Game 67: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

High fives
Another game, another record broken! In a 7-4 final, the Ducks secured their 43rd win of the first half, setting a franchise record for the most wins in one half (with four games to go). Long Island’s offense returned in a big way after two straight pitching duels to start the series, lifting the Ducks to their third straight win over the Barnstormers. The Flock racked up 16 hits as six starters finished with a multi-hit game. The Somerset Patriots also won, dropping their “magic number” to one (a Pats win or Ducks loss) and keeping Long Island 4 ½ games back in the Liberty Division. After tonight’s series finale, the Patriots will come to Central Islip this weekend for the first time this year.

On Wednesday, the Ducks got back to their hitting ways, getting on the scoreboard first in the second inning. Reegie Corona, who hit the ball with power throughout the night, launched a ground rule double to deep left center field off of ‘Stormers starter Nate Reed that scored one run. Lew Ford followed up with a two-run single for his league-leading 51st and 52nd runs batted in of the year and a 3-0 Ducks advantage. In the fourth, Lancaster would get all three runs back off of Long Island starter Billy Buckner. RBI singles from Brandon Jones and Anderson Feliz and a run-scoring double play from Juan Apodaca tied the game at three. Buckner struggled at times, walking four batters in five innings, but pitched well enough to keep the Ducks in the game and eventually earn the win. Long Island put up three more runs in the bottom of the inning. Jon Griffin drove in two runs on a single up the middle, bringing Lancaster Manager Butch Hobson out to remove Reed. Kyle Simon was brought in to face Cody Puckett, who singled to right and made it 6-3 Ducks. The Barnstormers got one run back in the fifth, but the Ducks added another run of their own in the seventh on Corona’s bases loaded walk. Ryan Kussmaul allowed two straight singles to begin the ninth, but rebounded by striking out two of the next three Barnstormers and notching his league-leading 20th save of 2015.

Buckner improved to 5-1 with the win, allowing all four Lancaster runs in five innings on six hits. He walked four and struck out three, his ERA now 5.70. Reed fell to 1-5 with the loss, surrendering 10 hits for six runs with two walks and seven strikeouts. Every starter in the Ducks lineup but one registered at least one hit. Sabatella, Corona, and Prentice Redman each finished with two runs. Ford raised his average to .351 with a pair of hits.

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

CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, Reegie Corona, and Bryan Sabatella

CLICK HERE to view Wednesday’s box score

Long Island looks for the sweep on Thursday night when they give the ball to Andrew Barbosa. The tall southpaw enters the series finale at 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA in eight starts. He has logged 45 innings and has allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 33 hits with 18 walks and 54 strikeouts. Barbosa has not yet faced the Barnstormers since joining the Ducks on May 19. In his previous start, he took his first loss of the season down in Sugar Land, going six innings and allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. Prior to the 4-3 final in Texas, the Ducks had won all seven of the Florida native’s starts (5/19-6/22).

The Barnstormers will try to salvage one game of the four-game series with Shunsuke Watanabe taking the mound. The Japan native is 4-2 with a 2.52 ERA during his second year with Lancaster. He has started nine of the 11 games he has appeared in this season. Through 57 innings, the righty has allowed 17 runs (16 earned) on 46 hits with 14 walks and 41 strikeouts. The 38-year-old has thrown tossed three shutout innings of relief against the Flock this year, picking up one win in the process. Watanabe had a career record of 87-82 in 13 seasons with Chiba Lotte.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 206th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Barnstormers. The Ducks lead the series 107-97 and have a 55-46 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight is also the 12th of 20 scheduled games between the teams in 2015. This Ducks lead the series seven games to three.

Record Setters: The Ducks broke another franchise record on Wednesday. With their 43rd win of the season’s first half, they surpassed the previous mark for wins in any single half. Long Island had previously won 42 games in a half once, doing so in the second half of the inaugural 2000 season (42-28).

Home Cooking: The Ducks have currently won 16 straight games at Bethpage Ballpark. They have yet to lose a game in their home ballpark since June 1. That’s the longest home winning streak in team history, surpassing the 12-game streak from July 5-20, 2006. The Ducks boast a league best 25-6 record at home (.806 winning percentage). Their most home wins in one season was 51 (2011).

Ford’s Fury: Lew Ford has now reached base safely in 24 straight games after collecting two hits on Wednesday. The streak is the longest by a Duck and third-longest in the Atlantic League this year. In those 24 games, he is batting .419 (39-for-93) with nine doubles, one homer, 16 RBI and 19 runs. Ford currently leads the Atlantic League in batting average (.351), RBI (52), hits (87), total bases (129), doubles (22), extra-base hits (29) and slugging percentage (.520).

Diaz Dazzles: Amalio Diaz continued his dominance out of the bullpen with yet another scoreless inning of relief on Wednesday. The righty has now made 15 straight appearances without allowing a run. In addition, he has given up just one run in his last 25 outings (0.36 ERA). In that span, Diaz has combined to pitch 25 innings, yielding just 13 hits and one walk while striking out 30.

Off to the Races: Bryan Sabatella and Dan Lyons both picked up a stolen base in Wednesday’s game. Sabatella has now swiped 17 bases in 2015, which is tied for the most in the Atlantic League. Lyons earned his 10th steal of the year in 11 attempts and ranks fourth in the league with a .909 stolen base percentage. As a team, the Ducks have stolen a league high 71 bases in 2015.

Three’s Company: Reegie Corona and Bryan Sabatella each earned their fifth three-hit game of the year on Wednesday. Both players have now collected 24 multi-hit games, which ranks second on the team behind Lew Ford, who has 29.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Live streaming video and audio will 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
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#26 Jose Morales – C
#27 Prentice Redman – LF
#22 Blake Davis – SS

#49 Andrew Barbosa – LHP

Barnstormers

#10 Jerry Owens – CF
#24 Bryant Nelson – 2B
#21 Kevin Rivers – DH
#35 Mike McDade – 1B
#31 Brian Cavazos-Galvez – RF
#30 Wilson Batista – 3B
#27 Juan Apodaca – C
#3 Jake Luce – LF
#19 Anderson Feliz – SS

#9 Shunsuke Watanabe – RHP

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

UPDATE (6:40): TOP 1: Andrew Barbosa kicks and deals and our series finale has started!

UPDATE (6:53): MID 1: Lancaster takes a 2-0 lead on Kevin Rivers’ two-run homer. Ducks coming up to bat!

UPDATE (7:11): MID 2: Lancaster gets another run on a RBI triple from Anderson Feliz and take a 3-0 lead.

UPDATE (7:30): MID 3: The Barnstormers scratch out another run and make it 4-0 on Mike McDade’s double play ball.

UPDATE (7:39): BOT 3: Lew Ford ropes a single to center to score Bryan Sabatella! Barnstormers lead cut to 4-1.

UPDATE (8:02): BOT 4: Blake Davis! A two-run triple to deep right-center and it’s now a 4-3 Barnstormers lead!

UPDATE (8:45): TOP 7: J.C. Romero takes the mound in a 4-3 ballgame. First action as a member of the Ducks for the World Series champ!

UPDATE (9:13): MID 8: Jake Luce with a RBI double, extending Lancaster’s lead to 5-3. Ducks coming up to bat in the home half of the frame.

UPDATE (9:46): MID 9: The ‘Stormers add another run on a sacrifice fly to center. They lead 6-3 with the Ducks coming up with one more shot.

UPDATE (10:13): FINAL: DUCKS WIN 7-6! FOUR RUNS IN THE NINTH! Dan Lyons caps off the frame with a waddle-off single and the come back is complete!

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Posted on July 2, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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