Game 49: Ducks at Bluefish
The Ducks got back on track last night in Bridgeport. After a 3-2 loss in the series opener snapped their 10-game winning streak, the Flock used a come-from-behind 2-1 win on Friday night to even the series at one game apiece. The game had a bit of everything—great pitching, late-inning offense, a TRIPLE PLAY. Long Island improved to 30-17 with the win, sitting three games back of the first-place Somerset Patriots in the Liberty Division.
Friday’s game was a pitcher’s duel through six innings between Ducks starter Mickey Jannis and Bridgeport’s D.J. Mitchell. In the fifth, the Ducks completed an incredible 8-4 triple play. With a double steal put in play with runners on first and second, Lew Ford made a sliding catch in shallow center field, threw back in to Reegie Corona at second, who stepped on the bag for the second out and tagged the runner from first to complete the play. Neither hurler allowed a run, until the seventh when Bridgeport finally broke through. With one out, Frazier Hall’s walk gave the ‘Fish a base runner. Ryan Babineau singled, bringing up James Simmons who popped out. Jake Luce followed up with a single to left field past Dan Lyons, scoring Hall from second base. Jannis retired Matt Wessinger to end the inning.
Trailing 1-0, the Ducks came right back in the eighth. Reliever Tim Gustafson took over for Mitchell, facing Corona to lead off. Corona walked and one batter later was brought home on a double from Ford. Ford smashed the baseball the opposite way to deep right field, short-hopping the wall. Tied at one, Gustafson’s balk in the middle of Randy Ruiz’s at-bat pushed Ford to third. Ruiz got the job done, lifting a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Ford and putting the Ducks ahead 2-1. After letting up the first run of the game in the seventh, Jannis was off the hook and in place for the win. Amalio Diaz came out of the bullpen and pitched a scoreless eighth, and closer Ryan Kussmaul did the same in the ninth for his league-leading 12th save of the season. Kussmaul got a 4-6-3 double play against Simmons to end the game and give the Ducks their first win of the year in Bridgeport.
Jannis improved to 4-2 with the win, lowering his ERA to 1.47. He allowed the lone run on six hits while walking three and striking out two. Mitchell took a no decision for the Bluefish, while Gustafson was the loser. He is now 0-4 on the year. Ford and Corona each finished with two hits for the Flock, with Ford getting his league-leading 40th RBI of the season in the eighth. The Flock are 2-6 against the Bluefish in 2015 as part of the seventh Ferry Cup Series.
CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Friday’s win
CLICK HERE to listen to view Friday’s box score
Long Island looks to go ahead in the series when they give the baseball to John Brownell on Saturday night. Brownell comes in at 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA. In 54 and two-thirds innings, Long Island’s ace has struck out 47 batters while walking 14. He’s allowed 22 runs (19 earned) on 42 hits, but has not pitched since June 1. That start came at home against the York Revolution, a 4-3 Long Island win but no decision for Brownell. The 31-year-old went seven innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The right-hander is 1-1 against the Bluefish this season, throwing a combined 12 innings and allowing eight runs (seven runs). The two-time Atlantic League champion put together an historic season in 2014. He set new franchise records in games started with 29 and innings pitched with 202, breaking the previous records of 28 (Randy Leek, 2008 and B.J. LaMura, 2009) and 179 (Bob Zimmermann, 2012), respectively. The right-hander led the Atlantic League in both categories along with complete games (5) and finished second in the league in wins (13) and strikeouts (130). Overall, the Nebraska resident was 13-9 with a 3.61 ERA.
The Bluefish will go with righty Cory Riordan in game three. Riordan is 2-0 in 2015 with a 2.87 ERA through seven games (six starts). He has given up 13 runs on 38 hits in 40 and two-thirds innings while walking seven and striking out 21. He has started one game against the Ducks this season, a 9-7 Bluefish win at Bethpage Ballpark on May 14 in which he allowed six runs on 10 hits in four and two-thirds innings. The 29-year-old is making his Atlantic League debut with Bridgeport during his ninth season of professional baseball. Last year, the right-hander played in Seoul, South Korea for the LG Twins of the Korean Baseball Organization. In 28 starts with the Twins, Riordan compiled a 9-10 record with a 3.96 ERA and 77 strikeouts over the course of 168.0 innings pitched. The Connecticut native was drafted in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies and spent seven years within the organization, reaching as high as the Triple-A level. Riordan owns a 52-57 record with a 4.34 ERA and 806 strikeouts over the course of 1,065.2 innings in 216 minor league appearances (161 starts). He attended and played at Fordham University before beginning his professional career.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 294th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish. Bridgeport currently leads the series by a 149-144 margin and has an 82-64 advantage at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Tonight is also the ninth of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Bluefish lead this year’s series six to two. This season marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series, with the Ducks winning the Cup in four of the first six years.
Oh Mickey, You’re So Fine: Mickey Jannis continued his dominance on the mound Friday. In his last nine games (five starts), the knuckleballer has allowed just five earned runs over 45 innings of work, good for a 1.00 ERA. In that span, he has given up 27 hits and 12 walks while striking out 35 batters. In his last four starts, the righty is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA, yielding two earned runs in 30 innings.
Ford’s Fury: Lew Ford has now earned hits in six straight games as well as multiple hits in four consecutive. Over his last six games, the former big leaguer is batting .440 (11-for-25) with four doubles, four RBI, seven runs and two walks. He currently leads the Atlantic League in RBI (40), total bases (93), doubles (17) and extra-base hits (23). Ford also ranks second in hits (59) and slugging percentage (.517) and fourth in batting average (.328) and on-base percentage (.405).
Triple Play History: The Ducks turned their first triple play in over six years in the fifth inning on Friday night. On the play, Lew Ford caught a line drive off the bat of Matt Wessinger before throwing the ball to Reegie Corona, who retired both James Simmons and Jake Luce, who were running on a double steal. Long Island’s last triple play came on May 23, 2009 in a 7-2 road loss to the Somerset Patriots. The Ducks have turned three triple plays in franchise history.
Diaz is Dealing: Amalio Diaz tossed another scoreless inning of relief on Friday. The righty has now made seven straight appearances without allowing a run, and he has given up only one run in his last 17 outings. In that span, he has pitched 17 innings and yielded just nine hits and one walk while striking out 19. Diaz is tied Sugar Land’s John Lujan for league lead in appearances with 24.
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).
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:
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – LF
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#7 John Brownell – RHP
#4 Matt Wessinger – SS
#6 Luis An. Rodriguez – 2B
#26 John Alonso – 1B
#17 Jobduan Morales – C
#12 Ryan Babineau – DH
#27 Frazier Hall – RF
#7 James Simmons – CF
#25 Matt Burns – 3B
#3 Jake Luce – LF
#16 Cory Riordan – RHP
Stay updated here all evening long from Bridgeport, as the Ducks look to pull ahead in the series! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (6:13): MID 1: Underway from Bridgeport! John Brownell out on the mound!
UPDATE (6:48): MID 3: Ducks strike for two in the top of the inning! Mike Blanke with his first HR of the year and a RBI single from Randy Ruiz!
UPDATE (6:58): TOP 3: Ryan Babineau’s two-run double ties the game at two. Ducks coming up to bat against Bridgeport!
UPDATE (7:27): TOP 6: Bluefish lead 5-2 after scoring three runs in the fifth. Ducks are coming up with the sticks.
UPDATE (7:44): TOP 6: The Ducks storm back!!! FIVE runs in the sixth! 7-5 LI!
UPDATE (8:01): MID 7: Ducks add another run on Lew Ford’s RBI double! Flock lead 8-5!!!
UPDATE (8:31): MID 9: Lew Ford adds another run with a RBI single! 9-5 Ducks! Patrick Crider in looking to wrap up the win!
UPDATE (8:48): FINAL: Ducks win!!! 9-6 final! Lew Ford with three more hits and two RBI!
Posted on June 13, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged Atlantic League, Baseball, Bridgeport Bluefish, John Brownell, Lew Ford, Long Island Ducks, Mickey Jannis, Randy Ruiz, Ryan Kussmaul. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.