Game 20: Ducks vs. Bluefish

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After tonight’s game, one-seventh of the 2015 season will already be complete. It’s crazy to think how quickly the season can fly by! Thus far, the Ducks have shown an ability to produce big innings at the plate, get great pitching from both the starters and relievers, and receive stellar defense. At other times though, the Ducks have had trouble getting the big hits they need, had struggles in the rotation and bullpen, and made some defensive mistakes. Because of the mix of both good and bad play, the Ducks sit just one game over .500 at 10-9.

Long Island received more of the latter on Wednesday night, as Bridgeport earned its fourth win in five games this season over the Flock. Ian Marshall started for the Ducks and ultimately navigated his way through five innings of two-run ball. However, his pitch count rose quickly, and he finished with 82 pitches (46 strikes). The right-hander also threw two wild pitches and had runners on base in every inning. Marshall left the game with the score tied at two, but the bullpen could not keep the Bluefish at bay. Nick Struck allowed two runs in the sixth, Carmine Giardina surrendered two more in the eighth, and Matt Soren gave up an unearned run in the ninth.

As for the offense, the Ducks squandered many opportunities to take advantage of early mistakes by Scott Maine. Despite getting a walk, a single and a wild pitch with one out in the first, the Flock could not plate a run. In the fourth, the Ducks scored twice early against Maine and loaded up the bases with only one out. However, Bryan Sabatella popped out to right, and Prentice Redman grounded out to strand three baserunners. The next inning, a double and a walk put two on with nobody out, but three consecutive flyouts ended the threat. Finally, a pair of single in the sixth opened the frame, but a double play ball and a groundout to short kept the Ducks off the scoreboard again. Long Island left nine men on base, including seven from the third through the sixth innings.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Wednesday’s game
CLICK HERE to watch postgame comments from Kevin Baez and Marshall
CLICK HERE to view Wednesday’s box score

That sets us up for the rubber game of the three-game series between the Ducks and Bluefish. Tonight, the Ducks are hoping that Eric Niesen will be able to rebound from a very tough outing this past Friday against Lancaster. The left-hander lasted only three innings, allowing eight runs (five earned) on five hits and six walks while striking out five. He had a difficult time with his control, and the Barnstormers took advantage in a three-run third inning. However, he did not take the loss because the Ducks rallied back for an 11-10 waddle-off win. This will be Niesen’s first start of the year against the Bluefish after he went 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in seven games out of the bullpen against Bridgeport in 2014.

Opposing Niesen will be Cory Riordan, who will make his second start (third appearance of the year). The righty has no record and has not allowed an earned run yet this season. Riordan’s first start came this past Friday in a 1-0 loss at Somerset, but he threw five scoreless innings, yielding just four hits and two walks. His first game of the year was a two inning relief stint on May 3 at Camden, and the 28-year-old did not allow a hit or a walk, striking out one. Riordan pitched in South Korea this past season and was 9-10 with a 3.96 ERA in 28 starts. He played his collegiate baseball at Fordham University.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 291st 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 147-143 margin, but the Ducks hold an 80-66 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight is also the sixth of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Bluefish lead this year’s series 4-1. This season marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series, with the Ducks winning the Cup in four of the first six years.

Ford’s on Fire: With three more hits on Wednesday, Lew Ford earned his eighth multi-hit game of the year. That moves him one ahead of Cody Puckett for the team lead. He also now has multiple hits in four consecutive games and in seven of his last 13 contests. The former big leaguer has 11 hits in his last 16 at-bats (.688 average) with three doubles, two homers, seven RBI and five runs scored. In his past 13 games, he has raised his batting average from .167 to .329. Ford’s solo home run in the seventh inning was third of 2015 and second in as many nights. He leads the Atlantic League in RBI (17), hits (25) and total bases (43).

Going Streaking: Prentice Redman drew a walk on Wednesday and has now reached base safely in all 11 games as a Duck. That ties him with Reegie Corona for the longest on-base streak by a Duck this year. During the stretch, the former New York Met has drawn nine walks and scored eight runs…Dan Lyons picked up a single on Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to eight straight games. During the streak, he is batting .385 (10-for-26) with four RBI and three runs. Lyons has now picked up a hit in 12 of the 17 games that he has played this season.

Home Cooking: Despite taking a no-decision on Wednesday, Ian Marshall continued to pitch well at home this year. In two starts at Bethpage Ballpark, he has allowed just two earned runs over 11 innings of work (1.64 ERA). Opponents have nine hits and four walks while striking out five times against Marshall at the Duck Pond. Overall, the first-year Duck now has a 2.57 ERA.

Roslyn Righty: Matt Soren allowed just one unearned run on Wednesday and has now gone five straight appearances without yielding an earned run. In that span, the Roslyn native has given up seven hits and just one walk while striking out eight in six innings. In addition, he has lowered his ERA from 13.50 to 2.46.

On the Air: Tonight’s game is the “Ducks Game of the Week”! Fans can tune into tonight’s broadcast on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Live streaming video and audio will be available on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Chris King 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, which feature a newcomer to the Ducks in outfielder Delta Cleary, Jr. He was signed and activated on Thursday, and outfielder Evan Crawford was traded to the Camden Riversharks in exchange for future considerations.

Ducks
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#28 Prentice Redman – LF
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#5   Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#30 Dillon Haupt – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#17 Eric Niesen – LHP

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

#16 Cory Riordan – RHP

We’ll have updates all game long as the Ducks look to earn their fourth series win in six series overall this season. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (6:35): TOP 1: A beautiful evening for baseball! Eric Niesen kicks and deals and the rubber match of the series is underway!

UPDATE (6:56): TOP 2: Lew Ford with the RBI single to left scores Sabatella! 1-0 Flock!

UPDATE (6:58): TOP 2: Ryan Babineau with a RBI double for Bridgeport and it’s 1-1.

UPDATE (7:03): TOP 2: Jovan Rosa smacks a RBI single to right and makes it 2-1 Bluefish.

UPDATE (7:07): Top 2: Back-to-back RBI singles from Rosa and Van Stratten makes it 3-1 Bridgeport.

UPDATE (7:14): BOT 2: Jon Griffin smashes a solo HR off of the scoreboard in left! Two batters later, Dillon Haupt hits one out of the park! All tied at 3!

UPDATE (7:41): TOP 4: Nick Van Stratten hits a 3-run HR to make it 6-3 Bluefish.

UPDATE (7:47): BOT 4: Wow! Jon Griffin with a towering solo HR off the top of the scoreboard! His second of the game! 6-4 Bluefish.

UPDATE (7:53): BOT 4: Dan Lyons ropes a RBI single to left! 6-5 Bluefish.

UPDATE (8:07): MID 5: Jovan Rosa with a RBI single makes it 7-5 Bluefish. Ducks coming up to bat.

UPDATE (8:14): BOT 5: We pull within one again! 7-6 after Prentice Redman’s RBI single scores Reegie Corona!

UPDATE (8:28): TOP 6: A SAC fly from Welington Dotel makes it 8-6 Bluefish.

UPDATE (8:52): TOP 7: Luis An. Rodriguez with a RBI single up the middle makes it 9-6 Bridgeport.

UPDATE (9:29): BOT 9: The Ducks still trail 9-6. Rally time! Lew Ford, Cody Puckett, and Prentice Redman due up!

UPDATE (9:41): BOT 9: Delta Cleary Jr. with a SAC fly to center makes it 9-7 Bluefish. Dillon Haupt the batter with runners on first and second and two outs.

UPDATE (9:44): FINAL: Ducks fall 9-7 to the Bluefish on Thursday night at Bethpage Ballpark.

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Posted on May 14, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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