Game 78: Ducks vs. Patriots
Although they dropped their series finale in Lancaster, it was a winning road trip for the Ducks. The team went 4-3 in Somerset and Lancaster, but fell in the final game of the trip, 8-1. Long Island split their series with the Barnstormers, and currently sit at 50 wins on the season. The team now opens up a three-game series with the Somerset Patriots at Bethpage Ballpark.
The Barnstormers got the scoring started from Clipper Magazine Stadium in the second inning on Thursday night. Shortstop Lance Zawadzki hit a solo homer off of Ducks starter Bobby Blevins to put the home team on top 1-0. Blevins would make it through six innings for the Flock, but ended up allowing 10 hits and seven runs (six earned). He did not walk a batter and struck out seven. Lancaster put up at least one runs in six of the eight innings they came to the plate, including five straight frames from innings two to six. Blevins was saddled with the loss for the Ducks and is now 1-1 on the season. The lone Ducks run came in the fifth frame on Steve McQuail’s solo homer. McQuail started his first game with Long Island, playing in right field and hitting his first home run with the team.
The Flock finished with seven hits as a team. Delta Cleary, Jr. had a pair of hits in the leadoff spot. Ray Hanson moved to 1-0 for Lancaster with the win. Catcher Dan Coury also made his Ducks debut in the contest. Ducks reliever Frank DeJiulio, Jr. continued his solid pitching with a scoreless seventh inning.
CLICK HERE for Thursday’s box score
The Ducks will now open their home series with Billy Buckner on the mound. The righty enters at 6-1 with a 5.10 ERA through nine starts. Through 42 and one-third innings, the former big leaguer has allowed 24 runs on 51 hits while walking 21 and striking out 41. In all but one of his starts, Buckner has received at least six runs of support. Long Island has won seven of the nine games Buckner has started. His last start came on July 12 in New Jersey against the Patriots. It was the Georgia native’s best start of the year, as he allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts in six innings.
Randy Boone will take the ball for the Pats. Boone is 4-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 14 starts for Somerset. He has allowed 32 runs (27 earned) on 75 hits in 87 and two-thirds innings. He has walked 12 and struck out 47. The righty’s two previous starts have come against the Ducks on July 4 and July 12. He is 0-1 in the two outings, having allowed eight runs on 17 hits in 12 innings. Boone also started in Central Islip on May 27, a 7-6 Ducks win.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Patriots: Tonight marks the 296th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Patriots. Somerset leads the series 148-147, but the Ducks have a 78-71 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight also marks the 11th of 20 scheduled games between the two in 2015. The Ducks lead the series six games to four. Eight of the first 10 meetings have been decided by three runs or less. Both teams are facing each other for the second straight weekend and are scheduled play a total of 12 games against one another during the month of July.
Randy’s Dandy: Randy Ruiz extended his hitting streak to 16 consecutive games with a single on Thursday. That is the longest active hitting streak in the Atlantic League and second-longest this season (17, Chris Marrero, Somerset). During the streak, the former Major Leaguer is batting .373 (25-for-67) with three homers, 14 RBI and eight runs scored. He also has six multi-hit games in his last nine contests overall and 17 multi-hit games with the Ducks this year.
Oh, What a Relief He Is: Frank DeJiulio, Jr. tossed another scoreless inning of relief on Thursday. The righty has now made nine straight appearances without allowing an earned run. The only run he gave up was an unearned tally on June 26 at Sugar Land. In his last nine games, the 25-year-old has yielded six hits and two walks while striking out eight in eight and one-third innings.
Duck Debuts: Steve McQuail and Dan Coury both made their first start as a member of the Ducks on Thursday. McQuail’s solo home run in the fifth inning was his first as a member of the Flock, and Coury finished 0-for-3 with a hit by pitch. McQuail, a native of Wantagh, N.Y., is making his Atlantic League debut in 2015. Coury began the season with the Barnstormers, playing in 29 games.
Two for the Show: Delta Cleary, Jr. earned a pair of hits on Thursday, the only Duck with a multi-hit game in the contest. He has now totaled eight two-hit games this season. The first-year Duck has a total of nine multi-hit contests in 2015. Lew Ford leads the Flock with 26 two-hit games and 34 multi-hit contests this year.
Plucked from the Flock: Infielder Reegie Corona was signed on Thursday by the Washington Nationals organization and reported to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators of the Eastern League. He becomes the fourth Duck signed by an MLB or foreign organization this month (Mickey Jannis, Mets; Andrew Barbosa, Braves and Lew Ford, Mexico). He is also the ninth Duck to be signed this year and second to report to Harrisburg (Hector Ambriz).
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. Michael Polak and David Weiss 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. – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#40 Steve McQuail – LF
#11 Blake Davis – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#29 Billy Buckner – RHP
#14 Vinny Zarrillo – CF
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#8 David Vidal – 1B
#39 Michael Burgess – RF
#20 Greg Hopkins – 3B
#9 Mat Gamel – DH
#3 Nate Spears – 2B
#13 Robert Andino – SS
#4 James Skelton – C
#36 Randy Boone – RHP
Keep it here for updates all game long from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks open a three-game set with Somerset! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (6:40): TOP 1: Billy Buckner takes the mound and we are underway from the Duck Pond! A beautiful night for some baseball!
UPDATE (6:55): TOP 2: Pats take a 1-0 lead on Mat Gamel’s solo homer.
UPDATE (7:01): BOT 2: Jon Griffin goes deep! 1-1 game, Griffin now tied for the league lead in HR with 11 on the season!
UPDATE (7:10): TOP 3: Pats go back on top 2-1 on Aharon Eggleston’s sacrifice fly to center.
UPDATE (7:54): BOT 5: Ducks go on top 3-2! Steve McQuail with the two-run shot to left field! His second HR in as many days!
UPDATE (8:27): MID 7: Ducks still lead 3-2, coming to bat in the seventh! Three runs on five hits for the Flock with two HR.
UPDATE (9:04): FINAL: Ducks win!!! They take the series opener in a 3-2 final, Ryan Kussmaul earns his league leading 22nd save of the season!
Posted on July 17, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Baseball, Bethpage Ballpark, Bobby Blevins, Lancaster Barnstormers, Long Island Ducks, Somerset Patriots, Steve McQuail. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.