Game 32: Ducks at Patriots
The Ducks are flying high! Winners in seven of their last eight games, the team is about to begin a crucial four-game road set with the Somerset Patriots, who currently lead the Liberty Division. After sweeping the York Revolution on the road for their first series sweep of the season, Long Island returned to Bethpage Ballpark this past weekend and took three of four games from the Camden Riversharks in the first series between the two teams in 2015. The set featured a mix of stellar pitching, resilient offense, and late game heroics from the Ducks, which proved to be a winning combination. This was most evident in the final game against Camden, a waddle-off victory in 10 innings.
After Saturday’s split of the day/night doubleheader, newcomer Andrew Barbosa received the ball in the finale, trying to earn a series win for the Ducks. It was the 6-foot-8 southpaw’s second start since joining the team on May 19. Barbosa, who is still building up his pitch count, tossed five strong innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out four. He walked none, and of his 64 pitches, 46 were strikes. Barbosa’s command helped keep Camden off the scoreboard from the second inning on after the visitors struck first for a second straight game. Mickey Jannis, Patrick Crider, and Amalio Diaz combined for three scoreless innings of relief after Barbosa came out of the game.
The Ducks had taken a 2-1 lead by the time Barbosa was replaced. Delta Cleary, Jr.’s two-out double to deep left off of Camden starter Fu-Te Ni scored Prentice Redman on a play at the plate in the second inning to tie the game. Cleary, Jr. would later score himself in the fifth on Bryan Sabatella’s sacrifice fly to left to put Barbosa and the team in position to win. The bats went quiet for both teams in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Ni finished with seven quality innings despite being on the losing end of the score. In the ninth, with Ryan Kussmaul on the bump looking for his team-leading eighth save of the season, Camden’s Mike Costanzo launched a game-tying solo homer to center field on a two-out full count pitch. However, in the 10th Long Island showed their resiliency once again. Lew Ford led off with a single after an 11-pitch battle with Dan Blewett that featured seven foul balls. Cody Puckett singled to advance Ford to second. Jon Griffin struck out, but Redman picked up his teammate by lifting the game-winning single to left field in front of a diving Ryan Strieby. Ford raced home to complete the 3-2 victory.
CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Sunday’s waddle-off win
CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez and Prentice Redman
CLICK HERE to view Sunday’s box score
To begin their four games with the Patriots, the Ducks will go with their ace in game one to try and gain ground in the Liberty Division. They currently sit four games behind the Pats. John Brownell will take the mound, fresh off of his best outing of the season. The right-hander pitched in the first game of the Camden series on Friday night. After allowing a lead-off home run to Brandon Chaves, the 31-year-old settled in to throw eight masterful innings and did not allow another run. He surrendered just two hits, including the solo shot, walked one, and set a personal regular season high as a Duck by striking out 12 batters. Brownell’s four wins are tied for the league lead, and his 2.38 ERA is eighth best in the league. He also ranks second in both strikeouts (34) and innings pitched (41.2). The Omaha resident, who stymied the Patriots in the 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series en route to winning series MVP honors, made three starts against Somerset in 2014 and was 0-1 with a 4.66 ERA, but he did not walk a single batter in 19 and one-third innings.
Brownell will be opposed by right-hander Randy Boone. He comes into the game with an 0-1 record and 1.72 ERA for Somerset. Boone’s lone decision of the season came in his first start, a 5-1 loss in Southern Maryland to the Blue Crabs on April 26. Since that start, Boone’s last four outings have all come at home and have all been Somerset wins. In the four starts, the Austin, Texas native has gone at least six innings without allowing more than three runs. Opponents are hitting just .193 against him and have drawn only four walks in the 31.1 innings that he has pitched. Boone never reached the Major Leagues but spent seven seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, reaching as high as Triple-A Buffalo in 2009, 2011 and 2014.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Patriots: Tonight marks the 286th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Patriots. Somerset leads the series 144-141 and has a 74-65 advantage over the Ducks at TD Bank Ballpark. It also marks the first of 20 scheduled games between the two in 2015. The 2014 series finished tied at 10 games apiece, with the two teams splitting the 10 games on Long Island and the 10 in New Jersey.
Waddle-Off Magic: Sunday’s walk-off victory was the second of the season for the Ducks. The first came on May 8 against Lancaster when Jon Griffin’s ninth inning RBI double gave the Ducks an 11-10 win after they trailed 9-1. Long Island has now earned a total of six come-from-behind wins this year.
Offensive Explosion: Long Island’s offense has been red hot in earning seven wins during their last eight games. The Ducks have accrued 49 runs and 85 hits in their last eight contests. That’s an average of 6.1 runs and 10.6 hits per game.
Off to the Races: The Ducks stole three more bases on Sunday. As a team, Long Island has now stolen 38 bases, which leads the Atlantic League by six over the Bridgeport Bluefish. Bryan Sabatella leads the league with 13 stolen bases.
Sabatella’s Sizzling: Bryan Sabatella extended his hitting streak to seven consecutive games with a single on Sunday. During his hitting streak, the Long Island native is batting .355 (11-for-31) with four doubles, four RBI, four runs and five stolen bases. Sabatella leads the Atlantic League with 24 runs this year.
I Can See Cleary Now: Delta Cleary, Jr. collected a double on Sunday. The outfielder has now hit safely in five consecutive games and reached base safely in eight straight contests. In his last eight games, Cleary, Jr. is batting .417 (10-for-24) with four doubles, five RBI, seven runs and three stolen bases.
Redman Keeps Reaching: Prentice Redman extended his team-leading on-base streak to 19 consecutive games with two hits and a walk on Sunday. He has reached base safely in each game that he has played as a Duck. During the streak, he has drawn 15 walks, including at least one in 10 of his last 12 games.
Diaz is Dealing: Amalio Diaz threw another scoreless inning of relief on Sunday. He has now made eight straight appearances without allowing a run. In that span, the righty has given up just five hits while striking out eight batters.
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. 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 tonight’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
#6 Jonny Tucker – CF
#5 Scott Cousins – LF
#24 Thomas Neal – 1B
#14 Chris Marrero – RF
#9 Mat Gamel – DH
#8 David Vidal – 3B
#13 Robert Andino – SS
#3 Nate Spears – 2B
#21 Adam Donachie – C
#36 Randy Boone – RHP
Keep it here for updates throughout the night from Somerset as the Ducks and Patriots begin their four-game set. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (6:39): Tonight’s 7:05 game with Somerset will be delayed due to rain. The tarp is on the field at TD Bank Ballpark. Check back for updates!
UPDATE (6:54): The game will begin a half hour once the tarp is removed from the field!
UPDATE (7:24): It will be a 7:55 first pitch from TD Bank Ballpark!
UPDATE (8:06): TOP 1: Lew Ford with the RBI ground out to 3B scores Bryan Sabatella, 1-0 Ducks!
UPDATE (9:18): BOT 4: After the Ducks score two in the top of the inning, Somerset scores six and takes the lead 6-3.
UPDATE (9:30): TOP 5: The Ducks strike back with two runs and make it 6-5 Patriots on RBI from Sabatella and Puckett!
UPDATE (10:29): TOP 8: Long Island takes the lead 7-6! A RBI FC from Corona and a RBI single from Ford!!!
Posted on May 27, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Amalio Diaz, Atlantic League, Bryan Sabatella, Delta Cleary, John Brownell, Jr., Lew Ford, Long Island Ducks, Prentice Redman, Randy Boone, Somerset Patriots, TD Bank Ballpark. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.