Game 94: Ducks vs. Bluefish
Long Island earned its first win of a four-game set with Bridgeport on Sunday evening in a 4-3 final. Every Ducks run came via the longball, as the Flock pounded three homers to earn the victory. However, the Somerset Patriots also lost on Sunday, keeping the ‘Fish in first place by a ½ game. Long Island tries to earn a split of their series with the Bluefish with a win on Sunday, Camp Day at the Duck Pond.
Both sides went scoreless in the first inning, but the Ducks broke through in the second thanks to Jon Griffin. The first baseman smacked a two-run homer to deep right-center field, giving the Ducks the 2-0 lead. Griffin is now tied with Chris Wallace of Sugar Land for the league lead in home runs at 13. He also has 56 RBI on the season. Dan Lyons then hit his first of two homers on the day in the third inning, a solo shot to make it a 3-0 ballgame. On the mound, Ducks starter Rich Hill cruised through five innings without allowing a hit. The former big league southpaw was simply dominant, blowing fastball after fastball past Bluefish batters. He exited after the fifth without allowing a hit, walking one, and striking out seven. J.C. Romero and Nick Struck held the Bluefish hitless in the sixth and seventh innings. Lyons added another solo shot in the sixth as well, making it 4-0 Ducks.
However, Bridgeport finally broke through in the eighth. With two outs, the team got its first hit on a Luis Al. Rodriguez single up the middle into center, breaking up the combined no-hit bid by Long Island. Donnie Veal further struggled in the inning when he walked a run in, making it 4-1 Ducks. In the ninth, closer Ryan Kussmaul was brought in to end the game, but was roughed up for two runs on two hits without recording an out. However, Patrick Crider stopped the bleeding by securing three straight outs and giving the Ducks the 4-3 win.
The Ducks will now send Bruce Kern to the hill in hopes of earning a split of the series. A win would also put Long Island just one game back in the 2015 Ferry Cup Series, which Bridgeport currently leads 11 games to nine. Kern, who has started and relieved this season, enters the early contest at 5-2 with a 2.55 ERA. In four starts, he has allowed 16 runs (15 earned) on 37 hits in 53 innings of work while walking 13 and striking out 53. Batters are hitting just .196 against the Long Island native. Kern’s last outing/start came on July 28 in Central Islip against the Somerset Patriots. Kern took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out eight.
Bridgeport tries to take the series with Cody Scarpetta getting the ball. The righty is 1-1 with a 2.02 ERA in four starts this season (seven appearances). In 22 and one-third innings, the 26-year-old has allowed six runs (five earned) on 13 hits. He has walked 14 and struck out 23. Scarpetta has thrown a combined five and one-third innings against the Ducks in 2015 across two appearances. He has surrendered one run on five hits while walking one and striking out three for one loss and no wins.
Here are today’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Bluefish: Today marks the 306th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish. The Bluefish currently lead the series 154-151, but the Ducks hold an 85-69 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. It is also the 21st of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. Bridgeport lead the series 11 to nine. This year marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series. The Ducks have won the Cup in four of the first six years, including each of the last two.
Home Cooking: Sunday’s victory improved the Ducks’ home record this season to 33-15. Their .688 home winning percentage is currently the best in the Atlantic League. Somerset is second at .681 (32-15. As a team, the Ducks have a .297 batting average and 3.24 ERA at home. Comparatively, they have a .261 batting average and a 3.29 ERA away from Bethpage Ballpark.
Flirting With History: On Sunday, the Ducks came within four outs of a no-hitter for the second time this season. Rich Hill, J.C. Romero, Nick Struck and Donnie Veal combined to allow no hits and just two walks in the first seven and two-thirds innings before a single from Luis Rodriguez ended the bid. Previously, Mickey Jannis tossed seven and two-thirds innings of no-hit baseball on June 2 before conceding an infield single to Wilson Valdez.
Strikeout Artists: Ducks pitchers combined to strike out nine more Bluefish batters in Sunday’s game and have now struck out 27 batters in three game this series. Hill struck out seven, while Veal and Patrick Crider each added one. As a pitching staff, the Ducks have struck out a league-high 747 batters in 2015. That’s 79 more than any other team in the Atlantic League (Lancaster, 668).
Dan’s the Man: Dan Lyons became the fifth Duck this season to pick up a multi-homer game when he hit two on Sunday. The last to do it was Steve McQuail on July 18 against Somerset. Lew Ford, Jon Griffin and Cody Puckett are the others to hit multiple homers in a game this year. The shortstop now has eight home runs in 2015, which is a new career-high. His previous high was seven, done in 2008 combined between Single-A Hagerstown and Advanced-A Potomac.
Griffin Goes Yard: Jon Griffin launched his team-leading 13th home run of the season on Sunday. He is now tied with Chris Wallace of the Skeeters for the Atlantic League lead in home runs. The first baseman has hit four homers against the Bluefish in 2015, tied with Lyons for the team lead. As a team, the Ducks have 61 longballs, tied for second-most in the league behind Lancaster (76).
On the Air: Today’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio as the “Ducks Game of the Week.” Live streaming video and audio will be available online via the Ducks’ official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak 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 today’s starting lineups:
#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#44 Bryan Sabatella – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#40 Steve McQuail – LF
#11 Blake Davis – 2B
#30 Bruce Kern – RHP
#12 Josh Prince – SS
#6 Bryant Nelson – 2B
#19 Welington Dotel – RF
#26 John Alonso – DH
#17 Jobduan Morales – C
#22 Sean Burroughs – 1B
#25 Wilson Batista – 3B
#16 Brandon Jones – LF
#7 Ethan Chapman – CF
Keep it here for updates all game long from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks wrap up their four-game series against the Bridgeport Bluefish! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (11:04): TOP 1: Bruce Kern kicks and fires and Camp Day is underway from the Duck Pond!
UPDATE (11:46): TOP 3: Welington Dotel’s RBI double to right scores one, and the Bluefish take a 1-0 lead.
UPDATE (12:07): BOT 3: The Ducks get on the board after an error from Bluefish pitcher Cody Scarpetta! 1-1 ballgame!
UPDATE (12:08): BOT 3: 4-1 Ducks!!! Mike Blanke smashes a three-run double off the wall in left!
UPDATE (12:27): TOP 5: Bryant Nelson’s RBI double cuts the LI lead to 4-2.
UPDATE (12:37): BOT 5: Long Island answers, as Dan Lyons drives in a run with a single to right! 5-2 Ducks!
UPDATE (1:29): MID 8: Ducks still lead 5-2! The bats will try and pad the lead in the bottom of the inning!
UPDATE (2:06): FINAL: Ducks take the finale on Monday and win 5-2! LI splits the series with Bridgeport.
Posted on August 3, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Baseball, Bethpage Ballpark, Bridgeport Bluefish, Dan Lyons, Jon Griffin, Long Island Ducks, Rich Hill. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.