Game 31: Ducks vs. Riversharks

Saturday’s doubleheader showcased a little bit of everything for the Ducks. On one end, it showed what we have seen frequently during Long Island’s past week on the field: timely hitting and (mostly) good pitching. On the other end, it displayed some of the things that have hurt the Ducks during their rough patches this year: a lack of control from pitchers and a tough time getting clutch hits. In the end, the Ducks earned a split of their day/night doubleheader with the Riversharks, setting up a chance for them to win back-to-back series on Sunday.

Game one featured a nice and tidy victory for the Ducks in a scheduled seven inning game. Needing to use a bullpen-by-committee, Sergio Perez started, pitched around three walks in the first, and gave the Ducks two scoreless innings. Bruce Kern backed him up and fired three shutout frames himself, yielding just one hit and one walk while striking out three. Patrick Crider and Nick Struck threw the final two innings, with the only blemish coming on a sixth inning home run by Mike Costanzo. It was a strong first game for the pitching staff, and gave the Ducks three consecutive games, and four out of five, where they allowed just one run.

Offensively, Delta Cleary, Jr. had a big day at the plate. He earned two hits, including a two-run single in the third that gave the Ducks their first lead. He also added a double in the fifth and scored on Cody Puckett’s second RBI single of the ballgame. Jose Morales and Bryan Sabatella each added two hits as well to continue their hot hitting, and Morales even stole a pair of bases. Overall, the Ducks made it difficult for Zachary Clark, the Riversharks starter, to get comfortable and gave the pitching staff a comfortable lead.

In game two, Ian Marshall struggled to find his command. After tossing back-to-back scoreless innings, he yielded a run in the third, aided by two walks and a throwing error by Mike Blanke.  The Ducks’ catcher tried to catch Ryan Strieby stealing second but threw it away, even though it was ball four and Strieby would have been able to take second anyway. After a Dan Lyons RBI infield single tied the game at one in the fourth, the Riversharks put the game out of reach with two in the fifth and three in the sixth. Marshall struggled in the fifth, walking three hitters total and serving up a RBI double to Joel Guzman. By the time the fifth was over, Marshall had walked seven batters and thrown 109 pitches, ending his night. Eric Niesen relieved the righty in the sixth and also struggled with control, walking three of the five batters he faced. Nick Struck allowed two runners to score after taking over for him, but the Niesen was ultimately charged all three runs Camden scored.

Offensively, the Ducks had a difficult time building on rallies against Camden starter Ryan Kulik. Long Island had runners at second and third with no one out in the first, but a strikeout of Lew Ford and a double play ball hit into by Jon Griffin after a walk to Puckett ended the threat. The Ducks would have at least one runner on in all seven innings that Kulik pitched, but they ultimately scratched out just one run on the aforementioned Lyons infield single in the fourth. The Ducks left a total of eight men on base, including six over the first four innings while the game was still close. Unfortunately for the Flock, they just could not come up with the big hit or big inning.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from game one, and CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from game two
CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Mike Blanke and Delta Cleary, Jr.
CLICK HERE to view the game one box score, and CLICK HERE to view the game two box score

So, as the Ducks go for the series victory over the Riversharks, they will have Andrew Barbosa pitch for the first time at Bethpage Ballpark. He pitched his first game with Long Island on Tuesday in York, tossing three scoreless innings in a 4-1 win. The southpaw retired each of the first six he faced but walked three batters in the third inning. Ultimately, Barbosa got out of the jam without yielding a run. Long Island’s pitching staff has a 3.40 ERA and an 8-5 record at home this year, so the 6-foot-8 hurler will look to keep the success rolling.

Fu-Te Ni will take the mound for the Riversharks to complete the lefty-lefty matchup. The former big leaguer enters with a record of 1-1 and a 4.15 ERA on the season. His last start was not a good one, as he was roughed up for five runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts in just four innings. However, Ni did not allow more than three runs in any of his previous four starts this year. Overall, the southpaw has given up 27 hits in 26 innings to just four walks and 20 strikeouts. Ni was 0-1 with a 6.13 ERA in 24 relief appearances with Lancaster in 2014 before signing with Camden and going 2-5 with a 4.72 ERA in 11 starts.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Today marks the 269th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Riversharks. Camden leads the series 136-132, but the matchup is tied at 66 at Bethpage Ballpark. It also marks the fourth of 18 scheduled games between the two in 2015. The Ducks lead the series two games to one. Long Island won the 2014 series 13-7, going 8-2 at home.

Offensive Explosion: Long Island’s offense has been red hot in picking up six wins during the last seven games. In the seven games, the Ducks have accrued 46 runs and 76 hits. That’s an average of 6.6 runs and 10.9 hits per game.

Off to the Races: The Ducks combined to steal seven bases in the doubleheader on Saturday, including five in game one, which tied a season high. Long Island also stole five bases in their 5-2 win at York on April 26. As a team, the Ducks have now stolen 35 bases, which leads the Atlantic League by three over the Bridgeport Bluefish. Bryan Sabatella leads the league with 12 stolen bases.

Sabatella’s Sizzling: Bryan Sabatella earned hits in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader. He has now hit safely in six consecutive games and picked up a double in three straight. During his hitting streak, the Long Island native is batting .357 (10-for-28) with four doubles, three RBI, five runs and four stolen bases. Sabatella’s run in game one extended his Atlantic League leading total to 24 runs.

I Can See Cleary Now: Delta Cleary, Jr. finished with two hits and two RBI in game one of Saturday’s twinbill. In doing so, he earned his second multi-hit and second multi-RBI game with the Ducks. The outfielder has now hit safely in four consecutive games and reached base safely in seven straight contests.

Redman Keeps Reaching: Prentice Redman extended his team-leading on-base streak to 18 consecutive games with a double in game two. 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 11 games.

Diaz is Dealing: Amalio Diaz threw a scoreless inning of relief in game two. The right-hander has now made seven consecutive appearances without allowing a run. In that span, he has given up just four hits while striking out eight batters. Diaz has struck out at least one batter in all of his 14 appearances this year.

On the Air: Today’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Streaming video and audio will be available online by CLICKING HERE. 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 starting lineups:

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

#49 Andrew Barbosa – LHP

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

#15 Fu-Te Ni – LHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the afternoon from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks and Riversharks close out their four-game set. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (1:44): TOP 1: Camden takes a 1-0 lead on a double play ball off the bat of Ryan Strieby. Ducks coming up to bat!

UPDATE (2:15): BOT 2: Delta Cleary Jr. smashes a RBI double to deep left and it’s 1-1 at the Duck Pond!

UPDATE (3:10): BOT 5: Ducks pull ahead 2-1 on Bryan Sabatella’s SAC Fly!

UPDATE (4:16): TOP 9: Mike Costanzo’s solo HR ties it at 2. Going to the bottom of the ninth with the Ducks coming to bat!


Posted on May 24, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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