Game 68: Ducks vs. Patriots
It becomes more apparent with each passing game that the Ducks have a flare for the dramatic. As July 4th weekend heats up, the team provided some fireworks of their own on the diamond Thursday night. Just when it seemed like their incredible home game winning streak was coming to an end, the Flock posted four runs after trailing by three in the ninth inning, notching their second waddle-off win as part of a four-game series with the Lancaster Barnstormers. It was the team’s 17th straight home win. Long Island also secured a sweep of the ‘Stormers, thanks to Dan Lyons’ walk-off RBI single. The Ducks will now host the Somerset Patriots for a three-game series to close out the first half of the 2015 season. The Pats clinched first place in the Liberty Division and a trip to the postseason with a win over the Camden Riversharks on Thursday night.
Ducks starter Andrew Barbosa struggled for a second straight start, giving up runs in each of the first three innings of last night’s contest. The Barnstormers were out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first thanks to Kevin Rivers’ two-run homer that left the ballpark in right field. They added another run and went up 3-0 on back-to-back triples in the second from Jake Luce and Anderson Feliz. The advantage went to four one inning later when Mike McDade grounded into a run-scoring double play. However, Long Island began their comeback in the bottom of the inning on Lew Ford’s RBI double. In the fourth, the Ducks cut the lead to 4-3 on Blake Davis’ first triple of the year, a deep shot to right-center field that scored Jose Morales and Prentice Redman. Davis got the start at short over Dan Lyons (more on him later). The Barnstormers extended their lead with a run in the eighth and ninth, putting the Ducks down 6-3 with one more shot at tying the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, Long Island looked like a completely different from how they started the game. Bryan Sabatella and Reegie Corona led off with a single and double, respectively, before Lew Ford brought them both home with a two-run double. Delta Cleary, Jr. then reached on an infield single, as the ensuing throw was wild from Lancaster shortstop Anderson Feliz, allowing Ford to move to third and Cleary, Jr. to second. Jon Griffin struck out for out number one, before Cody Puckett was intentionally walked to bring up Mike Blanke. After a nine-pitch at-bat, Blanke struck out swinging for out number two. One batter later, Redman popped up what would have been the final out of the game high in the air just in front of the pitcher’s mound. Catcher Juan Apodaca, looking into the rain, settled under the ball but could not hang on to the ball that popped out of his glove. Ford scored from third, and the game was tied at six with the bases loaded for Lyons. On a 2-2 pitch, Lyons sent Scott Patterson’s pitch deep to the warning track in left field, completing the incredible comeback and giving the Ducks a 7-6 win.
Lyons had entered the game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning for Davis, but grounded out to short against Zach Jackson. One frame later, he was the hero. Ford had another multi-hit game, going 2-5 with three RBI and a run, raising his average to a league-leading .352 clip. Barbosa took a no decision while Frank DeJiulio, Jr. earned the “W” to improve to 2-1. Patterson fell to 0-3 with the loss in the ninth. He allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits in two-thirds of an inning. It was Long Island’s 20th come-from-behind win of the 2015 campaign.
CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from the incredible comeback
CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, Dan Lyons, and Blake Davis
CLICK HERE to view Thursday’s box score
Long Island opens up their series with Somerset by handing the ball to Ian Marshall. The righty enters the series-opener at 3-4 with a 2.81 ERA. Marshall, one of seven Ducks named to the Atlantic League All-Star Game, has allowed 24 runs (20 earned) on 53 hits in 64 innings of work. He has walked 25 and struck out 38. The Ducks and Pats have played each other just four times this half, as Marshall did not get a start in any of those games. His previous outing came on June 28 in Sugar Land. Despite taking the loss in a 4-2 final, Marshall did not pitch poorly. He went six and two-thirds innings and allowed four runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts. The former Southern Maryland Blue Crab has started 11 games in 2015 for the Flock.
The Patriots will send Lucas Irvine to the hill. The right-hander is currently 3-5 with a 2.43 this season, having allowed 21 runs (18 earned) in 66 and two-thirds innings on 61 hits. The 26-year-old has walked 18 and struck out 54 batters. Like Marshall, this will be the first time this season Irvine sees his opponent. He suffered the loss last time out on June 28 in Southern Maryland. The Blue Crabs won 2-1 over the Pats, as Irvine allowed two runs on five hits and five and one-third innings. Irvine enters his first season with the Patriots and third in independent minor league baseball. He spent one season in the Tampa Bay Rays organization in 2011 after he was drafted in the 27th round. The Liberty, Missouri native split time between the Kansas City T-Bones (American Association), New Jersey Jackals (Can-Am Association) and Camden Riversharks in 2013. That year, Irvine combined to post an 8-6 record with a 2.84 ERA in 22 games (21 starts), including four complete games and two shutouts. He did not pitch in 2014.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
The Faithful Flock: Thursday’s crowd of 7,087 was the largest of the season at Bethpage Ballpark and most since August 30, 2014 when 7,033 fans watched the Ducks defeat the Riversharks 5-1. The sold out crowd was Long Island’s third of the season and 642nd all-time, which is an Atlantic League record. Since the inaugural 2000 season, the Ducks have welcomed a league record 6,438,313 fans through the gates of Bethpage Ballpark.
Ducks vs. Patriots: Tonight marks the 290th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Patriots. Somerset leads the series 146-143, but the Ducks have a 76-70 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. It also marks the fifth of 20 scheduled games between the two in 2015. The series is currently tied at two. The 2014 matchup finished tied at 10 games apiece, with both teams going 5-5 at home.
Home Cooking: The Ducks have currently won 17 straight games at Bethpage Ballpark, and they have yet to lose a game at home since May 31. That’s the longest home winning streak in team history, surpassing the 12-game streak from July 5-20, 2006. The Ducks currently boast a league best 26-6 record at home (.813 winning percentage). Their most home wins in one season was 51 (2011).
Waddle-Off Magic: Thursday’s waddle-off victory was the Ducks’ sixth of the season. In addition, it was Long Island’s third walk-off victory over Lancaster this year and second of the week. Their first came on May 8 (Jon Griffin RBI double in ninth), while the second took place on Tuesday (Randy Ruiz two-run single in ninth). The Ducks have now totaled 20 come-from-behind victories in 2015.
Ford’s Fury: Lew Ford has now reached base safely in 25 straight games after collecting two hits on Thursday. The streak is the longest by a Duck and third-longest in the Atlantic League this year. In those 25 games, he is batting .418 (41-for-98) with 11 doubles, one homer, 19 RBI and 20 runs. Ford currently leads the Atlantic League in batting average (.352), RBI (55), hits (89), total bases (133), doubles (24), extra-base hits (31) and slugging percentage (.526).
Off to the Races: Bryan Sabatella picked up his 18th stolen base of the season on Thursday when he swiped second in the third inning. That total is currently tied with Bridgeport’s Welington Dotel for the most in the Atlantic League. As a team, the Ducks have stolen 72 bases in 2015, which is five more than anyone else in the league (Bridgeport, 67). Long Island also has an .809 stolen base percentage.
Duck Debut: Left-handed pitcher J.C. Romero made his Ducks debut and threw a scoreless seventh inning on Thursday. The 14-year Major League veteran was signed by the Flock on Tuesday after beginning the year with Pericos de Puebla of the Mexican League. Romero was a relief pitcher for the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies and has 680 games of Major League experience.
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 via the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak 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
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#22 Blake Davis – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#21 Ian Marshall – RHP
#24 Thomas Neal – DH
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#8 David Vidal – 3B
#39 Michael Burgess – RF
#9 Mat Gamel – 1B
#20 Greg Hopkins – 2B
#3 Nate Spears – SS
#4 James Skelton – C
#14 Vinny Zarrillo – CF
#16 Lucas Irvine – RHP
Keep it here for updates all game long from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks and Patriots kick off their three-game series! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (6:39): TOP 1: Ian Marshall deals his first pitch and we are underway from the Duck Pond!
UPDATE (6:49): MID 1: 2-0 Patriots in the middle of the first. Ducks coming up to bat!
UPDATE (7:14): BOT 2: Dan Lyons! A 3-R BOMB to left that goes out of the park and gives the Ducks a 3-2 lead! Most HR in a season as a Duck for Dan! Dan now has five homers in 2015!
UPDATE (7:21): MID 3: The Patriots tack on a run and tie the game 3-3. Flock coming up with the sticks!
UPDATE (7:35): TOP 4: Somerset takes a 4-3 lead on Vinny Zarrillo’s RBI single to right.
UPDATE (8:36): BOT 7: Ducks up with the bats, still trailing 4-3.
UPDATE (8:41): BOT 7: LI ties it up at four! Delta Cleary, Jr. with the RBI single to right, scoring Bryan Sabatella!
UPDATE (9:06): TOP 8: Somerset up 7-4 on James Skelton’s bases-clearing double to left with two outs.
UPDATE (9:47): FINAL: Ducks drop game one 7-5.
Posted on July 3, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Andrew Barbosa, Atlantic League, Bryan Sabatella, Ian Marshall, J.C. Romero, Lancaster Barnstormers, Lew Ford, Long Island Ducks, Lucas Irvin, Shunsuke Watanabe, Somerset Patriots. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.