Game 43: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs

It was more of the same for the Ducks on Saturday night, as they used a constant offensive attack and terrific pitching to come away with a 7-1 victory over the Riversharks and complete a four-game sweep. Long Island earned their second series sweep of the year and first of four or more games. For the third consecutive day and fourth straight game, the Ducks were able to take an early lead, continue scoring throughout the game and got a terrific outing from their starter.

Ian Marshall was the story on the mound for Long Island. In what ended up being his longest start of the season, the right-hander went eight innings, limiting the Riversharks to just one run on five hits and one walk while striking out five batters. He started off his day very well, retiring the first nine Camden batters in order. Then, after allowing a run in the fourth, he bounced back to give up just three hits and a walk over his final four innings. Marshall was also extremely efficient, needing just 94 pitches to get through eight innings, with 66 of his pitches thrown for strikes. Ryan Kussmaul came in for the ninth to get some work, and did not give up a run despite allowing a hit and a walk.

Offensively, the Ducks continued their attack of the Riversharks as they had done in each of the previous three games. Eric Smith got the spot start for Camden and fell into a 2-0 hole when Reegie Corona scored on a wild pitch in the third and Jose Morales delivered a RBI single in the fourth. After the ‘Sharks made it a one-run game, the Ducks responded with two more runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Delta Cleary, Jr. had a RBI triple in the fifth, Lew Ford plated a run on a groundout, and two more runs scored on a pair of Riversharks errors. Jon Griffin rounded out the scoring in the seventh with his RBI double. The offense put up 10 or more hits for a fourth consecutive game and scored more than seven runs in each game of the series.

CLICK HERE to view Saturday’s box score

Long Island returns home to open up a four-game series against the Freedom Division-leading Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. After beating up on a struggling Riversharks team, this will be a good test for the Ducks. These two teams split their four-game set in Southern Maryland back in April.

Mickey Jannis will take the mound for the Flock to start the series. He was magnificent in his last outing, coming within four outs of a no-hitter. He settled for eight shutout innings, allowing just one hit and five walks while striking out nine. It will be worth noting how many pitches he throws this time out, since he tossed 134 on Tuesday night, 84 of which were for strikes. Jannis faced Southern Maryland back on April 29 and earned the win, tossing five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out three. He enters today with a 3-2 record and a 1.55 ERA on the season, good for second in the Atlantic League.

Southern Maryland will counter with Jon Leicester, who has been strong through three starts this year. He enters at 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA and has struck out 10 batters over 15 innings. The righty took a no-decision his last time out, tossing five innings of one-run ball on Tuesday in a 3-2 victory at Sugar Land. He gave up six hits and two walks in that outing while striking out three. Earlier in the series, he threw six shutout innings for his only win of the season, a 4-1 victory on May 28. The former Chicago Cubs draft pick reached the Major Leagues in 2004 with the Cubs and in three seasons (one with the Orioles), he was 7-6 with a 5.88 ERA in 48 games (six starts).

Here are today’s game notes:

The Faithful Flock: The Ducks have welcomed 6,363,417 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. Blue Crabs: Today marks the 142nd all-time meeting between the Ducks and Blue Crabs. Southern Maryland currently leads the series 77-64 and has a 38-35 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Today is also the fifth of 20 scheduled games between them in 2015. The series is currently tied at two. Long Island won the 2014 series 12-8, with the teams splitting 10 games at the Duck Pond.

Managerial Milestone: Ducks manager Kevin Baez earned his 300th career managerial victory in game one of Friday’s doubleheader. Since taking over as the Ducks’ skipper in 2011, he has a regular season record of 301-281 and a postseason mark of 16-10. Baez is second among Ducks’ managers in wins behind Don McCormack, who won 399 games from 2001-06.

Offensive Onslaught: The Ducks broke out the bats in a big way during their four-game sweep at Camden. Long Island combined to score 38 runs on 52 hits in the series, an average of 9.5 runs and 13 hits per game. The Ducks now lead the Atlantic League in batting average (.271), runs (199), hits (392), walks (144), on-base percentage (.343) and slugging percentage (.372)

Oh, What a Relief They Are: Long Island’s bullpen has been outstanding over their last 12 games. In that span, Ducks relievers have allowed just four runs in 42 and one-third innings of work (0.85 ERA) on just 18 hits and eight walks while striking out 40 in the 12 games. Ryan Kussmaul has given up just one run in his last eight outings, spanning a total of 10 innings (0.90 ERA).

Cody’s Crushing It: Cody Puckett extended his on-base streak to 18 straight games with three hits on Saturday. During the streak, he is batting .346 (27-for-78) with six doubles, eight RBI and 12 runs scored. Puckett has also hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games and in 16 of his last 18 contests.

Atop the Leaderboard: Bryan Sabatella scored another run in Saturday’s win. That increased his total this season to 35, which leads the league by 11 over Lancaster’s Blake Gailen and Brian Cavazos-Galvez. The outfielder also leads the league in at-bats (179), hits (52) and stolen bases (14).

Marshall’s Masterful: Ian Marshall continued his strong pitching on the mound Saturday. The righty has now allowed just seven earned runs over his last four starts, good for a 2.70 ERA. In that span, he has given up 21 hits and 11 walks while striking out 14. Marshall’s ERA is now at 2.52, good for 10th in the league.

On the Air: Today’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Live 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 the starting lineups:

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

#6   Mickey Jannis – RHP

Blue Crabs
#1   Fred Lewis – RF
#2   Jake Opitz – 2B
#29 Zach Wilson – 1B
#36 Jovan Rosa – DH
#24 Casey Stevenson – 3B
#6   Jamar Walton – LF
#8   Craig Maddox – C
#4   Casey Frawley – SS
#3   Antone DeJesus – CF

#18 Jon Leicester – RHP

Keep it here for updates all afternoon long at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks and Blue Crabs begin their four-game series. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (1:41): MID 1: Mickey Jannis works a clean 1-2-3 top of the first! Ducks coming up to bat!

UPDATE (2:08): MID 3: Three straight scoreless innings from Mickey Jannis! Ducks coming up looking for the lead in a scoreless game!

UPDATE (2:46): MID 5: Southern Maryland takes a 1-0 lead. RBI triple from Antone DeJesus.

UPDATE (2:59): TOP 6: Long Island takes a 2-1 lead! Bryan Sabatella with a two-run single! Mickey Jannis back out on the mound for the Flock!

UPDATE (3:19): TOP 7: 3-1 Ducks! Sacrifice fly and RBI from Mike Blanke! Jannis back at it

UPDATE (3:44): MID 8: Last seven games (four starts) for Jannis: 0.97 ERA, 37 IP, 21 H, 4 ER, 9 BB, 33 K. Diaz works a scoreless top of the eighth!

UPDATE (3:50): Jannis’ final line for the day: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K!

UPDATE (3:59): TOP 9: Bryan Sabatella draws the bases loaded walk and it’s 4-1 Ducks! Ryan Kussmaul coming in looking for the save!

UPDATE (4:20): MID 9: Blue Crabs tie it at four with three runs in the top of the ninth. Ducks coming up to bat.

UPDATE (4:33): FINAL: Reegie Corona plays hero and helps the Ducks waddle off with a 5-4 win in game one! RBI single into center!


Posted on June 7, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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