Game 75: Ducks at Barnstormers

Field

The Ducks came up just short of a win on Sunday, falling 5-4 to the Lancaster Barnstormers in the opening game of a four-game set in Pennsylvania. In a back-and-forth contest, the Flock led once, but let go of the lead late in the game.

Long Island came back to tie the game twice through the first three innings. Trailing 1-0 in the second, Randy Ruiz scored on Mike Blanke’s sacrifice fly. In the third, Delta Cleary, Jr. also plated a run on a sacrifice fly to tie the game 2-2. One of Lancaster’s runs came on a Kevin Rivers solo homer to right-center off of Ducks starter Ian Marshall. Rivers beat Marshall again in the fourth with a deep homer to right, putting the ‘Stormers on top 3-2. After a scoreless fifth from both sides, the Ducks took their first lead with a pair of runs in the sixth. Cody Puckett sent a double into the right field corner that scored Cleary, Jr. and Jon Griffin made it 4-3 Long Island with yet another sacrifice fly. All three sacrifice flies went to center field. In the home half of the seventh Marshall began to lose control of the strike zone, throwing back-to-back wild pitches, one of which scored a run during the at-bat of pinch hitter Brian Cavazos-Galvez. The third pitch of the at-bat also hurt Marshall, as Cavazos-Galvez dropped the game-winning hit into left field in front of Prentice Redman. Pete Andrelczyk held the Ducks to just one hit over the final three frames to finish the contest.

Andrelczyk took the win for Lancaster to improve to 3-2 on the year, while Marshall fell to 3-5 for the Ducks. He allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits through six and two-thirds innings before being pulled at 115 pitches. Lancaster starter Bryan Morgado finished with a no decision by allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits in six innings. J.C. Romero finished the game on the mound for the Flock, who are now 2-2 in the second half of play. Ruiz finished with two runs for the Ducks.

CLICK HERE for highlights from the series opener in Lancaster

CLICK HERE to view Monday’s box score

Before Monday’s originally scheduled game, the two teams finished their suspended contest from May 18, which was halted with the score tied at three in the bottom of the sixth. The Barnstormers defeated the Ducks 6-5 in 13 innings. Lancaster went ahead 5-3 on Lance Zawadzki’s two-run double in the sixth off of Ducks reliever Patrick Crider. Long Island tied the game at five on Reegie Corona’s solo homer in the seventh and Griffin’s RBI single in the ninth. After three scoreless innings, Zawadzki won it for Lancaster with a walk off homer to right against Ducks reliever Matt Soren. Soren (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing the one run on one hit with one strikeout. Chad Beck (1-0) earned the win for Lancaster, pitching a scoreless 13th frame.

CLICK HERE for highlights from the originally suspended contest

The Ducks will try and bounce back in game two of four with Lancaster with southpaw Darin Downs on the hill. Downs will be making his Long Island debut after joining the team a few days ago. He joins the Ducks with three seasons of big league experience, including two with the Detroit Tigers (2012-13) and one with the Houston Astros (2014). In the big leagues, he appeared in 92 games and compiled a 4-4 record with a 4.76 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 90 and two-thirds innings of work. The Michigan native’s best season came in 2012 when he posted a 2-1 record with a 3.18 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 18 games. The 30-year-old began 2015 with Triple-A Fresno in the Houston Astros organization. He compiled two saves in 15 games out of the bullpen and struck out 11 batters in 16 and one-third innings. The southpaw’s best season came in 2009 with Charlotte (A+, Rays). That year, he went 12-6 with a 2.23 ERA and 120 strikeouts to just 27 walks in 22 games (21 starts). For his efforts, he was named the MiLB.com Class-A Advanced Starting Pitcher of the Year and earned both midseason and postseason All-Star honors in the Florida State League. Downs was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the 2003 amateur draft.

The Barnstormers counter with Shunsuke Watanabe. The righty has started 10 of the 13 games he has pitched in and sports a 4-2 record with a 2.71 ERA. He has allowed 20 runs (19 earned) in 63 innings on 51 hits. Watanabe has walked 18 and struck out 47. The Japan native has combined to pitch nine innings against the Ducks in 2015 and has one win. He has allowed three runs on eight hits across the nine frames while walking five and striking out nine. He took a no decision in a 7-6 Ducks win on July 2 at Bethpage Ballpark. Watanabe also pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Liberty Division in the 2015 Atlantic League All-Star Game in Bridgeport last week.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 208th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Barnstormers. The Ducks lead the series 108-99, but Lancaster has a 53-51 advantage at home. Tonight is also the 14th of 20 scheduled meetings between the teams in 2015. Long Island leads the series eight games to five.

Randy’s Dandy: Randy Ruiz extended his hitting streak to 13 consecutive games with a single on Monday. That ties him with Lew Ford and Bryan Sabatella for the longest hitting streak by a Duck this season. During the streak, the former Major Leaguer is batting .389 (21-for-54) with three homers, 13 RBI and eight runs scored. He also has seven multi-hit games during the streak and 15 multi-hit contests in 28 games with the Ducks this year.

Reegie Rakes: Reegie Corona has now hit safely in 10 consecutive games after picking up a triple on Monday. During the streak, the infielder has a .436 batting average (17-for-39) with five doubles, one triple, one homer, six RBI and seven runs. The triple was his fifth of the season, which leads the Flock and is tied for second in the Atlantic League behind Bridgeport’s Welington Dotel (eight).

Productive Outs: The Ducks tallied three sacrifice flies on Monday. That brings their season total up to 24, which is tied with Southern Maryland for the league lead. Delta Cleary, Jr. earned his forth sac fly, while Jon Griffin picked up his third and Mike Blanke collected his second. Dan Lyons leads the team with five.

Swing and a Miss: Ian Marshall set a personal season high with seven strikeouts in Monday’s game. His previous high this year was five, done five different times, most recently on July 3 against Somerset. Ducks starting pitchers have now struck out 24 batters in 24 and two-thirds innings in the second half. Long Island’s pitching staff currently leads the Atlantic League with 590 strikeouts in 2015.

Duck Debuts: Steve McQuail made his Ducks debut during the continuation of a suspended game from May 18 and went 1-for-2 at the plate. The Wantagh native is making his first appearance in the Atlantic League. He spent time earlier this year in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and with Schaumburg in the independent Frontier League. Left-hander Darin Downs will make his Ducks debut on the mound tonight. The 30-year-old has three seasons of Major League experience (2012-14) and began 2015 with the Fresno Grizzlies (AAA, Astros).

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Live streaming  audio will be available online 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:

Ducks

#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#22 Blake Davis – LF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#23 Darin Downs – LHP

Barnstormers

#31 Brian Cavazos-Galvez – RF
#8 Zach Collier – CF
#22 Kent Matthes – LF
#35 Mike McDade – 1B
#21 Kevin Rivers – DH
#11 Luke Hughes- 2B
#7 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#19 Anderson Feliz – 3B
#2 Tyler Wagner – C

#9 Shunsuke Watanabe – RHP

Check back here for updates all game long from Clipper Magazine Stadium as the Ducks continue their four-game series against the Lancaster Barnstormers! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (7:12): MID 1: Randy Ruiz with another RBI! A double to left scores one and the Ducks lead 1-0!

UPDATE (8:10): TOP 4: Ducks still lead 1-0! Batting here in the fourth.

UPDATE (8:59): MID 7: Ducks tack on two more thanks to RBI doubles from Mike Blanke and Dan Lyons! 3-0 Flock!

UPDATE (9:32): MID 9: Ducks add two more on a two-run single from Bryan Sabatella! 5-0 LI!

UPDATE (9:38): FINAL: Ducks win!!! 5-0 is the final, Bruce Kern is masterful and gets the win! Darin Downs with a very successful Ducks debut as well!

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

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