Game 17: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

After Friday night’s thrilling come-from-behind waddle-off victory, the key for the Ducks during Saturday’s doubleheader was to spark the offense early. Overcoming an eight-run deficit the night before was no small feat, but accomplishing such a comeback two games in a row would be even more difficult. Long Island did what they needed to do, as early scoring and two straight dominant pitching performances lifted them to a 3-2 win in Saturday’s game one, and a 6-1 victory in the nightcap of the twinbill.

With the Flock’s pitching staff heavily worked from the previous four games, Kevin Baez was forced to use a reliever to start Saturday’s first game, a seven-inning contest. Bruce Kern was the chosen candidate, making just his fifth ever start. Kern delivered, allowing just one hit in three innings of work. He walked one Barnstormer but struck out two, lowering his ERA to 1.08. The Ducks offense also provided some quick support for Kern, scoring three runs in the second off of Lancaster starter Bryan Woodall. A RBI double by Reegie Corona, a run-scoring groundout off the bat of Blake Davis, and a RBI single by Dan Lyons highlighted the frame.

At that point, it was up to Long Island’s bullpen to pull through and seal the deal. New Duck Nick Struck made his first appearance of the season, tossing an efficient two innings of scoreless baseball. Struck was the winning pitcher once the game was made official. He surrendered two hits and struck out one before giving way to Tommy Organ. Organ had last pitched in Bridgeport two days earlier, not allowing a run in two innings. Saturday’s outing was bumpier for the tall lefty, as Brian Cavazos-Galvez made it 3-1 with a two-out RBI single to left. In the top of the seventh, the ‘Stormers threatened again, this time facing Ducks closer Ryan Kussmaul. The righty walked the leadoff hitter and allowed a double to Lance Zawadzki in the final inning. But, Kussmaul, as he has done all season long, buckled down and notched his fifth save despite allowing a run on Yusuke Kajimoto’s sac fly.

Quick run support was crucial for the Ducks in game two as well. Long Island wasted no time, as Cody Puckett smacked a two-run double to give the Flock the early advantage against Lancaster starter Marcus Walden. Puckett is now tied for the league lead in RBI with 12. His co-leader? Lew Ford. On the bump for the Ducks was right-hander Mark Rogers, who was making his first start since suffering an Achilles injury during his start in Southern Maryland on April 30. Originally scheduled to throw four innings with a limited pitch count in his first start coming off the inactive list, Rogers was simply dominant and finished the night with six innings of hitless baseball before being lifted. He walked just one and struck out eight.

In the bottom of the sixth, Long Island added three more runs to assist their bullpen. A two-run triple from Ford, his first of the season, and a wild pitch that brought home Ford from third made it a five-run game. In came Carmine Giardina, who got into a bit of trouble by allowing two hits and walking one, but he worked out of the jam to keep it a 5-0 game. In the eighth, Corona would continue his torrid hitting by lacing a RBI double and making it 6-0. He now leads the Atlantic with a .386 average, surpassing Sugar Land shortstop Beamer Weems by the end of the doubleheader. As a team, the Ducks are 11-23 with runners in scoring position in the series, a large part of their 20-run output across the three games. Matt Soren was brought on to secure the win. Despite a run-scoring groundout from Cavazos-Galvez, Soren would avoid any further damage and wrap up the victory.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Saturday’s 3-2 win in game one
CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Saturday’s 6-1 victory in game two
CLICK HERE to watch postgame comments from Kevin Baez, Corona, and Kern
CLICK HERE to view Saturday’s box score from game one
CLICK HERE to view Saturday’s box score from game two

The Ducks will look to finish off the sweep of Lancaster on Sunday afternoon. On the mound for the Flock will be knuckleballer Mickey Jannis, who makes his third start of the year. It will also be his first home start of the season. In his previous two starts, Jannis compiled 10 innings of work, allowing six hits while striking out seven and walking four. His last start came last Tuesday in Bridgeport as part of Long Island’s 10-2 road loss. Jannis allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings and was saddled with his lone loss.

Lancaster counters with lefty Dan Osterbrock. The former Minnesota Twins prospect is 0-1 on the season having started all three of his appearances. In his 12 and two-thirds innings on the hill, the Cincinnati native has given up 17 hits, walked seven, and struck out six. Osterbrock’s lone decision of the year came in his last start on May 5 at home against York. He allowed three earned runs through four innings. The southpaw has not gone more than four and two-thirds innings in a start this season.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Today marks the 198th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Barnstormers. The Ducks lead the series 103-94 and have a 52-45 record at Bethpage Ballpark. Today is also the fourth of 20 scheduled games between the teams in 2015. Long Island leads the series 3-0. Lancaster won the 2014 series 13-7 and won six of 10 games on Long Island.

Reegie’s Raking: Reegie Corona collected hits in both games on Saturday to extend his hitting streak to nine consecutive games. That’s the longest by a Duck this season. During the nine games, Corona is batting .441 (15-for-34) with two doubles, two triples, three RBI, six runs and one walk. His two hits in the opener gave him his fourth consecutive multi-hit game overall and sixth of the season. The former Yankees prospect now has 10 hits in his last 20 at-bats.

Starter Success: Long Island’s starters got back on track Saturday, as Bruce Kern and Mark Rogers combined to throw nine innings of shutout baseball. Kern allowed just one hit and one walk with two strikeouts in three innings, while Rogers pitched six hitless and scoreless innings, yielding just one walk while striking out eight. In 16 games, Ducks starters have posted a 6-4 record with a 2.64 ERA, totaling 65 strikeouts in 81 and two-thirds innings of work.

Ford’s Fury: Lew Ford became the first Duck to score three runs in a game this year when he dented home plate three times in the nightcap on Saturday. Several other players had scored twice in a game, most recently on May 8 when four different Ducks scored two times. Long Island’s season high for runs in a game in 2014 was four, which was done by Randy Ruiz on May 28 at Lancaster and Bill Hall on August 19 at Bridgeport. Ford also picked up his first triple of the year and finished with two hits and two RBI. The former big leaguer leads the Flock with four multi-RBI games.


Cody’s Crushing the Ball: Cody Puckett earned his first three-hit contest of the season with a trio of hits in game two on Saturday. He now joins five other Ducks who have each picked up one three-hit contest in 2015. Puckett leads Long Island now with seven multi-hit games this year. The second-year Duck is currently tied for the Atlantic League lead in homers (4), RBI (12) and total bases (35).

On the Air: Today’s game can be seen and heard online. Live streaming video and audio will be available online at the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. You can watch 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:

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

#6   Mickey Jannis – RHP

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

#41 Dan Osterbrock – LHP

We’ll have updates throughout the finale of the series from Bethpage Ballpark. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (1:42): TOP 1: Mickey Jannis deals to Yusuke Kajimoto and our Mother’s Day game with Lancaster is underway!

UPDATE (2:23): TOP 4: Brian Cavazos-Galvez makes it 1-0 Barnstormers with a solo shot over the wall in left.

UPDATE (2:52): TOP 6: Brian Cavazos-Galvez with a two-run HR to left-center and it’s 3-0 Lancaster.

UPDATE (3:02): BOT 6: Lew Ford grounds into a double play but gets us on the board! 3-1 with Cody Puckett at the plate and a RISP!

UPDATE (3:18): TOP 7: Kajimoto with a RBI single to right, it’s 4-1 Barnstormers, and Mickey Jannis’ day is done. In comes Patrick Crider.

UPDATE (3:50): TOP 8: Barnstormers now lead it 4-3, Tommy Organ on the mound for the Flock.

UPDATE (4:18): MID 9: Ducks looking for two runs down 4-3! Lyons, Sabatella, and Redman due up! #Rallytime

UPDATE (4:33): FINAL: Ducks fall 4-3 on Mother’s Day at Bethpage Ballpark.


Posted on May 10, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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