Game 88: Ducks vs. Patriots
The Ducks were swept for just the second time all season this past weekend, with both sweeps coming at the hands of the Bridgeport Bluefish at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. It was a difficult three-game set for the Flock, capped off by a walkoff Bridgeport win on Sunday evening. The Ducks managed six runs in the series, including one in the finale, a 2-1 loss. Long Island returns home to Bethpage Ballpark (where they are 31-11) to open another three-game set, this time against the Somerset Patriots.
The Ducks allowed a run to the Bluefish in the first inning for the third straight game. In the finale, it was a Josh Prince solo homer to left-center field off of Ducks starter Bobby Blevins that put the home team on top 1-0. Both offenses then went silent until the sixth when Long Island scratched out their lone run. Prentice Redman led off the frame with a double. Bluefish starter Kameron Loe then retired two batters before Delta Cleary, Jr. singled up the middle to tie the game. Despite the leadoff dinger, Blevins settled in nicely in the following innings. He made it to the sixth before being pulled with two outs. J.C. Romero secured the final out to end the inning. Donnie Veal and Amalio Diaz held Bridgeport scoreless in the seventh and eighth. Loe tossed a scoreless seventh before Scott Shuman and Steven Ames entered for the eighth and ninth. In the bottom of the last inning, Bridgeport needed just four batters to win the game against Ducks reliever Nick Struck. Struck retired the first batter he faced. Matt Wessinger then doubled and Brandon Jones was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second. Luis Rodriguez, who had grounded into a double play and struck out looking twice, stepped to the plate and delivered the walkoff hit on a bouncing ball through the left side of the infield.
Struck fell to 3-3 with the loss. Ames earned the win to move to 1-0, not allowing a hit in the ninth. Both starters took a no decision, with Blevins allowing one run on six hits in five and two-thirds innings. Loe had the same line, through seven innings. Cleary, Jr. finished with a pair of hits for the Ducks, who compiled seven as a team.
CLICK HERE to view Sunday’s box score
The Ducks will try and get back on track in their series opener against the Somerset Patriots. Bruce Kern will take the mound and make his fourth start of the year. The Long Island native is 5-1 with a 2.48 ERA. Kern has allowed 14 runs (13 earned) in 47 innings on 32 hits while walking 13 and striking out 45. The righty’s last start came against the Pats on July 5. In a 9-4 Ducks win, Kern was the victor, allowing four runs on six hits in six innings with eight strikeouts. In his last 10 and one-third innings, he has not allowed a run with three walks and eight strikeouts.
Somerset, currently 1.5 games back of Bridgeport in the second half Liberty Division standings, counters with Sean Bierman. Bierman is 9-2 with a 1.90 ERA through 16 starts on the season. The southpaw has let up 30 runs (23 earned) on 103 hits in 108 and two-thirds innings of work. He has walked 15 and struck out 53. A contact pitcher, Bierman last pitched on July 23 in Camden as Somerset defeated the Riversharks 8-2. Bierman picked up his ninth win, allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings. Batters are currently hitting .254 against him.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Patriots: Tonight marks the 299th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Patriots. Somerset leads the series 150-148, but Long Island has a 79-73 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight also marks the 14th of 20 scheduled games between the two in 2015. The Ducks lead the series seven games to six, and 11 of the first 13 meetings have been decided by three runs or less. Both teams are scheduled to play 12 games against each other this month.
Home Cooking: The Ducks currently sport a home record of 31-11 this season. Their .738 home winning percentage is currently the best in the Atlantic League. Somerset ranks second at .681 (32-15). As a team, the Ducks have a .301 batting average and 3.15 ERA at home. Comparatively, they have a .261 batting average and a 3.29 ERA away from Bethpage Ballpark.
Sabatella’s Streaking: Bryan Sabatella collected a single on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to eight games. It’s the second time this season that the Long Islander has earned hits in eight or more consecutive games. He previously hit safely in eight straight games from June 21-29 and in 13 straight from June 2-17.
Three’s Company: Dan Lyons collected his fourth triple of the year in the eighth inning on Sunday. He is second on the team in three-baggers this year, trailing Reegie Corona by one. As a team, the Ducks have compiled 16 triples in 2015, which ranks fourth in the Atlantic League.
Oh, What a Relief He Is: Amalio Diaz worked another scoreless eighth inning on Sunday. The right-hander has now gone five straight games without allowing a run, and he has given up just two runs over his last 22 appearances. In that span, the 28-year-old has posted a 0.75 ERA and has yielded just 12 hits and one walk over 24 innings while striking out 29 batters.
I’ll Have the Veal: Donnie Veal struck out the side for a second straight outing on Sunday. He also struck out the side in Friday’s game at Bridgeport. Since joining the Flock, the former big leaguer has collected nine strikeouts in just six innings of work. In addition, he has given up just one run on four hits and a walk.
Starter Success: Bruce Kern will make his fourth start of 2015 tonight. In his first three, the Yaphank resident is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA, allowing four earned runs in 14 innings. He has given up just 10 hits and two walks as well with 10 strikeouts. Kern earned the win in his last start (July 5), which was also against Somerset.
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:
#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#44 Bryan Sabatella – DH
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#40 Steve McQuail – LF
#11 Blake Davis – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#30 Bruce Kern – RHP
#5 Ollie Linton – RF
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#24 Thomas Neal – 1B
#8 David Vidal – C
#39 Michael Burgess – DH
#20 Greg Hopkins – 3B
#13 Robert Andino – SS
#3 Nate Spears – 2B
#6 Johnny Tucker – CF
#32 Sean Bierman – LHP
Check back here for updates all game long from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks and Patriots open their three-game set! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (6:38): TOP 1: Bruce Kern kicks and fires and we are underway from the Duck Pond! Series opener against the Patriots!
UPDATE (7:07): TOP 3: Pats go up 1-0 on a solo homer from Johnny Tucker.
UPDATE (7:10): TOP 3: Aharon Eggleston’s solo shot makes it 2-0 Somerset.
UPDATE (8:03): TOP 7: Patrick Crider in to replace Bruce Kern as Ducks still trail 2-0.
UPDATE (8:07): TOP 7: Michael Burgess with a solo homer to right. 3-0 Patriots.
UPDATE (8:40): BOT 8: Dan Lyons with a RBI triple in the gap! Ducks get on the board, 3-1 Pats.
UPDATE (8:43): BOT 8: Welcome back Fehlandt Lentini! His RBI infield single makes it 3-2!
UPDATE (8:59): MID 9: Ducks still trail 3-2. One more shot for the Flock! Cleary, Jr., Blanke, and Puckett due up!
UPDATE (9:05): FINAL: Ducks drop their series opener 3-2.
Posted on July 28, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Atlantic League, Baseball, Bethpage Ballpark, Bridgeport Bluefish, Bruce Kern, Donnie Veal, Ducks, Long Island, Somerset Patriots, Suffolk County. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.