Game 28: Ducks vs. Riversharks
Prior to Thursday’s road trip finale in York, the Ducks had two opportunities earlier this year to complete a sweep of a series. However, Long Island came up short both times. The first came on May 3 when the Ducks fell to the Skeeters 8-4 in 10 innings after winning the first two games of the series. The second was on May 10 when, after winning three straight from the Barnstormers, dropped the finale 4-3. As the saying goes, third time’s a charm. Thanks to their thrilling comeback on Wednesday, Long Island received another chance at a sweep on Thursday. This time, they sealed the deal by way of a 6-1 victory.
The Ducks’ offense scored early and often throughout Thursday’s matinee. Single runs in the third and fourth opened the scoring before a three-run sixth gave the Flock a comfortable 5-0 advantage. A final run in the eighth for good measure rounded out Long Island’s day at the plate. The Ducks racked up nine hits, but it was three plate appearances that did not result in hits which proved large. Blake Davis, Dillon Haupt and Delta Cleary, Jr. all had sacrifice flies for the Ducks, doubling their season total for sac flies in just one game. Long Island had been struggling at times with runners in scoring position, but on Thursday, they were able to turn outs into runs. The Ducks had left a combined 30 runners on base in the last three games, an average of 10 per game. On Thursday, they left just six men on.
Comparatively, the Revolution left 12 men on base thanks to some gutsy pitching by the Ducks. Billy Buckner made his debut for the Flock, two days after Andrew Barbosa took the mound for the first time in a Ducks uniform. Buckner got into some trouble, allowing a double and a walk in the first and allowing a pair of two-out hits in the second. However, he was able to get out of both jams unscathed. Mickey Jannis, whose spot in the rotation Buckner took, backed him up and gave the bullpen a huge lift with seven innings of relief. His knuckleball was dancing all day long, and he mixed it well with his fastball. Jannis allowed a total of six hits and two walks, and he had at least one runner on in every inning. However, York could not find home plate until a two-out double by Eric Patterson in the ninth inning scored Brandon Boggs. Considering Long Island used eight relievers on Tuesday and nine on Wednesday, Jannis’ effort was clutch.
With the victory, the Ducks finished the road trip with a 4-2 record against the Barnstormers and Revolution, pending the outcome of Monday’s suspended game. Regardless of that, the Ducks will still have had a winning road trip. After dropping the first two games in Pennsylvania, earning victories in the next four was much needed and well deserved with how they played.
Now begins and important week of games for the Ducks. Long Island will play their next eight games against Liberty Division opponents, including four against the Camden Riversharks and four against the division leading Somerset Patriots. Tonight begins a four-game series in three days against Camden and will feature a matchup of former teammates. The Ducks will send John Brownell to the mound, as he looks to continue his strong start to the season. In five starts this year, the right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA. His last start came on Sunday in Lancaster where he took a no-decision in Long Island’s 8-6 win. Brownell tossed six and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out seven. Last year, the 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series MVP made two starts against the Riversharks and went 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA. In 11 innings, he gave up 13 runs (11 earned) on 19 hits and six walks while striking out eight.
Opposing Brownell will be Bill Murphy, who was also part of that 2013 championship team. That year, the left-hander made 28 appearances (24 starts) and went 4-14 with a 5.50 ERA. In 127 and two-thirds innings, the former big leaguer gave up 148 hits and 61 walks while striking out 79 batters. This year, Murphy has made five starts and is 1-2 with a 3.85 ERA. In 28 innings, he has surrendered 30 hits and 13 walks while striking out 18. The southpaw has lost each of his last two outings, falling on Saturday in Bridgeport 2-1 and on May 11 against Sugar Land 6-5. In those two starts, he has combined to allow seven runs (six earned) in 12 innings (4.50 ERA) on 16 hits and seven walks.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
The Faithful Flock: The Ducks have welcomed a grand total of 6,331,432 fans through the gates of Bethpage Ballpark since the team’s inaugural 2000 season, an Atlantic League record. In addition, Long Island has hosted 639 sellout crowds in that time, which is also a league high. The Ducks have led the Atlantic League in attendance 12 times and have an all-time average attendance of 5,863 (97.7%) entering 2015.
Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the 266th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Riversharks. Camden currently leads the series 135-130 and has a slim 65-64 edge at Bethpage Ballpark. It also marks the first of 18 scheduled games between the two in 2015. Long Island won the 2014 series 13-7 and went 8-2 at home, winning each of the final seven meetings at the Duck Pond.
Break Out The Brooms: The Ducks earned their first series sweep of the 2015 season this week, winning all three games at York. It marked the first time Long Island was able to complete the sweep after falling short in their previous two opportunities. The Ducks finished the 2014 season with five series sweeps but never swept the Revs. Four of their five sweeps came at Bethpage Ballpark.
Oh Mickey, You’re So Fine: Mickey Jannis tossed seven innings of relief on Thursday, his longest outing of the season, to earn his second victory of 2015. In his last three appearances (one start), the knucleballer has a 1-0 record with a 2.08 ERA, allowing just three earned runs in 13 innings of work. In that span, he has given up 12 hits and three walks while striking out 12 batters.
Ford’s on Fire: Lew Ford drew a walk and was hit by a pitch on Thursday and has now reached base safely in 14 consecutive games. During the streak, the former big leaguer is batting .444 (24-for-54) with seven doubles, one triple, three homers, 22 RBI and 10 runs scored. Ford has driven in or scored at least one run in nine consecutive games and has picked up a hit in 11 of his last 14 games.
Dan’s the Man: Dan Lyons has reached base safely in 14 consecutive games. During the streak, he has a .370 batting average (17-for-46) with two doubles, one triple, eight RBI, eight runs and nine walks. The shortstop has a hit in 13 of his last 14 games and in 17 of the 23 games he has played this season.
Redman Keeps Reaching: Prentice Redman has reached base safely in all 16 games that he has played as a Duck and has the longest on-base streak by a member of the Flock this year. It is also tied for the second-longest active on-base streak in the Atlantic League with Brandon Chaves of Camden and two shy of the 18-game stretch by Sugar Land’s Beamer Weems. During the streak, he has drawn 13 walks, including at least one in eight of his last nine games.
On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM. Live streaming video and audio will also be available online by CLICKING HERE. Chris Buckley and David Weiss 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
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#28 Prentice Redman – DH
#26 Jose Morales – C
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – LF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#7 John Brownell – RHP
#9 Brandon Chaves – SS
#52 Evan Crawford – LF
#33 Ryan Strieby – 1B
#4 Mike Costanzo – 3B
#27 Joel Guzman – DH
#3 Carlos Guzman – RF
#12 Jose Gil – C
#32 Norberto Susini – 2B
#2 Michael Rockett – LF
#14 Bill Murphy – LHP
Stay tuned for updates throughout the game as the Ducks open up their four-game home series against the Riversharks. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (6:52): TOP 1: Brandon Chaves leads off the game with a solo home run to right field. Camden takes a 1-0 lead.
UPDATE (7:15): BOT 2: A two-run single to center by Jose Morales puts the Ducks in front 2-1!
UPDATE (7:33): BOT 3: A RBI single by Cody Puckett and a three-run homer to right off the bat of Jon Griffin extend the Ducks lead to 6-1!
UPDATE (7:41): John Brownell has now retired 12 straight since the leadoff homer and has struck out seven batters for a second consecutive start!
UPDATE (7:51): BOT 4: Lew Ford plates a run with a two-out RBI single to left field! Ducks extend the advantage to 7-1!
UPDATE (8:16): Brownell strikes out two more in the sixth and now has 10 in the game!
UPDATE (8:43): Two more K’s for Brownell give him 12 for the game. It’s the most he’s ever had in a regular season game as a Duck! It also ties the 12 strikeouts he had in Game One of the 2013 Liberty Division Championship Series against the Blue Crabs!
UPDATE (9:05): BOT 8: Ducks add three more runs to take a 10-1 lead! Bryan Sabatella with a two-run double, and Ford with a RBI double!
UPDATE (9:10): Frank DeJiulio, Jr. replaces Brownell in the 9th. Final line on Brownell: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 12 K, 109 pitches, 66 strikes.
UPDATE (9:15): FINAL: DeJiulio, Jr. strikes out Stephen Bull to end the game! Ducks win their fifth in a row, taking this one 10-1 over the Riversharks!