Game 90: Ducks vs. Patriots

Ruiz

They didn’t lead in the game until the seventh inning, but the Ducks emerged from Wednesday night’s game with a 4-2 win over the Somerset Patriots in come-from-behind fashion. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for Long Island, who now sit five games back of first place Bridgeport in the Liberty Division with an 8-11 second-half record. A win tonight would secure the Ducks a series victory over the Pats and a 8-7 lead in the season series between the clubs.

The trend of Long Island pitching allowing a run in the first inning continued on Wednesday, as starter Ian Marshall surrendered a RBI double to Michael Burgess to put the Patriots on top 1-0. The ball was hit high in the air to left, but Bryan Sabatella could not get a read on the fly ball, allowing it to fall to the grass despite a diving effort. The play was officially ruled a hit. Yesterday was also Sabatella’s first start in left field this season. Somerset extended the lead to 2-0 in the third on Aharon Eggleston’s RBI double, but would not score again the rest of the contest. The Ducks began their comeback in the sixth. With the bases loaded, Blake Davis came up clutch, smacking a game-tying two-run ground rule double to deep left-center field off of starter Lucas Irvine to score Randy Ruiz and Cody Puckett. In the seventh, Ruiz broke the tie by launching his seventh homer of the season to deep left-center as well, putting Long Island in front, 3-2. The Flock added an insurance run on a run-scoring wild pitch one inning later and closer Ryan Kussmaul secured the “W” in the ninth with his league-leading 25th save.

Offensively, the Ducks scored four runs but broke out for 14 hits as a team. Sabatella and Fehlandt Lentini each finished with three hits apiece. Puckett and Mike Blanke had a pair of hits apiece as well. Every starter finished with at least one hit except for Delta Cleary, Jr. Marshall took a no decision, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits in six innings with three walks and strikeouts. Donnie Veal earned the win, pitching a scoreless seventh frame before Amalio Diaz and Kussmaul tossed the eighth and ninth, respectively.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from the middle game of three

CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, Ian Marshall, and Fehlandt Lentini

CLICK HERE to view Wednesday’s box score

Long Island tries to take their final home series against Somerset on Thursday night with Darin Downs on the hill. Downs has made three starts since joining the Ducks in mid-July, and is currently 0-2 with a 3.95 ERA. The lefty has allowed six runs on 10 hits in 13 and two-thirds innings with six walks and 10 strikeouts. Downs has lost his last two starts, facing the Patriots at Bethpage Ballpark on July 19. The Pats defeated the Ducks 2-1 while Downs suffered the loss. The former big leaguer surrendered two runs on four hits in five innings while walking and striking out four.

The Patriots also look for a series win with R.J. Seidel taking the ball in the series finale. The right-hander has pitched in 23 games for the Pats this season, but has only made five starts. He has allowed 14 runs (13 earned) on 45 hits in 39 innings of work, while walking nine and striking out 39. Seidel has allowed at least one run in five of his last six outings. During that span, he has pitched a combined 12 innings, allowing eight runs on 17 hits. Seidel has experience in the Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies organizations, including the Triple-A level. He spent time at the Triple-A level last season.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Patriots: Tonight marks the 301st all-time meeting between the Ducks and Patriots. Somerset leads the series 151-149, but Long Island has a 80-74 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight also marks the 16th of 20 scheduled games between the two in 2015. The Ducks currently lead the series eight to seven, and 13 of the first 15 meetings have been decided by three runs or less. Tonight is the last of 12 games between the two teams this month.

Home Cooking: Wednesday’s victory improved the Ducks’ home record to 32-12 this season. Their .727 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 3.10 ERA at home. Comparatively, they have a .261 batting average and a 3.29 ERA away from Bethpage Ballpark.

Punishing the Patriots: Randy Ruiz’s solo home run in the seventh inning on Wednesday was his seventh of the season. Four of his seven longballs have come against the Patriots, which leads the Flock. The Ducks have now hit 17 of their 58 home runs this season against Somerset, more than against any other Atlantic League team. Their second-highest total is 13, which they have totaled against the Bridgeport Bluefish.

Starter Success: Ian Marshall turned in his second straight quality start on Wednesday with six innings of two-run ball (one earned). He’s allowed just three earned runs in 12 innings over his last two starts (2.25 ERA). Ducks starters have combined to yield only six earned runs in 24.2 innings over the last four games (2.19 ERA). They’ve yielded 25 hits and seven walks while striking out 23.

Three’s Company: Bryan Sabatella and Fehlandt Lentini each collected three hits in Wednesday’s game. For Sabatella, it was his sixth three-hit game of the year, which is the second-highest total on the team. The Aquebogue resident now has a total of 29 multi-hit games this season. Lentini has picked up back-to-back multi-hit games after earning two hits on Tuesday. Last year, the California native totaled eight three-hit games and 49 multi-hit contests.

Oh, What a Relief He Is: Amalio Diaz worked another scoreless eighth inning on Wednesday. The right-hander has now gone six straight games without allowing a run, and he has given up just two runs over his last 23 appearances. In that span, the 28-year-old has posted a 0.72 ERA and has yielded just 13 hits and one walk over 25 innings while striking out 29 batters.

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. Chris Buckley 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:

Ducks

#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#50 Randy Ruiz – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#44 Bryan Sabatella – LF
#40 Steve McQuail – DH
#26 Dan Coury – C
#11 Blake Davis – 2B

#23 Darin Downs – LHP

Patriots

#24 Thomas Neal – DH
#14 Vinny Zarrillo – LF
#8 David Vidal – 1B
#39 Michael Burgess – RF
#20 Greg Hopkins – 3B
#13 Robert Andino – SS
#3 Nate Spears – 2B
#6 Jonny Tucker – CF
#21 Adam Donachie – C

#38 R.J. Seidel – RHP

Keep it here for updates all game long from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks try and close out their three-game set with a series win! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (7:51): MID 1: A scoreless top of the frame for Darin Downs! Ducks coming up to bat!

UPDATE (8:04): BOT 1: Delta Cleary, Jr. brings in a run on a groundout to second! 1-0 Ducks!

UPDATE (8:34): MID 3: Somerset goes ahead 3-1 with three runs in the top of the inning.

UPDATE (8:58): MID 4: The Pats put up three more runs and lead 6-1.

UPDATE (9:21): MID 5: Somerset goes up 7-1 with a solo homer from David Vidal.

UPDATE (10:09): BOT 7: The Ducks put up a run on a run-scoring wild pitch! 7-2 Pats.

UPDATE (11:20): FINAL: Ducks scratch out a run in the ninth but fall short, 7-3.

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Posted on July 30, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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