Game 24: Ducks at Barnstormers

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Sunday’s afternoon game between the Ducks and Barnstormers in Lancaster featured a wide range of emotions. There were several frustrating moments, including when the Ducks tied the game once, took the lead later on and both times had the Barnstormers take the lead right back. There were also several joyous moments, like the five-run eighth inning that proved to be the difference in Long Island’s 8-6 victory. There were also several tense moments, such as when the Barnstormers nearly came back from four runs down in the ninth inning. Ultimately though, the Ducks hung on and picked up a much needed win.

Over the first six innings of Sunday’s game, the starting pitchers were the story. John Brownell and Bryan Woodall locked up in a pitcher’s duel, which was expected with both teams weary after a 1:00 start time following a game that ended just before 11:00 p.m. on Sunday. Lancaster scratched out a run in the first thanks to a throwing error from Dillon Haupt on Blake Gailen’s stolen base of third with two outs. After being held without a run, the Ducks finally got to Bryan Woodall in the fifth, getting two hits and a walk before Reegie Corona delivered a RBI single, the first of three RBIs for him on the day. However, Lancaster took the lead right back in the bottom half of the inning on Kevin Rivers’ solo homer to right.

With the start of the seventh inning, the game became an offensive showcase. The Ducks were able to plate two runs and knock Woodall out of the game in the top half. After a walk, sac bunt, wild pitch and hit by pitch caused a pitching change, Corona picked up another RBI single to tie the game at two. Two batters later, after righty Pete Andrelczyk was called on to face Lew Ford, the Ducks veteran punched a RBI single to right-center to put the Ducks in front for the first time. However, Lancaster again answered back in the bottom half. A leadoff walk got things started, and after getting two outs, Brownell gave up a RBI double to right by Rivers. After Bruce Kern was called upon to face Tyler Bortnick, the Barnstormer third baseman lined a single to left to put the hosts back in front 4-3.

Long Island had yet to win a game when trailing after seven innings. They were 0-10 entering Sunday, which is why that two-run bottom of the seventh hurt so bad, or so they thought. The Ducks threw out the history book and put together a five-run frame against the Barnstormers bullpen to take the lead for good. After back-to-back singles opened the inning, Jose Morales drew a pinch hit walk to load the bases. Two batters later, Dan Lyons drew a four pitch walk with the bases loaded to plate the tying run. Andrelczyk, who was furious at home plate umpire Kris Kiersarsky’s strike zone, was lifted for Nate Reed. The southpaw proceeded to walk Corona on five pitches to force home the go-ahead run. Two batters and another pitching change later, Ford again made Lancaster pay for bringing in a righty. Following a wild pitch that scored Morales, Ford delivered a two-run single to right for an 8-4 lead.

Enter closer Ryan Kussmaul in the ninth to try and close out the game, even though it was not a save situation. Although he retired the first batter, the righty allowed a walk to Dan Coury and then gave up a double to left by Rivers on a ball that hit off the glove of Erik Komatsu in left. Bortnick followed with a single to the right side, and Lancaster brought the tying run to the plate. Pinch hitter and former Duck Keith Castillo struck out though, and Kussmaul got to an 0-2 count on Yusuke Kajimoto. However, the Lancaster second baseman was able to draw a walk, and Gailen drew a free pass to force in another run. Now with the lead just two, the ‘Stormers had the tying run on second in the speedy Kajimoto and the dangerous Brian Cavazos-Galvez at the plate, who entered the game with a .500 average this year against the Ducks. However, Kussmaul induced a ground ball to third which Blake Davis converted into the game-ending out at third. A collective sigh of relief followed, and the Ducks were able to exchange high fives on the field for the first time in five games.

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

After a bit of rest, the two teams will reconvene at Clipper Magazine Stadium tonight for the series finale at 7:00. Ian Marshall will take the mound for the Ducks, looking to stay unbeaten this year. He is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA through four starts, though he has taken no-decisions in each of his last two starts. The right-hander’s last outing was on Wednesday against the Bluefish, and he lasted five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two. However, Bridgeport stormed back for a 7-3 victory and made Marshall’s evening difficult from the get-go, hence why he only pitched five innings. The 28-year-old has walked only four batters in 21 innings this year while striking out 12. Marshall struggled a year ago against the Barnstormers, going 1-3 with a 5.58 ERA in five starts.

Opposing the right-hander will be lefty Matt Packer, who is also making his fifth start of the year. He enters with a 2-2 record and a 3.52 ERA, allowing just two walks while striking out 10 in 23 innings. The southpaw has struggled in his last two starts, taking the loss in both outings. He gave up four runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out three in six innings at Somerset on Wednesday. Prior to that, he surrendered four runs (three earned) on six hits in five innings against York on May 7. Packer began 2014 with Double-A Akron in the Indians organization before joining Normal in the Frontier League and eventually the Barnstormers. With Lancaster, he went 2-0 with a 1.92 ERA in four starts and then made one more start in the playoffs, lasting five and one-third innings in a 4-3 win over the Somerset Patriots. This will be his first time facing the Ducks.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 201st all-time meeting between the Ducks and Barnstormers. The Ducks lead the series 103-97, but the series is tied at 51 at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Tonight is also the eighth of 20 scheduled games between the teams in 2015. The Ducks lead the series 4-3. Lancaster won the 2014 season series 13-7 and went 7-3 against the Flock at home.

Griffin’s Getting Hot: Jon Griffin earned his fourth consecutive multi-hit game with a pair of singles on Sunday. The first baseman has now collected nine hits in 16 at-bats during the four games (.563 average). He now has four two-hit games and five multi-hit contests in 2015. Griffin has now hit safely in seven consecutive games and in 10 of his last 11 contests, raising his batting average from .146 to .265 in that span. In the 11 games, Griffin is batting .381 (16-for-42) with three doubles, two home runs, five RBI and five runs scored.

Ford’s on Fire: Lew Ford collected two hits on Sunday and has now reached base safely in 11 consecutive games. During the streak, the former big leaguer is batting .422 (19-for-45) with six doubles, one triple, two homers, 16 RBI and eight runs scored. Ford has driven in at least one run in six consecutive games and has picked up a hit in nine of the 11 games. The franchise leader in batting average has raised his 2015 average from .255 to .348 in that span.

Reegie’s Raking: Reegie Corona picked up two more hits and three more RBI in Sunday’s win. The switch-hitter now has nine multi-hit games, one shy of Ford for the team lead. Sunday was his second multi-RBI game, as he also earned three runs batted in on Saturday night. Corona has now hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games and ranks second in the league with a .375 batting average.

On-Base Kings: Prentice Redman collected a walk and a single on Sunday to extend his team-leading on-base streak to 14 games. He has reached base safely in every game he has played as a Duck. In that span, he has drawn 12 walks as a Duck, including at least one in each of the seven games…Dan Lyons saw his hitting streak come to an end at 11 games but has now reached base safely in 12 consecutive contests after drawing two walks and getting hit by a pitch on Sunday. During the streak, Lyons is batting .395 (15-for-38) with two doubles, six RBI, seven runs and eight walks.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio, as the “Ducks Game of the Week.” Live streaming audio will also 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
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#28 Prentice Redman – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#26 Jose Morales – C
#5   Delta Cleary, Jr. – LF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

Barnstormers
#1   Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#3   Tyler Bortnick – 3B
#2   Blake Gailen – 1B
#31 Brian Cavazos-Galvez – RF
#21 Kevin Rivers – LF
#28 Keith Castillo – C
#7   Lance Zawadzki – SS
#27 Juan Apodaca – DH
#5   Masato Fukae – CF

#15 Matt Packer – LHP

Stay tuned to “Quack of the Bat” all evening long, as we bring you updates from the series finale between the Ducks and Barnstormers. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (6:32): The tarp has just been put on the field at Clipper Magazine Stadium. No timetable as of yet for the start of tonight’s game. We’ll keep you updated as we get more information. In the meantime, tonight’s pre-game show will begin as originally scheduled at 6:45.

UPDATE (7:38): Still no update on the start time for tonight’s game. Rain has begun to fall a bit harder, and there is some lightning in the area.

UPDATE (8:43): They are about to take the tarp off the field in Lancaster. Have been told they expect to start the game at 9:15.

UPDATE (9:21): After a long rain delay, we are officially underway in the series finale at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, Penn.

UPDATE (9:51): No score after two in Lancaster. Ducks have three hits, including doubles for Lew Ford and Jon Griffin!

UPDATE (10:01): TOP 3: Cody Puckett launches a three-run home run deep to left field! It’s his team-leading fifth longball of the year! 3-0 Flock!

UPDATE (10:31): BOT 4: Lancaster closes to within one on a RBI single by Kevin Rivers and a RBI double by Keith Castillo. Ducks still in front 3-2.

UPDATE (11:21): BOT 6: Barnstormers tie it at three on a Blake Gailen solo homer, and then after a walk, the tarp is called out by the home plate umpire.

UPDATE (11:54): Tonight’s game has been suspended due to rain. The game will be made up from the current point at a date to be determined.

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Posted on May 18, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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