Games 29/30: Ducks vs. Riversharks

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Watch out Atlantic League! The Ducks’ offense has awoken in a big way. Long Island made it five consecutive victories, their longest winning streak of the season, with a dominant 10-1 victory on Friday night over the Camden Riversharks. While pitching was most certainly a story in this game, the offense was also clearly evident for the Flock. 10 runs on 12 hits gave the pitching staff plenty of support, and it was once again an early and often barrage of runs that helped the Ducks secure the win. During this five-game winning streak, Long Island has scored a total of 39 runs on 59 hits. That’s an average of 7.8 runs and 11.8 hits per game!

The Ducks fell behind on a leadoff solo homer from Brandon Chaves during Friday’s game, but that was all Camden would be able to muster in the run department. Jose Morales responded immediately in the second inning with a two-run single after back-to-back walks and a wild pitch from former Duck Bill Murphy. In the third, Camden intentionally walked Lew Ford after a double and a flyout to face Cody Puckett instead. Puckett answered the move with a RBI single to center, and Jon Griffin followed with a three-run homer over the wall in right. Ford continued the offense in the fourth with a RBI single to left. Finally, three more runs in the eighth put the game completely out of reach. It was another outstanding night for the offense, and Long Island now sits atop the Atlantic League with a .268 batting average.

As good as the offense was, everyone was talking about John Brownell following Friday’s game. The right-hander had his best start of the season, tossing eight innings and striking out 12 batters. We’ll have more info about that strikeout total in the game notes below, but the biggest aspect of his game was how he responded after allowing the leadoff homer. Brownell retired each of the next 14 batters he faced before yielding a two-out walk to Jose Gil in the fifth. He then set down the next seven in a row before Carlos Guzman led off the eighth with a single. Once again, the ace recovered and retired the next three in order to finish his night. Three total batters reached base, and Chaves was the only one to advance past first. Frank DeJiulio, Jr. finished the game with a scoreless ninth inning, allowing just a two-out single to Ryan Strieby.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Friday’s game
CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, Brownell and Griffin
CLICK HERE to view Friday’s box score

Both teams turn around quickly on Saturday to play a day/night doubleheader. Game one will feature a battle of the bullpens, with Sergio Perez starting for the Ducks and Zachary Clark going for the Riversharks. Perez does have starting experience, has his first outing was a five inning, one run start at Southern Maryland. After suffering an oblique injury, he has made two relief appearances, combining to allow just one hit in one and two-thirds innings. In 2014, the righty appeared twice against the Riversharks, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out two in one and two-thirds innings. Clark has pitched just once this year after sitting out the early part of the season with arm soreness. He tossed a scoreless inning of relief on Sunday in a 5-2 victory at Bridgeport. However, he was a starter last year for the Riversharks and went 2-3 with a 3.00 ERA in seven starts. Over 36 inning of works, Clark allowed 34 hits and eight walks while striking out 21. None of those seven starts though came against the Ducks.

Game two will feature Ian Marshall for the Ducks and Ryan Kulik for the Riversharks. Marshall last pitched on Monday in the suspended game against Lancaster, so his stats for that game do not count just yet. However, in that outing, the right-hander pitched five and one-third innings and surrendered three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out one. He enters today at 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in four completed starts, allowing 17 hits and four walks while striking out 12 in 21 innings. Marshall made three starts against Camden in 2014 and was 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA.

Kulik has made five starts thus far for the Riversharks and is 3-1 with a 3.90 ERA. In 27 and two-thirds innings, he has allowed 34 hits but just seven walks and has struck out 13. He won his last start on Sunday in Bridgeport, tossing six innings of two-run ball. The southpaw gave up five runs and 10 hits on May 12 against York, but he still was able to earn the victory in a 10-5 decision. Kulik’s numbers are an improvement from last year when he went just 2-8 with a 5.80 ERA in 13 starts. Of those 13, one game against Long Island. In that start, he gave up five runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out one in five innings.

Here are today’s game notes:

The Faithful Flock: The Ducks have welcomed a total of 6,336,215 fans through the gates of Bethpage Ballpark since the team’s inaugural 2000 season. Long Island has also hosted 639 sellout crowds in that time. Both figures are Atlantic League records. 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: Today marks the 267th and 268th all-time meetings between the Ducks and Riversharks. Camden leads the series 135-131, but the matchup is tied at 65 at Bethpage Ballpark. It also marks the second and third of 18 scheduled games between the two in 2015. Long Island won the 2014 series 13-7, going 8-2 at home. The Ducks have won the last eight meetings at home.

What Can Brown-ell Do For You? John Brownell struck out 12 batters in Friday’s game, more than any other Ducks pitcher in a single game this year. It marked the first time in Brownell’s four seasons with Long Island that he struck out 12 or more batters during a regular season game. The only other time the right-hander struck out 12 in a game as a Duck was in Game One of the 2013 Liberty Division Championship Series against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

Ford’s on Fire: Lew Ford collected a hit and a walk on Friday to extend his on-base streak to 15 consecutive games. During the streak, the former big leaguer is batting .448 (26-for-58) with eight doubles, one triple, three homers, 24 RBI and 11 runs scored. Ford has driven in or scored at least one run in 10 consecutive games and has picked up a hit in 12 of his last 15 games. With two hits and two RBI, he earned his team-leading 12th multi-hit and ninth multi-RBI contest.

Griffin Goes Yard: Jon Griffin’s three-run home run on Friday was his team-leading fifth homer of the season. He has now hit three home runs in Long Island’s last two home games after going deep twice on May 14 against Bridgeport. With two hits and three RBI, he earned his eighth multi-hit game and fifth multi-RBI contest. Griffin now has multiple hits in three straight games and in seven of his last eight contests, compiling a .469 batting average (15-for-32) in that span.

Redman Keeps Reaching: Prentice Redman extended his team-leading on-base streak to 17 consecutive games with a single and a walk on Friday. He has reached base safely in each game that he has played as a Duck. During the streak, he has drawn 14 walks, including at least one in nine of his last 10 games.

Top of the Heap: Bryan Sabatella extended two Atlantic League leading totals on Friday. With three runs in the game, he now has a league-best 23 runs scored in 2015. With a stolen base, he increased his season total to 11. Sabatella leads Bridgeport’s Nick Van Stratten by two in both categories.

On the Air: Both games of today’s twinbill will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Streaming video and audio will be available for game one by CLICKING HERE and for game two by CLICKING HERE. The nightcap can also be heard on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Chris Buckley 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 game one starting lineups:

Ducks
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#5   Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#26 Jose Morales – C
#22 Blake Davis – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#25 Erik Komatsu – LF

#41 Sergio Perez – RHP

Riversharks
#9   Brandon Chaves – SS
#32 Norberto Susini – 2B
#33 Ryan Strieby – DH
#4   Mike Costanzo – 3B
#27 Joel Guzman – 1B
#3   Carlos Guzman – RF
#28 Eddie Sorondo – C
#1   Stephen Bull – LF
#2   Michael Rockett – CF

#11 Zachary Clark – RHP

We’ll have updates all day long from both games at Bethpage Ballpark between the Ducks and Riversharks. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (1:45): No score after two innings. Ducks have the only hit (Bryan Sabatella single). Both pitchers have a pair of strikeouts.

UPDATE (2:01): TOP 3: Bruce Kern pitches out of a jam by striking out back-to-back hitters, stranding two runners on base!

UPDATE (2:15): BOT 3: Long Island cracks the scoreboard first on a two-run single to center by Delta Cleary, Jr. and a RBI single to left by Cody Puckett!

UPDATE (2:40): BOT 4: Ducks scratch out another run on a wild pitch thrown by Rob Bryson! 4-0 Flock after four!

UPDATE (2:57): BOT 5: Puckett adds another RBI single to left to tack on a fifth run for the Ducks!

UPDATE (3:05): TOP 6: Camden gets on the scoreboard in the sixth on Mike Costanzo’s solo home run to right. 5-1 Ducks lead.

UPDATE (3:16): FINAL: Nick Struck tosses a scoreless inning in the seventh to close out the game! Ducks take the twinbill opener 5-1! Six wins in a row!

UPDATE (4:47): Starting lineups for game two of the twinbill:

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

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

Riversharks
#9   Brandon Chaves – SS
#52 Evan Crawford – CF
#33 Ryan Strieby – LF
#4   Mike Costanzo – DH
#27 Joel Guzman – 1B
#3   Carlos Guzman – RF
#12 Jose Gil – C
#32 Norberto Susini – 2B
#2   Michael Rockett – 3B

#24 Ryan Kulik – LHP

UPDATE (6:44): We are underway at Bethpage Ballpark, as Ian Marshall tosses a scoreless first inning!

UPDATE (7:36): TOP 3: Camden plates the first run of the game on a throwing error.

UPDATE (8:03): BOT 4: Ducks tie up the game at one as Dan Lyons hustles to beat out a RBI infield single to second!

UPDATE (8:20): TOP 5: The Riversharks go back in front on a RBI double by Joel Guzman and a bases loaded walk to Norberto Susini. 3-1 Camden.

UPDATE (8:47): TOP 6: Three more runs come home for Camden in the sixth to extend their lead to 6-1.

UPDATE (9:55): FINAL: Mike Blanke delivers a RBI double in the ninth, but the Ducks fall in the nightcap of the twinbill 7-2. Series finale Sunday at 1:35

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Posted on May 23, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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