Game 106: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs

Blanke

For a second straight night, Long Island and Southern Maryland battled it out with the bats, and, for the second straight night, it was the Ducks picking up the win. The Flock won their fifth straight contest, defeating the Crabs 8-6 at Bethpage Ballpark. Long Island, now just two games back of Bridgeport and Southern Maryland who are tied for first in the Liberty Division, will try to complete the sweep of the Blue Crabs on an historic day at the Duck Pond on Sunday.

Both teams traded runs throughout the game, starting in the first frame. Ducks starter Bruce Kern allowed a run in the first on a RBI groundout from Casey Stevenson. But, as they have all series, the Ducks responded in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs. Sean Burroughs smacked a RBI double and Cody Puckett made it 2-1 Ducks one batter later with a RBI single. One inning later, Ryan Gebhardt’s sacrifice fly made it a two-run ballgame. Gebhardt was playing in his first game as a Duck after joining the team earlier in the day, also starting at second base. Southern Maryland got that run back in the third on Gustavo Molina’s RBI single. In the fifth, the Crabs retook the lead 4-3 when Jovan Rosa hit a long two-run homer over the wall in left field. Both squads continued to trade runs through the eighth inning. At that point, the score was once again in favor of Long Island, 8-6. Three runs in the sixth put the Flock back in front. After his walk-off hit the night before, Mike Blanke hit a two-run homer to give Long Island the lead. Gebhardt then came through with his second sacrifice fly of the game to complete the frame. The Crabs put up one run in the seventh and eighth but the Ducks responded both times. Burroughs’ sacrifice fly and Fehlandt Lentini’s RBI double completed the offensive output for the Flock in the ballgame. Ryan Kussmaul struck out two batters to end the top of the eighth, setting up Amalio Diaz for the save in the ninth.

Dan Lyons continued his incredible season with another pair of hits and two runs scored in the win. Anthony Vega also continued to play well since his return to the team about a week ago, putting together three hits and scoring three times in the victory. Burroughs and Puckett each finished with a pair of hits as well. Nick Struck earned the win for Long Island, improving to 4-3 on the season. The righty threw a scoreless inning of relief in the sixth. The loss went to Southern Maryland starter Brian Grening.

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

CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, Nick Struck, and Sean Burroughs

CLICK HERE to view Saturday’s box score

History will be made once again at Bethpage Ballpark on Sunday evening prior to first pitch! Ducks legend Ray Navarrete will be recognized during a special pre-game ceremony that is slated to begin at approximately 4:40 p.m. Fans will be treated to highlights recapping some of the memorable moments in the 37-year-old’s career as well as a speech from Navarrete himself. The Seton Hall University alum will also be presented with a memento from this historic celebration, and his retired #16 will be unveiled at Bethpage Ballpark. Ducks broadcaster Chris King will emcee the ceremonies. The New Jersey native spent eight seasons with the Ducks (2006-13), the most by any player in franchise history. He currently is the team’s all-time leader in hits (963), home runs (137), runs batted in (548), runs scored (599), doubles (245) and games played (863). In addition, he is the all-time Atlantic League leader in both doubles (264) and runs scored (635) while ranking second in hits (1031), RBI (578), games played (939) and at bats (3,634).

Following the festivities, Ian Marshall will get the start for the Ducks in the series finale. Marshall enters Sunday with 19 starts in 2015, throwing 114 innings this season. He is 5-6 and will be facing his former team in game four. The righty has allowed 49 runs (42 earned) on 102 hits while walking 43 and striking out 72. His previous start came on August 11 at Bethpage Ballpark against the Camden Riversharks. The 28-year-old fired seven innings and allowed just one run on four hits to pick up his fifth win.

The Blue Crabs try to avoid the sweep with Brian Burres starting on Sunday. Burres is 6-7 with a 4.01 ERA through 20 appearances (17 starts). The southpaw has surrendered 52 runs (45 earned) on 106 hits in 101 innings this season, while walking 32 and striking out 77. The former big leaguer last started on August 11 as well, earning a “W” in a 6-5 victory over the Bridgeport Bluefish. The Oregon native threw five innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits while walking and striking out three for the win.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

The Faithful Flock: Saturday’s crowd of 7,298 was the Ducks’ second-largest of the year and sixth-largest all-time. The only crowd larger was on July 4 when 7,443 saw the Ducks defeat the Somerset Patriots 6-5. The Ducks have now welcomed nine sold out crowds this season and 648 sellouts all-time, which is an Atlantic League record. In addition, a league record 6,574,349 fans have come through the gates of Bethpage Ballpark since the inaugural 2000 season. The Ducks now lead the Atlantic League in average attendance for 2015 at 5,249.

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Tonight marks the 149th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Blue Crabs. Southern Maryland currently leads the series 77-71, but the Ducks have a 42-38 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight is also the 12th of 20 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Ducks currently lead the series nine games to two and have won seven in a row, all at home.

Dan’s the Man: Dan Lyons collected two more hits on Saturday and has now reached base safely in 21 of his last 22 games dating back to July 23. He’s batting .370 (30-for-81) in that span. The shortstop now has 15 two-hit games in 2015 and 24 multi-hit contests overall. He has hit safely and scored at least one run in eight consecutive games. In addition, he has earned multiple hits in three of his last four games and is batting .426 during the month of August.

Cody’s Crushing It: Cody Puckett picked up two more hits on Saturday and extended his hitting streak to 12 consecutive games. During the streak, he is batting .340 (17-for-50) with three doubles, one homer, seven RBI and six runs scored. Dating back to July 23, the infielder has earned hits in 20 of his last 22 games. Saturday was his 23rd two-hit game of 2015 and 30th multi-hit contest

Three’s Company: Anthony Vega earned multiple hits for the third straight game on Saturday. He is now batting .636 (7-for-11) with one homer, three RBI and four runs scored in the series. It was the Patchogue resident’s first three-hit game with the Flock and fourth multi-hit contest. Vega had two three-hit games while playing with the Blue Crabs earlier this season.

Welcome to the Flock: Ryan Gebhardt made his Ducks debut on Saturday night and drove in two runs with a pair of sacrifice flies. The infielder began the season in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, playing with Single-A Kane County, Advanced-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile. He became the 48th different player to be used by the Ducks this season.

Oh, What a Relief He Is: Amalio Diaz pitched another scoreless inning in the ninth on Saturday. The right-hander has now given up just one run over his last 12 games (11.1 innings pitched), good for a 0.79 ERA. In that span, he’s allowed only six hits and two walks while striking out 14 batters. Diaz has struck out at least one batter in 38 of his 47 games pitched this season and 57 batters total.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Ducks

#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#25 Sean Burroughs – DH
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#40 Steve McQuail – 1B
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#39 Nelfi Zapata – C
#11 Ryan Gebhardt – 2B

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

Blue Crabs

#3 Antone DeJesus – CF
#24 Casey Stevenson – 2B
#29 Zach Wilson – 1B
#36 Jovan Rosa – LF
#23 Gustavo Molina – DH
#8 Craig Maddox – C
#4 Casey Frawley – SS
#9 Tyler Wagner – RF
#7 Grant Zawadzki – 3B

#12 Brian Burres – LHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the evening, as the Ducks complete their four-game series with the Blue Crabs! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (5:38): TOP 1: We are underway from the Duck Pond! LI going for the sweep in game four!

UPDATE (5:43): TOP 1: Jovan Rosa’s two-run homer puts Southern Maryland ahead 2-0.

UPDATE (5:54): BOT 1: Sean Burroughs hits a RBI single to left! 2-1 Blue Crabs.

UPDATE (5:57): BOT 1: Cody Puckett with a RBI single of his own, tie game 2-2!

UPDATE (6:04): BOT 1: Nelfi Zapata gets HBP with the bases loaded to bring in a run, 3-2 Ducks!

UPDATE (6:18): TOP 2: A passed ball scores a run for the Crabs, who tie the game 3-3.

UPDATE (6:29): BOT 2: Sean Burroughs’ second RBI single of the game puts the Ducks up 4-3!

UPDATE (6:56): TOP 4: Grant Zawadzki’s RBI double ties the game 4-4.

UPDATE (7:09): BOT 4: RBI groundout for Cody Puckett and a sacrifice fly for Steve McQuail! 6-4 Ducks!

UPDATE (8:07): BOT 6: Nelfi Zapata’s RBI double makes it 7-4 Ducks!

UPDATE (8:22): TOP 7: Grant Zawadzki’s sacrifice fly to right makes it 7-5 in favor of the Ducks.

UPDATE (9:05): FINAL: On day of Ray Navarrete’s jersey retirement, the Ducks get 16 hits en route to a 7-5 victory! Six straight wins for the Flock!

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Posted on August 16, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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