Game 46: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs

Billy Buckner

This team is scorching hot! The Ducks extended their winning streak on Tuesday night with yet another come-from-behind win, a 10-5 victory over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at Bethpage Ballpark. Long Island’s pitching faltered early, but their offensive prowess continued, leading to a ninth consecutive win. That is the longest streak by any Atlantic team this season. The Flock last won nine straight games during the 2011 season.

After a scoreless first frame, the Blue Crabs got on the board in the second, taking a 1-0 lead thanks to a solo shot from Jake Opitz off of Ducks starter Billy Buckner. After recording two straight outs to start the third, Buckner let up two more runs to put Southern Maryland on top 3-0. Daryle Ward chipped in with a RBI single before Buckner hit Casey Stevenson with the bases loaded to force in a run. However, the Ducks began yet another comeback in the bottom of the inning. Dan Lyons smacked a leadoff homer to left to get the Ducks on the board and make it a 3-1 ballgame. A few batters later, Jon Griffin drove a two-run double off the wall in deep right center field scoring Lew Ford and Bryan Sabatella.

The Crabs were able to get back on top 5-3 in the fifth thanks to back-to-back RBI doubles from Opitz and Stevenson. In the bottom of the inning, Long Island stormed back and went on top for good. With two outs and one runner on, Prentice Redman launched his second home run of the year to left field to tie the game at five. Reegie Corona singled, and was followed by Mike Blanke, Lyons, and Sabatella, who each had a RBI hit. Lyons showcased his power for a second time by hitting the wall in deep left center field for a double. The Ducks added two more insurance runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Griffin and a RBI single from Corona. Griffin and Ford finished the game tied for the team lead at 36 RBI on the year. Buckner was pulled after the fifth. Kevin Baez put the baseball in the hands of Frank DeJiulio, Jr., Patrick Crider, Nick Struck, and Chris McCoy to finish the game in relief. The combo held the Crabs scoreless, as McCoy made his first appearance of the season. He pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing two hits with one strikeout. Struck lowered his ERA to 1.35.

Despite being roughed up for five runs on nine hits, Buckner was the winner, improving to 2-1 on the season. All five runs allowed were earned, to go with one walk and one strikeout. His ERA is now 4.96 on the season. Brian Grening took the loss for the Blue Crabs, bringing his record to 2-3. Starter Wade Korpi, Grening, and Trey Barham each pitched two and one-third innings and allowed five hits for Southern Maryland. Orlando Santos pitched a scoreless eighth.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Tuesday’s game

CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, Dan Lyons, and Billy Buckner

CLICK HERE to view Tuesday’s box score

On Wednesday night, the Ducks will look for both their 10th straight win and their second straight four-game series sweep. Lefty Andrew Barbosa, who has been fantastic during his short time with the team, will get the ball for the Flock. The six-foot-eight starter will be making his fifth start of the season since joining Long Island on May 19. He is 2-0, with both of his wins coming in his previous two appearances. In 22 innings, the 27-year-old has allowed just two runs (one earned) on 13 hits, good for a 0.40 ERA. He has walked seven and struck out 26. Barbosa last pitched on June 5 in Camden as part of Long Island’s 13-2 win in game two of a day-night doubleheader. In seven innings, he allowed one run (unearned) on five hits while walking two. He also struck out 10 batters for a second straight start (previously on May 30 at Somerset). After beginning his time with the Ducks on a limited pitch count, Barbosa is now able to pitch deep in games. He threw 112 pitches (74 strikes) in his last game against the Riversharks. He has played four seasons professionally, all in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. He began the 2014 season with Double-A Mobile, making three appearances (one start). In 2014, he split time between Rookie-level Diamondbacks and Advanced-A Visalia, combining to go 7-2 with a 3.64 ERA in 20 starts. He allowed 45 runs (36 earned) while walking 40 batters and striking out 119 batters in 89 innings and was named a midseason All-Star with Visalia.

Southern Maryland will try to take one game of the four game set with righty Brian Baker on the hill. Baker is in his second year with the Blue Crabs after pitching in 10 games in 2014. This season, the right-hander is 2-3 with a 4.21 ERA in eight starts. Through 42 and two-thirds innings, he has allowed 21 runs (20 earned) on 46 hits while walking 18 and striking out 21. Baker has given up at least one run and three hits in every start he has made in 2015. Both of his previous two starts have been losses. He took the loss in Sugar Land on May 29 and at home against the Bridgeport Bluefish in his last start on June 5. Against the ‘Fish, the 32-year-old surrendered three runs (all earned) on eight hits in four and two-thirds innings. He walked two and did not strike out a batter in Southern Maryland’s 3-1 loss. The Tampa Bay Rays signed Baker as an undrafted free agent in 2005.  He spent seven years in the Rays organization, and three seasons in the Milwaukee Brewers organization making it as high as Triple-A.  His best season came in 2010 going 9-5 with a 3.86 ERA, averaging six strikeouts per nine innings in 37 games pitched overall.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Tonight marks the 145th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Blue Crabs. Southern Maryland currently leads the series 77-67, but the series is tied at 38 at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight is also the eighth of 20 scheduled games between them in 2015. The Ducks currently lead the series five games to two. Long Island won the 2014 series 12-8.

Offensive Onslaught: The Ducks have broken out the bats in a big way during their nine-game winning streak. Long Island has combined to score 61 runs on 102 hits in their last nine games. That’s an average of 6.8 runs and 11.3 hits per game. The Ducks lead the Atlantic League in batting (.275), runs (216), hits (426), walks (155), on-base percentage (.349) and slugging percentage (.378).

The Streak Continues: The Ducks earned their ninth win in a row on Tuesday, which is the longest winning streak in the Atlantic League this year. The previous high was seven, done by the Blue Crabs from May 7 to 14. The streak is also tied for the fourth-longest in team history, equaling streaks in 2008 and 2011. The longest winning streak in franchise history was 12 games, done July 5-20, 2006. The Ducks have won three consecutive series and are unbeaten in their last six.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: The Ducks’ bullpen continued their dominance of late with four scoreless innings of relief on Tuesday. In their last 15 games, Ducks relievers have allowed just six earned runs in 52 and one-third innings of work (1.03 ERA). In that span, they’ve yielded just 32 hits and 13 walks while striking out 51 in the 15 games. Nick Struck has now made 11 consecutive scoreless appearances (11.0 IP). Patrick Crider has yielded one run in his last 16 games (14.1 IP), and Frank DeJiulio, Jr. has allowed one run in his last nine (7.2 IP).

Top of the Heap: Bryan Sabatella extended his hitting streak to eight straight games with two singles on Tuesday. During the streak, the Long Island native is batting .459 (17-for-37) with six RBI and nine runs. He has now earned hits in 19 of his last 21 games, reaching base safely in 20 of them. The outfielder leads the Atlantic League in hits (57), runs (36), at-bats (191) and stolen bases (15).

Duck Dingers: Dan Lyons launched his first home run of the year with a solo blast on Tuesday. The fifth-year Duck hit four homers in 2014, the most he’s hit in a season since joining the Flock in 2011. As a Duck, Lyons has now gone deep 10 times. Prentice Redman’s two-run homer was his second of the year. His first came on May 3 against the Skeeters in what was his second game as a Duck.

On the Air: Tonight’s game can be heard on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Live streaming video and audio will also be available on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Chris King 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
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – LF
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#49 Andrew Barbosa – LHP

Blue Crabs
#1 Fred Lewis – RF
#17 Renny Osuna – SS
#29 Zach Wilson – DH
#42 Daryle Ward – 1B
#23 Gustavo Molina – C
#2 Jake Opitz – 2B
#36 Jovan Rosa – LF
#24 Casey Stevenson – 3B
#3 Antone DeJesus – CF

#30 Brian Baker – RHP

Keep it here for updates all evening long from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look for number 10 of the winning streak! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (6:41): TOP 1: Andrew Barbosa gets a strikeout for the first out of the game and we are underway from the Duck Pond!

UPDATE (6:53): BOT 1: Lew Ford with the RBI single to right-center, and it’s 1-0 Ducks!

UPDATE (7:01): TOP 2: Casey Stevenson drops a RBI single into right field to tie the game 1-1.

UPDATE (7:05): TOP 2: Fred Lewis drives a bases-clearing double in the gap to left-center to put the Blue Crabs on top 4-1.

UPDATE (7:07): TOP 2: Renny Osuna with a RBI ground out to short and Southern Maryland adds another run. 5-1 Crabs.

UPDATE (7:45): BOT 3: Lew Ford with the RBI single up the middle and Randy Ruiz with a RBI double to right-center makes it a 5-3 game!

UPDATE (7:57): TOP 4: Zach Wilson grounds a RBI single into right field to make it 6-3 Blue Crabs.

UPDATE (8:31): TOP 6: Two-run double from Fred Lewis and it’s 8-3 Southern Maryland.

UPDATE (8:35): TOP 6: Renny Osuna with a RBI single into shallow right-center, giving Southern Maryland a 9-3 lead.

UPDATE (9:05): BOT 7: Randy Ruiz singles into center field to score Delta Cleary, Jr.! 9-4 Blue Crabs. Runners on the corners for Cody Puckett.

UPDATE (9:08): BOT 7: Cody Puckett ropes a single into right-center, scoring Lew Ford from third! 9-5 Blue Crabs.

UPDATE (9:14): BOT 7: Mike Blanke plates a run on a single to center! Ducks trail by three now, 9-6! Bases loaded for Dan Lyons.

UPDATE (9:17): BOT 7: Bryan Sabatella lines a double off the wall in left field that scores two! Ducks only trail by one, it’s a 9-8 contest!

UPDATE (9:23): BOT 7: Delta Cleary, Jr. with the two-run single to center!!! Ducks lead 10-9!!! Seven runs in the seventh!

UPDATE (10:02): FINAL: 10 STRAIGHT!!! Ryan Kussmaul with his 11th save of the season wraps up yet another come-from-behind win, 10-9!


Posted on June 10, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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