Game 48: Ducks at Bluefish

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The 2015 Ferry Cup Series continued on Thursday night in Bridgeport. Long Island, who came into the contest on a season-high 10-game winning streak, saw that string of wins snapped by the Bluefish in a 3-2 final. The Flock also saw their record in the Cup series drop to 1-6. The Ducks have not won at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard this season.

Coming into Thursday night, the Ducks were averaging more than seven runs and 11 hits per game over the winning streak, and they continued to hit from the start in this contest. In the first, they jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Bryan Sabatella extended his hitting streak to ten games with a leadoff single. Reegie Corona followed with a double to put runners at second and third. Lew Ford hit a single to center to score Sabatella and the Flock had three straight hits off of Bluefish starter Scott Maine to start the game. Randy Ruiz’s double play ball to short came as the first two outs of the inning, but scored Corona to put the Ducks up two. But, that was all the scoring the Ducks would manage for the rest of the game.

The ‘Fish began their comeback by scoring a run in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. In the third, singles from Matt Wessinger and Sean Burroughs put runners on first and third. Welington Dotel plated Wessinger from third with a sacrifice fly to right field. In the fourth, Luis Rodriguez would hit a leadoff double before James Simmons walked. Wessinger dropped a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with just one out. Jake Luce’s ground ball to second scored Rodriguez and tied the game at two. The ball was hit softly, rolling past Ducks starter Ian Marshall and forcing Corona to charge in and make the play at first rather than throw home. Bridgeport took the lead on a defensive mishap one inning later. With two outs and John Alonso aboard at first, Frazier Hall hit a high but easily playable fly ball to center field. Ford lost the baseball in the lights, landing a few feet to his left. With two outs, Alonso was running all the way, and scored from first base to give the Bluefish the 3-2 lead.

Once Maine was removed from the game after five and one-third innings, the Ducks did not manage another hit. Chad Povich, Erik Draxton, Tim Gustafson, and Patrick Mincey came out of the Bridgeport bullpen to get the job done. Mincey recorded his fourth save. Maine took the win to move to 2-4. He allowed both Long Island runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out three. Despite suffering the loss to fall to 3-2, Marshall did not pitch poorly. He lasted six and two-thirds innings, with just two of the three Bluefish runs being earned. While Marshall did walk six, he allowed just four hits and struck out five. His ERA is now 2.54. Patrick Crider and Nick Struck threw a combined 11 pitches in the final inning and one-third, not allowing a hit. Ford finished with three hits for the Flock.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Thursday’s game

CLICK HERE to view Thursday’s Box Score

Now 29-17, Long Island will look to knuckleballer Mickey Jannis on Friday night in game two of the four-game set. The righty has been outstanding during his first year with the Flock. Jannis enters with the league’s second-best ERA at 1.49, trailing Somerset’s Sean Bierman who possesses a 1.46 ERA. Through 54 and one-third innings, the righty has allowed just 14 runs (nine earned) on 35 hits. He has walked 15 and struck out 42. The 27-year-old is 3-2, serving initially as a reliever for manager Kevin Baez, but now primarily as a starter. He took a no decision in his previous start back on June 7 at home against Southern Maryland, despite leaving the game having allowed just one run (earned) through seven dominant innings. Jannis allowed four hits, walked one, and struck out four. His lone start against Bridgeport came on May 5 here in Connecticut. The Nevada native took the loss, tossing five innings. The ‘Fish managed three runs (two earned) on four hits. Jannis walked four, his second-highest total in a game this season. He comes to the Ducks after splitting time in 2014 with the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League and the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League. He made 12 starts with Lake Erie, going 3-4 with a 4.45 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 64 and two-thirds innings. Upon shifting to Southern Maryland, Jannis compiled a 4-1 record over 10 starts with a 2.37 ERA, one complete game and 36 strikeouts in 57 innings of work. The right-hander began his career in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, reaching as high as Single-A Charlotte. He went on to pitch with Lake Erie in 2012 and 2013 and made 10 appearances with the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2013.

Bridgeport sends righty D.J. Mitchell to the mound in search of a win game two. Mitchell is 3-3 this year with a 2.16 ERA. Through eight starts, the 28-year-old has allowed 13 runs (11 earned) in 45 and two-thirds innings. He has walked 21, struck out 37, and given up 35 hits. Mitchell has pitched with tough luck over his previous three starts all losses. In the three outings, he lasted six innings in each, allowing a combined nine runs (eight earned) on 21 hits while walking seven and striking out 18. He entered the stretch at 3-0 in 2015. Mitchell was also the winner in the May 5 contest in Bridgeport against the Ducks, making this the second Jannis-Mitchell matchup this year. He is now in his seventh season in professional baseball and second in the Atlantic League. Last year with Bridgeport, the North Carolina native started 27 games, recording nine wins with a 4.63 ERA and 110 strikeouts over the course of 155.2 innings pitched. Mitchell made two stops in The Show, pitching for the New York Yankees in May and July, 2012. In four Major League games, the right-hander recorded a 3.86 ERA and two strikeouts in 4.2 innings. He began his professional career in 2009 with the Charleston RiverDogs of the Class A South Atlantic League after being drafted by the Yankees in the 10th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft. He had an outstanding professional debut and was quickly promoted to Tampa of the Florida State League after going 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 42 strikeouts in just six starts and 37 innings. D.J. has also spent time with the Seattle Mariners and New York Mets organizations. In 164 Minor League outings (136 starts), the pitcher has a 62-43 record with a 4.15 ERA, four complete games, two shutouts, and 630 strikeouts in 828.0 innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

The Faithful Flock: The Ducks have welcomed 6,382,949 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. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 293rd all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish. Bridgeport currently leads the series by a 149-143 margin and has an 82-63 advantage at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Tonight is also the eighth of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Bluefish lead this year’s series six to one. This season marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series, with the Ducks winning the Cup in four of the first six years.

Offensive Onslaught: The Ducks broke out the bats in a big way during their 10-game winning streak. Long Island combined to score 71 runs on 116 hits in the 10 games. That was an average of 7.1 runs and 11.6 hits per game. The Ducks lead the Atlantic League in batting average (.277), runs (228), hits (447), walks (160), on-base percentage (.348) and slugging percentage (.379).

Top of the Heap: Bryan Sabatella extended his hitting streak to 10 straight games with two hits on Thursday. During the streak, the Long Island native is batting .456 (21-for-46) with eight RBI and 12 runs scored. He has earned hits in 21 of his last 23 games, reaching base safely in 22 of them. The outfielder leads the Atlantic League in hits (61), runs (39), at-bats (200) and stolen bases (15).

Marshall’s Masterful: Despite Thursday’s loss, Ian Marshall, has been strong on the mound. The righty has allowed just nine earned runs over his last five starts (30.0 IP), good for a 2.70 ERA. In that span, he has given up 25 hits and 17 walks while striking out 19. The Maryland native has yielded two earned runs or less in each of those five starts and in seven of his eight starts in 2015.

Oh Mickey, You’re So Fine: Mickey Jannis has been dominant on the mound of late. In his last eight games (four starts), the knuckleballer has allowed just four earned runs over 38 innings of work, good for a 0.95 ERA. In that span, he has given up 21 hits and nine walks while striking out 33 batters. In his last three starts, the righty is 1-0 with a 0.39 ERA.

Ford’s Fury: Lew Ford has earned hits in five consecutive games and now has multiple hits in three straight. During his last five games, the former big leaguer is batting .429 (9-for-21) with three doubles, three RBI, six runs and two walks. Ford currently leads the Atlantic League in RBI (39), totals bases (90), doubles (16) and extra-bases hits (22). He ranks second in hits (57), third in slugging percentage (.511) and fifth in on-base percentage (.403).

On the Air: Tonight’s game can be heard on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Live streaming audio will also be available 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:

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

#6 Mickey Jannis – RHP

#4 Matt Wessinger – SS
#22 Sean Burroughs – 3B
#26 John Alonso – 1B
#17 Jobduan Morales – C
#6 Luis An. Rodriguez – 2B
#27 Frazier Hall – RF
#12 Ryan Babineau – DH
#7 James Simmons – CF
#3 Jake Luce – LF

#18 D.J. Mitchell – RHP

Keep it here for updates all evening long from Bridgeport, as the Ducks continue the Ferry Cup Series! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (7:12): MID 1: Mickey Jannis getting ready to take on the Bluefish! No score after top of the first.

UPDATE (7:49): MID 3: Still scoreless in Bridgeport! Mickey Jannis back at it!

UPDATE (8:37): MID 6: Scoreless game! Ducks trying to build off the momentum of their INCREDIBLE triple play in the bottom of the fifth frame!

UPDATE (9:07): TOP 8: RBI single to left for Jake Luce, Bridgeport leads 1-0. Ducks coming up to bat!


Posted on June 12, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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