Game 65: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

Field

Outing after outing, Ducks starter Mickey Jannis continues to dazzle. Monday night was no different, as the knuckleballer helped Long Island snap a four-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers at Bethpage Ballpark. In a game that lacked offense from both teams, Jannis’ arm was the key factor for the Flock, who still trail the Somerset Patriots by 4 ½ games in the Liberty Division.

The lone run of the contest from either side came in the home half of the first frame when the Ducks used aggressive base running to get on the scoreboard. Delta Cleary, Jr., who finished 2-3 and was the only player in the game to have multiple hits, smacked a one-out single to become the first base runner of the game. After nearly being picked off by Barnstormers starter Bryan Morgado, Cleary, Jr. sprinted for second and slid in safely as Lancaster first baseman Mike McDade threw the baseball into left field. Cleary, Jr. immediately jumped to his feet and took third base. A few pitches later, Lew Ford chopped a ball to third base. Cleary, Jr. froze on contact, but took off for home on the throw to first. He slid in feet-first and Long Island had all the runs they would need. It was Cleary, Jr.’s 20th run of the season and Ford’s league-leading 50th RBI.

Jannis took things from there, baffling ‘Stormer after ‘Stormer with a steady barrage of dancing knuckleballs and sneaky fastballs. He was perfect through four innings before McDade led off the fifth inning with a single to center, breaking up the bid. Jannis struck out Anderson Feliz on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to work out of a major jam and keep Lancaster scoreless. The Barnstormers were unable to get a runner past first base until the ninth inning. The visitors put runners on first and third with one out before Jannis was pulled at 126 pitches (78 strikes). Manager Kevin Baez called on closer Ryan Kussmaul to come into a difficult situation and secure the win. Kussmaul got Luke Hughes to pop out to shortstop Dan Lyons for the second out. Wilson Batista, who singled off Jannis before he was pulled, then stole second base to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. However, Kussmaul struck out Juan Apodaca swinging to end the game, a 1-0 final.

Jannis lowered his ERA to a league-leading 1.18, allowing three hits through eight and one-third stellar innings. He walked three and struck out a season-high 11 batters, putting him in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic League with 67 strikeouts. Kussmaul had a bounce-back outing by earning his league-leading 19th save of the year. The closer allowed three runs on four hits in one inning against the Sugar Land Skeeters last Thursday before Monday’s strong outing.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from the series-opening win

CLICK HERE to view Monday’s box score

CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, Mickey Jannis, and Delta Cleary, Jr.

The Ducks will try to tie a franchise record tonight by winning their 42nd game of the first half. John Brownell will be on the mound, entering at 6-1 with a 3.42 ERA. The fourth-year Duck has tossed 73 and two-thirds innings, allowing 32 runs (28 earned) on 63 hits with 18 walks and 61 strikeouts. His 61 strikeouts are good for third place in the Atlantic. Brownell took a no decision in his last start against the Skeeters, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings. He faced off against the Barnstormers on May 17 in Pennsylvania. The 32-year-old did not factor into the decision, surrendering four runs (three earned) off of five hits while walking three and striking out seven.

The Barnstormers look to swipe game two of the four-game set with righty Bryan Woodall toeing the rubber. The first-year Barnstormer comes into Tuesday’s contest at 1-4 with a 4.70 ERA. He has allowed 36 runs (31 earned) in 59 and one-third innings on 65 hits while walking 16 and striking out 49. He was the opposing pitcher in Brownell’s outing against the Barnstormers on May 17, also garnering a no decision. He threw six and one-third innings and gave up three runs on six hits with four walks and strikeouts. The 28-year-old spent seven years in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and has been charged with just two errors in his professional career.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 204th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Barnstormers. The Ducks lead the series 105-97 and have a 53-46 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight is also the 10th of 20 scheduled games between the teams in 2015. This Ducks lead the series five to three.

Record Setters: Long Island tied two franchise record in their win on Monday. The victory was their 41st in the first half of the season. The Ducks previously won 41 games during the first half in 2014 (41-29). The most wins in any half by a Ducks team was 42, done in second half of the 2000 campaign. In addition, they won their 22nd game of the month. Long Island had previously won 22 games in a single month twice, doing so in August of 2000 (22-8) and July of 2003 (22-5).

Home Cooking: The Ducks have currently won 14 straight games at Bethpage Ballpark, all in June. That’s the longest home winning streak in franchise history. The previous long was 12 games, done July 5-20, 2006. Long Island boasts an Atlantic League best 23-6 record at home this year (.793 winning percentage).

Oh Mickey, You’re So Fine: Mickey Jannis pitched his longest outing of the season by going eight and one-third innings on Monday. In addition, he struck out a season-high 11 batters, just one shy of the most by a Duck in a single game this year (12, John Brownell, 5/22 vs. Camden). The knuckleballer has allowed one earned run or less in each of his last 13 games (eight starts). In that span, he has given up just six earned runs over 67 and one-third innings (0.80 ERA) on 39 hits and 20 walks while striking out 58. Over his last seven starts, the righty is 4-0 with a 0.53 ERA, yielding just three earned runs in 51 and one-third innings.

Ford’s Fury: Lew Ford has now reached base safely in 22 straight games after walking twice on Monday. The on-base streak is the longest by a Duck in 2015. In those 22 games, the outfielder/bench coach is batting .412 (35-for-85) with eight doubles, one homer, 14 RBI and 17 runs. Ford currently leads the Atlantic League in batting average (.346), RBI (50), hits (83), total bases (124), doubles (21), extra-base hits (28) and slugging percentage (.517).

Sabatella’s Sizzling: Bryan Sabatella has hit safely in 21 of his last 22 games after collecting a hit on Monday. In those 22 contests, the Long Island native is batting .368 (35-for-95) with three doubles, one triple, 13 RBI and 18 runs scored. He currently leads the league in runs scored (45) and stolen bases (16). While ranking second in at bats (249) and hits (75).

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

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
#26 Jose Morales – C
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#7 John Brownell – RHP

Barnstormers
#10 Jerry Owens – CF
#24 Bryant Nelson – 2B
#35 Mike McDade – DH
#31 Brian Cavazos-Galvez – 1B
#22 Brandon Jones – RF
#11 Luke Hughes – 3B
#3 Jake Luce – LF
#27 Juan Apodaca – C
#19 Anderson Feliz – SS

#5 Bryan Woodall – RHP

Keep it here for updates all game long from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks and Barnstormers continue their four-game series! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (6:39): TOP 1: John Brownell’s first pitch is a strike, and game two of four with the ‘Stormers is underway from Bethpage Ballpark!

UPDATE (7:27): TOP 4: Through three innings, we are still scoreless with Lancaster! John Brownell back out on the hill!

UPDATE (7:40): BOT 4: Ducks go ahead 1-0 on Jon Griffin’s run-scoring error up the middle behind second base! Lew Ford crosses home plate!

UPDATE (8:30): TOP 7: Barnstormers tie the game at one on a RBI single to right from Brian Cavazos-Galvez.

UPDATE (8:44): TOP 8: John Brownell’s day is done. Final line: 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K. Amalio Diaz now pitching in a 1-1 contest!

UPDATE (9:10): TOP 9: Brandon Jones draws a bases-loaded walk and the ‘Stormers take a 2-1 lead.

UPDATE (9:31): FINAL: IT’S OVER! WADDLE-OFF! Randy Ruiz with a two-run single to center scores Corona and Sabatella! Ducks have won 15 straight at home!

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Posted on June 30, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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