Game 50: Ducks at Bluefish

Field

The Ducks continued their winning ways on Saturday night, coming from behind for the 14th time this season for a 9-6 victory. Lew Ford’s bat stayed hot, and a big sixth inning lifted Long Island to their second straight in Bridgeport. The Ducks now trail Somerset by two games in the Liberty Division. The Pats lost to the Barnstormers on the road last night.

The Ducks were out to a 2-0 advantage in the second, thanks to Mike Blanke’s first homer of the season. The Long Island catcher lifted the baseball high and deep out to left field, nearly out of the ballpark off of Bluefish starter Cory Riordan. It was his 10th RBI of the year. Randy Ruiz plated Delta Cleary, Jr. for the second run of the inning, the first of Cleary, Jr.’s three runs in the contest. However, the ‘Fish got both runs right back in the bottom of the second on Ryan Babineau’s two-run double allowed by Long Island starter John Brownell. The Bluefish went ahead 5-2 in the fifth with a three-run frame. Three straight RBI hits from Jobduan Morales, Babineau, and Frazier Hall had the home team on top. But, in the fifth, the Ducks responded in a big way by putting up five runs. With the bases loaded and one out, Reegie Corona and Blanke worked back-to-back walks to make it a 5-4 contest. Dan Lyons’ sacrifice fly tied the game, before the Flock went ahead 7-5 on Bryan Sabatealla’s two-run triple. Sabatella hit a ball down the right field line that Hall dove for and missed, giving the Long Island right fielder a chance for an inside-the-park homer. Sabatella was thrown out by a few feet before home plate. Lew Ford provided the insurance runs in the seventh and ninth, with a RBI double and single, respectively. Cleary, Jr. scored on both plays.

In the ninth, a non-save situation brought Patrick Crider to the mound to close things out. Crider got the first out, but then gave up three straight singles to the top three batters in Bridgeport’s lineup. Closer Ryan Kussmaul was brought in to finish the game. Morales’ sacrifice fly to left for the second out scored a run, but Kussmaul struck out Babineau in the next at-bat to complete the victory, a 9-6 final.

Kussmaul earned his league-leading 13th save of the year with the two outs he recorded behind Crider. Ford continued to hit with his three hits and two RBI. John Brownell earned the win, despite giving up 10 hits through five innings for five runs (four earned). He walked none and struck out three. Riordan was the loser, allowing even runs on nine hits in six innings pitched. Frank DeJiulio, Jr., Bruce Kern, and Amalio Diaz held the ‘Fish scoreless through three innings of relief before the ninth. Diaz’s ERA is now 1.44.

CLICK HERE for highlights of Saturday’s road win

CLICK HERE to view the box score of the game

The Ducks will try and take the series on the road this afternoon with Billy Buckner on the mound. Buckner enters at 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA. Through a few weeks with the Ducks, the righty has allowed nine runs on 20 hits in 16 and one-third innings, while walking seven and striking out 13. He has started all four games he has pitched in. The Georgia native has not pitched against the Bluefish during his short time in the Atlantic League, and will face them for the first time at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. He last pitched on June 9 at home against Southern Maryland, earning the win. He allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings, a 10-5 Ducks win over the Blue Crabs. He comes to Long Island with six years of Major League experience, having played with the Kansas City Royals (2007), Arizona Diamondbacks (2008-10), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2013), and San Diego Padres (2014). During his time in the big leagues, the right-hander combined to go 7-12 with 114 strikeouts in 161 and one-third innings. Of his 44 appearances, 24 of them were starts. He began the 2014 season with El Paso (AAA, Padres) before being called up to San Diego in May. The 31-year-old made one start against the Chicago Cubs, tossing five and two-thirds innings and striking out four batters. He was later signed by the Milwaukee Brewers and joined Nashville (AAA, Brewers) where he went 1-1 with 15 strikeouts in 12 innings.

Bridgeport will try to salvage a split in the four-game set with Reinaldo Lopez on the hill. The righty has started just two games for the Bluefish in 2015, and is 0-1 through both appearances. His ERA is 4.09, having allowed eight runs through 11 innings of work. The 24-year-old has surrendered 15 hits, walked five, and struck out eight. His two starts came against Somerset (June 2) and in Sugar Land (June 9). The Venezuela native suffered his lone loss at home against the Patriots, a 3-1 Bridgeport loss, before taking a no decision in Texas.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Today marks the 295th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish. Bridgeport currently leads the series by a 149-145 margin and has an 82-65 advantage at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Today is also the 10th of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Bluefish lead this year’s series six to three. 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 seven straight games as well as multiple hits in five consecutive. Over his last six games, the former big leaguer is batting .483 (14-for-29) with five doubles, six RBI, seven runs and two walks.

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 Saturday. The righty has now made eight straight appearances without allowing a run, and he has given up only one run in his last 18 outings. In that span, he has pitched 18 innings and yielded just 10 hits and one walk while striking out 22.

Top of the Heap: Bryan Sabatella extended his hitting streak to 11 straight games with a triple on Saturday. During the streak, the Long Island native is batting .431 (22-for-51) with 10 RBI and 12 runs scored. He has earned hits in 22 of his last 24 games, reaching base safely in 23 of them. The outfielder leads the Atlantic League in hits (62), runs (39), at-bats (205) and stolen bases (15).

On the Air: Today’s game can be heard on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Live streaming audio will 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 today’s starting lineups:

Ducks

#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

#29 Billy Buckner – RHP

Bluefish
#4 Matt Wessinger – SS
#3 Jake Luce – LF
#6 Luis An. Rodriguez – 2B
#17 Jobduan Morales – C
#12 Ryan Babineau – RF
#7 James Simmons – CF
#27 Frazier Hall – 1B
#25 Matt Burns – 3B
#2 Joe Poletsky – DH

#36 Reinaldo Lopez – RHP

Check back here for updates all game long from the series finale in Bridgeport! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (1:54): MID 1: Ducks put up six runs in the first! Four players with RBI hits! @NotthatBB coming out to the mound!

UPDATE (2:51): TOP 5: Ducks coming up to bat still leading 6-0! Jon Griffin leads things off for the Flock!

UPDATE (3:26): TOP 7: Bridgeport Bluefish get on the board with Jobduan Morales’ run-scoring ground out. LI coming up to bat!

UPDATE (4:05): TOP 9: Ducks still lead 6-1! We go to the ninth, trying to pad the lead!

UPDATE (4:15): MID 9: Mike Blanke with a three-run bomb to left! His second HR of the year, he has two in two games! Ducks lead 9-1!

UPDATE (4:32): FINAL: Ducks win 9-3! Bluefish tack on two runs in the ninth, but LI holds on! They win the series on the road!

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Posted on June 14, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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