Games 15/16: Ducks vs. Barnstormers
If Thursday’s 14-inning loss in Bridgeport was Long Island’s toughest of the season, Friday’s 11-10 come-from-behind waddle-off win over the Barnstormers had to have been the most gratifying. Amidst a four-game losing skid and in need of turning things around, the Ducks sprung to life when it appeared like the streak would run to five. Now, rather than heading into today’s day/night doubleheader with even more pressure on their shoulders, the Ducks were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief and celebrate on of the greatest comeback wins in franchise history.
Things looked bleak for the Ducks early on Friday. Already faced with a thin bullpen, Long Island fell behind 9-1 by the fourth inning, largely due to a lack of control from starter Eric Niesen. The southpaw struck out five in three innings, but he also surrendered back-to-back walks to lead off the first and third innings (he finished with six walks allowed). Things fell apart for the Ducks veteran in the third, as he walked the bases loaded and then gave up a one-out grand slam to Brian Cavazos-Galvez. Niesen later made an error on a grounder to first with two outs that kept the inning alive, and the Barnstormers followed with back-to-back homers, including a two-run blast by Michael Broad and a solo shot from Yusuke Kajimoto.
Trailing by eight in the fourth, the Ducks began their furious comeback against Barnstormers starter Bryan Evans. Six runs in the fourth inning closed the gap to 9-7, with a RBI triple by Reegie Corona, a RBI double by Erik Komatsu, a RBI single by Dan Lyons, a run-scoring fielder’s choice of the bat of Bryan Sabatella and a two-run single by Cody Puckett, which was popped up and fell into center when Broad lost the baseball, did the damage. Then, after the ‘Stormers got a run in the fifth, Long Island responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning to pull even. Komatsu collected his third hit with a RBI single, and Sabatella tied the game with a two-run base hit to center after Pete Andrelczyk replaced Evans. Nine runs in two innings created a brand new ballgame.
From that point on, the Ducks’ bullpen took over and gave the Flock a chance to win. Carmine Giardina, who came in with a runner at third and no outs in the fifth but did not allow a run, stayed in and worked around two walks to pitch a scoreless sixth. Patrick Crider hung up a zero in the seventh, Amalio Diaz worked a 1-2-3 eighth, and Hector Ambriz did the same in the ninth. In fact, Lancaster was held without a hit over the final four inning of the game. That set the stage for the bottom of the ninth, when Puckett led off the inning with an infield single on a slow roller to third. Jon Griffin came up next, and lined a first pitch fastball down the right field line for a game-winning double. Despite trailing by eight, the Ducks never quit and rallied back for an improbable victory.
Both teams will turn around quickly and play a day/night doubleheader at the Duck Pond. The Ducks will send right-hander Bruce Kern to the mound in game one, as he makes his first start of the year. He has appeared in six games out of the bullpen and has given up just one run on three hits and a walk while striking out seven in five and one-third innings. He last pitched on Thursday in Bridgeport and threw a 1-2-3 sixth inning. Kern has made four career starts in 137 games, with all of them coming in his rookie season of 2010. Game two will feature right-hander Mark Rogers for the Ducks, as he returns from an Achilles injury that kept him on the inactive list since May 2. The injury cut his last start short, as he lasted just two and two-thirds innings on April 30 at Southern Maryland. His first start came at York, and he suffered the loss, allowing three runs in five innings. The former big leaguer has allowed six hits and four walks in seven and two-thirds innings thus far with five strikeouts. Rogers pitched for the Barnstormers last year and went 5-6 with a 4.17 ERA in 18 starts.
Lancaster will toss a relief pitcher in game one as well, with Bryan Woodall taking the mound. The right-hander has pitched in five games thus far and has surrendered seven runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out seven in in six and two-thirds innings of work. He last pitched on Tuesday and threw three innings, giving up two runs in a 6-1 loss to York. Woodall has started 11 games out of 277 in his career, 10 of which came last year in the Diamondbacks organization. The nightcap will feature the season debut for Marcus Walden, who was just signed by Lancaster this week. The right-hander spent the 2014 season in both the Blue Jays and Athletics organization, reaching Triple-A with both. He combined to post a 3-5 record with a 5.35 ERA in 35 games (11 starts). Walden has a career record of 35-38 with a 3.96 ERA and 378 strikeouts to 214 walks in 147 games (102 starts).
Here are today’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Today marks the 196th and 197th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Barnstormers. The Ducks lead the series 101-94 and have a 50-45 record at Bethpage Ballpark. Today is also the second and third of 20 scheduled games between the teams in 2015. Long Island leads the series 1-0. Lancaster won the 2014 series 13-7 and won six of 10 games on Long Island.
Cardiac Quacks: Friday was the Ducks’ first walk-off win of the season. In 2014, the Ducks compiled five walk-off victories, with their last coming on September 20 against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The eight-run comeback was Long Island’s second come-from-behind win of 2015 and their largest of the season. The Ducks’ largest comeback win in 2014 was by four runs, which they did twice.
Sabatella’s Streaking: Bryan Sabatella extended his on-base streak to nine consecutive games with two hits on Friday. That’s the longest by a Duck this season. During the streak, he has compiled 13 hits in 39 at-bats (.333 AVG) with four doubles, one homer, eight RBI, eight runs and six walks. Sabatella’s two hits gave him his third two-hit game and fourth multi-hit contest of the year.
Reegie’s Raking: Reegie Corona collected two hits to extend his hitting streak to seven consecutive games. That’s the longest hitting streak by a Duck this season. During the seven games, Corona is batting .444 (12-for-27) with one double, two triples, one RBI, five runs and one walk. His two hits gave him his third consecutive multi-hit game overall and fifth of the season.
Erik Erupts: Erik Komatsu earned his first multi-hit contest of the season with three hits on Friday. He now joins Sabatella, Corona, Lew Ford and Jose Morales as the only Ducks with three-hit games this season. The former big leaguer also picked up his first multi-RBI game of 2015 by driving in two runs.
Saving the Day: Long Island’s bullpen combined to hold the Barnstormers to just two runs (one earned) over the final six innings of the game. Five different pitchers combined to give up just two hits and four walks while striking out six batters. Lancaster did not collect a hit from the second batter of the fifth inning through the end of the game, a span of 18 batters.
On the Air: Both games of today’s doubleheader can be seen and heard online. Live streaming video and audio will be available online at the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. You can watch game one by CLICKING HERE and game two by CLICKING HERE. The nightcap can also be heard on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. 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 the starting lineups for game one:
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#28 Prentice Redman – LF
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#26 Jose Morales – C
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#22 Blake Davis – DH
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#18 Bruce Kern – RHP
#1 Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#3 Tyler Bortnick – 3B
#2 Blake Gailen – LF
#18 David Cooper – 1B
#31 Brian Cavazos-Galvez – RF
#21 Kevin Rivers – DH
#35 Dan Coury – C
#7 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#5 Masato Fukae – CF
#24 Bryan Woodall – RHP
We’ll have updates throughout both games of the doubleheader, so be sure to stay tuned here all day long. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (1:09): TOP 1: Bruce Kern kicks and deals a strike, and the first game of a DH from Bethpage Ballpark is underway!
UPDATE (1:39): BOT 2: A RBI double off the bat of Reegie Corona and it’s 1-0 Ducks!
UPDATE (1:41): BOT 2: Blake Davis with the RBI ground out to second and the Flock lead 2-0!
UPDATE (1:43): BOT 2: The runs keep coming! Dan Lyons makes it 3-0 with a RBI single to left-center! Four hits in the inning!
UPDATE (2:26): MID 5: Nick Struck works out of a jam in his first appearance as a Duck and we still lead 3-0! Lyons, Sabatella, and Redman due up!
UPDATE (2:52): MID 6: Brian Cavazos-Galvez gets Lancaster on the board with a RBI single. Ducks still lead 3-1.
UPDATE (3:03): TOP 7: Ryan Kussmaul comes in to try and close out the seven-inning game one of our Saturday DH!
UPDATE (3:11): FINAL: After a sac fly from Yusuke Kajimoto, Kussmaul rebounds and works out of a jam! Ducks win game one 3-2! Game two at 6:35!!!
UPDATE (6:41): TOP 1: Mark Rogers paints the outside corner and game two is underway from Bethpage Ballpark!
UPDATE (6:57): BOT 1: The Ducks take a quick 2-0 lead on a two-run double from Cody Puckett! Puckett advances to third on the throw.
UPDATE (8:13): BOT 6: Lew Ford pads the Ducks lead over Lancaster and makes it 4-0 with a two-run triple! Pitching change for Lancaster.
UPDATE (8:18): BOT 6: A wild pitch and Lew Ford crosses home! Make it 5-0 Flock!
UPDATE (8:32): TOP 7: Mark Rogers is finished after six innings. He did not allow a hit. First start since his early-season injury. One BB, eight K’s.
UPDATE (9:06): BOT 8: Reegie Corona is RED hot! A RBI single makes it 6-0 Ducks! He now has a nine-game hitting streak!
UPDATE (9:18): FINAL: Lancaster gets a RBI ground out in the ninth, but Matt Soren wraps it up as Long Island wins 6-1! Three straight wins!
Posted on May 9, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Atlantic League, Bruce Kern, Bryan Evans, Bryan Sabatella, Bryan Woodall, Bullpen, Cody Puckett, Eric Niesen, Jon Griffin, Lancaster Barnstormers, Long Island Ducks, Marcus Walden, Mark Rogers, Reegie Corona. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.