Game 89: Ducks vs. Patriots

Lentini

Wednesday brought another tough night for the Ducks, as they dropped their series opener to the Somerset Patriots in a 3-2 final. Long Island’s offense struggled yet again, as the team went scoreless until the eighth inning. The Flock currently sit six games out of first place in the second half Liberty Division standings. The Patriots are one half game back of the first-place Bridgeport Bluefish.

Somerset put up their first runs in the third frame against Ducks starter Bruce Kern. Kern, who had allowed just two home runs all season through 47 innings prior to the contest, gave up a pair of solo shots in the third to Jonny Tucker and Aharon Eggleston. Somerset hurler Sean Bierman stifled the Ducks offense through seven strong innings of work. He did not allow a run on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Despite the two homers, Kern finished with a quality outing. The righty allowed two runs on five hits without walking a batter and striking out eight in six innings. However, the Pats struck for another run in the seventh when Michael Burgess hit a solo homer of his own off of Ducks reliever Patrick Crider to make it 3-0 Somerset. Long Island finally got on the board in the eighth with a pair of runs. After a Dan Lyons triple scored Jon Griffin, Fehlandt Lentini, in his return to the Ducks, plated Lyons on a RBI infield single. Despite cutting the lead to one run, the Flock could not respond and tie the game in the ninth, suffering their 11th loss of the second half.

Lentini and Delta Cleary, Jr. each finished with a pair of hits for the Ducks. The only other starters to tally a hit were Lyons and Cody Puckett, for a total of six as a team. Long Island is hitting .229 as a team in their last 10 games, having scored 26 runs across that span. Kern suffered the tough loss to fall to 5-2 on the season. Bierman improved to 10-2 and lowered his ERA to 1.79. Jon Hunton also tied Ducks closer Ryan Kussmaul for the league lead in saves with 24.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from the series opener

CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez and Dan Lyons

CLICK HERE to view Tuesday’s box score

The Ducks will try to snap their four-game skid on Wednesday night by sending Ian Marshall to the hill. Marshall enters game two of three at 4-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 16 starts. In 95 innings of work, the righty has allowed 43 runs (37 earned) on 86 hits while walking 35 and striking out 59. In his last start, Marshall won for the first time in eight outings as the Ducks defeated the York Revolution 5-2 at Bethpage Ballpark. The 2015 All-Star allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out five Revs.

Somerset looks to guarantee a win of the series with Lucas Irvine getting the ball in the middle contest. Irvine is currently 5-5 with a 2.57 ERA through 16 starts as well. The right-hander has surrendered 29 runs (26 earned) on 90 hits in 91 innings of work in 2015. Irvine was also named a 2015 All-Star, and has pitched well of late. In his last four starts, the 26-year-old has tossed 24 and one-third innings and allowed eight runs on 29 hits with nine walks and 25 strikeouts.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Patriots: Tonight marks the 300th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Patriots. Somerset leads the series 151-148, but Long Island has a 79-74 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight also marks the 15th of 20 scheduled games between the two in 2015. The series is currently tied at seven, and 12 of the first 14 meetings have been decided by three runs or less. Both teams are scheduled to play 12 games against each other this month.

Home Cooking: Despite Tuesday’s loss, the Ducks still sport a home record of 31-12 this season. Their .721 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 .299 batting average and 3.15 ERA at home. Comparatively, they have a .261 batting average and a 3.29 ERA away from Bethpage Ballpark.

Strikeout Artist: Bruce Kern tied a season high by striking out eight batters in Tuesdays’ game. He also struck out eight in his last start, a 9-4 win over the Patriots on July 5 at Bethpage Ballpark. In four starts with the Flock, the Long Island native has compiled a 2.70 ERA, yielding six earned runs in 20 innings. In that span, he has surrendered just 15 hits and two walks while striking out 18.

Three’s Company: Dan Lyons picked up a triple for the second straight game, doing so again in the eighth inning on Tuesday. He also tripled in the eighth on Sunday at Bridgeport. Lyons is now tied with Reegie Corona for the team-lead and is tied for third in the Atlantic League in triples with five. Last year, the shortstop led the Flock and was tied for fifth in the league with seven three-baggers.

Oh, What a Relief He Is: J.C. Romero tossed another scoreless inning of relief in the eighth inning on Tuesday. He has now made seven consecutive scoreless appearances out of the bullpen. In that span, he has given up three hits and six walks while striking out four. The former big leaguer has allowed only two runs in 10 and two-thirds innings thus far with the Ducks (1.69 ERA).

Like He Never Left: In his first game back with the Ducks this season, Fehlandt Lentini collected two hits and a run batted in. Last year, the California native led the Ducks with 37 two-hit games and finished the season with 49 multi-hit games overall. Lentini totaled 63 runs batted in as well, which ranked fourth on the Flock. In 2014, the outfielder ranked first in the Atlantic League in at bats (593) and stolen base percentage (1.000), second in hits (172) and stolen bases (46), third in runs (96) and games played (137) and fourth in doubles (36).

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

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

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

Patriots

#5 Ollie Linton – CF
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#8 David Vidal – 1B
#39 Michael Burgess – RF
#20 Greg Hopkins – 3B
#9 Mat Gamel – DH
#13 Robert Andino – SS
#3 Nate Spears – 2B
#4 James Skelton – C

#16 Lucas Irvine – RHP

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

UPDATE (6:35): TOP 1: Ian Marshall fires a first-pitch strike and we are underway from Bethpage Ballpark! Game two of three with the Pats!

UPDATE (6:41): TOP 1: A RBI double from Michael Burgess puts Somerset up 1-0.

UPDATE (7:13): TOP 3: Aharon Eggleston’s RBI double makes it 2-0 Pats.

UPDATE (8:20): BOT 6: Blake Davis with a two-run double! Tie ballgame, 2-2!

UPDATE (8:45): BOT 7: Randy Ruiz! His go-ahead solo homer to deep left-center makes it 3-2 Ducks!

UPDATE (9:14): BOT 8: Ducks add an insurance run on a wild pitch! 4-2 Long Island, runner on second with no one out!

UPDATE (9:30): FINAL: Ducks win the middle game 4-2! Series finale tomorrow night!

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Posted on July 29, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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