabatella’s Streaking: Bryan Sabatella extended his on-base streak to eight games with a single and a walk on Thursday. That’s the longest on-base streak by a Duck this season, surpassing Cody Puckett’s seven-game stretch from April 24-30. During the streak, Sabatella has compiled 11 hits in 34 at-bats (.324 AVG) with three doubles, one homer, five RBI, six runs and six walks.

Reegie’s Raking: Reegie Corona extended his hitting streak to six consecutive games with three hits on Thursday. That’s the longest hitting streak by a Duck this season. During the streak, Corona is batting .435 (10-for-23) with one double, one triple, three runs and one walk. It was the first three-hit game of the year for the infielder and his fourth multi-hit contest. That ties him for second on the team in multi-hit games with Lew Ford and is one game shy of Cody Puckett’s total.

Ford’s Fury: Lew Ford collected his team-leading third multi-RBI game of the season on Thursday when he drove in two runs. He now has one more multi-RBI contest than both Dan Lyons and Jon Griffin. The Ducks’ all-time leader in batting average compiled 20 multi-RBI games in 2014, including 12 two-RBI contests. Adam Bailey led the Ducks with 23 multi-RBI games.

Lefty Against Lancaster: Eric Niesen has pitched in 19 career games with the Ducks against the Lancaster Barnstormers, all of which have come out of the bullpen. He has combined for a 2-0 record with a 4.09 ERA, allowing 10 earned runs in 22 innings of work. In addition, the southpaw has given up 20 hits and 16 walks while striking out 31 batters. Niesen made his first home start this past Sunday and threw six innings of one run ball, allowing seven hits while striking out eight, the most by a Ducks pitcher in a single game this year.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Live streaming video and audio will alo be available online at the Ducks’ official YouTube channel 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:

#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#28 Prentice Redman – DH
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#30 Dillon Haupt – C
#25 Erik Komatsu – LF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#17 Eric Niesen – LHP

#1   Yusuke Kajimoto – LF
#3   Tyler Bortnick – 3B
#2   Blake Gailen – CF
#20 Henry Wrigley – DH
#18 David Cooper – 1B
#31 Brian Cavazos-Galvez – RF
#28 Keith Castillo – C
#7   Lance Zawadzki – SS
#36 Michael Broad – 2B

#22 Bryan Evans – RHP

We’ll have updates all game long as the Ducks begin their seven-game homestand and look to get back in the win column. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (6:36): TOP 1: Eric Niesen deals to Yusuke Kajimoto and we are underway from the Duck Pond!

UPDATE (6:46): TOP 1: The Barnstormers take a 1-0 lead on a RBI single to right from Henry Wrigley.

UPDATE (6:56): BOT 1: The Ducks tie it up at one! Lew Ford with the RBI single to left!

UPDATE (7:26): TOP 3: Brian Cavazos-Galvez with a grand slam for the Barnstormers makes it 5-1.

UPDATE (7:30): TOP 3: Back-to-back homers from Michael Broad (two-run) and Yusuke Kajimoto (solo) extends the lead to 8-1. Seven-run inning.

UPDATE (7:43): TOP 4: Frank Dejiulio Jr. takes over the pitching duties. Ducks still trail 8-1.

UPDATE (7:56): BOT 4: The Ducks get their second run and make it 9-2. Reegie Corona with the RBI triple!

UPDATE (8:04): BOT 4: A RBI ground rule double for Erik Komatsu, a RBI single for Dan Lyons, and a RBI fielder’s choice for Bryan Sabatella makes it 9-5!

UPDATE (8:13): BOT 4: Cody Puckett with the two-run single makes it 9-7 before the end of the inning. The Flock bat around and score six!

UPDATE (8:19): TOP 5: Yusuke Kajimoto with a RBI triple for Lancaster, who now lead 10-7. Carmine Giardina coming in to pitch for the Ducks.

UPDATE (8:34): BOT 5: Erik Komatsu is 3-3! He drives in a run and makes it a two-run game once again, it’s 10-8!

UPDATE (8:40): BOT 5: Bryan Sabatella continues to hit! He ties the game at 10 with a two-run single to center after the Ducks trailed by eight!

UPDATE (9:25): MID 7: The Ducks coming up to bat, still tied at 10 with the Barnstormers! Haupt, Komatsu, and Lyons due up!

UPDATE (9:55): MID 9: We go to the bottom of the ninth with Lancaster– still tied at 10! Puckett, Griffin, and Corona due up!

UPDATE (9:59): FINAL: It’s a comeback, waddle off win!!! Jon Griffin with the game-winning double to right field! Ducks WIN 11-10!



Posted on May 8, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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