Game 118: Ducks at Blue Crabs
Thursday saw the Ducks reach double digits in hits yet again, en route to a 6-3 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at Regency Furniture Stadium. The team also homered twice in the victory, snapping a three-game losing streak and moving back into a three-way tie for first place with the Somerset Patriots and Bridgeport Bluefish in the Liberty Division. The Patriots lost in extra innings to the York Revolution, while the Lancaster Barnstormers routed the Bluefish. Darin Downs had a strong start on the mound, helping the Ducks win their 71st game of the 2015 season.
The Flock wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in their series opener, hitting four straight singles with one out in the first frame. Delta Cleary, Jr., Dan Lyons, Sean Burroughs, and Mike Blanke all did the damage against Daryl Thompson, with Burroughs and Blanke picking up RBI singles. With the Ducks up 2-0, Darin Downs went to work and held the Blue Crabs scoreless going into the fourth inning. At that point, Long Island had Lyons at the plate in the top of the inning. The Ducks shortstop launched his 11th homer of the year over the wall in left field, a three-run shot to put the team up 5-0. Lyons now has 64 RBI during his incredible campaign. He also came to bat with two outs in the inning immediately following an error made by third baseman Grant Zawadzki. Zawadzki made three errors in the loss for the Crabs. However, Southern Maryland did post two runs in the home half of the frame. Catcher Keith Castillo had a RBI infield single for one run before Fred Lewis pushed a bunt up the third base line with the bases loaded to plate Bryant Nelson and make it 5-2 Ducks. One inning later, Blanke stepped up for the Ducks and hit his ninth homer of the season to deep left-center for a 6-2 Ducks advantage and his second RBI of the contest. Once Downs was pulled through six innings, Nick and Struck and J.C. Romero were lights out in the seventh and eighth for the Ducks, not allowing a hit before Amalio Diaz came in for the ninth. Diaz struggled, allowing one run on three hits. The Blue Crabs had the tying run at the plate trailing 6-3, but Diaz was able to secure the win for Long Island.
Downs improved to 3-4 with the win, allowing two runs on seven hits in six innings. The lefty walked three and struck out six. Cleary, Jr., Lyons, and Cody Puckett each finished with a pair of hits, with Lyons hitting the three-run homer. Burroughs has also had a hit in 15 of his last 16 contests with the RBI single.
CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from the opener
CLICK HERE to view Thursday’s box score
Long Island will try to keep the ball rolling in game two with ace John Brownell on the hill. Brownell picked up his 10th win last time out and comes in at 10-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 21 starts. The righty has allowed 55 runs (49 earned) on 116 hits in 141 and one-third innings. He has walked 38 and struck out 113. Brownell’s last start came on August 23 at Bethpage Ballpark when the Ducks defeated the Riversharks 5-1. He allowed one run on four hits in six innings, walking and striking out three. Brownell came within one out of a complete game against the Blue Crabs at home on August 13. In a 4-1 Long Island win, he surrendered one run on four hits in eight and two-thirds. The Ducks won in each of Brownell’s last four starts, during which he is 3-0.
The Blue Crabs will try to snap a nine-game losing streak when facing the Ducks with Tim Sexton on the hill. Sexton has made 16 appearances for the Blue Crabs this season, but has made just one start, which came against the Ducks on August 14 in Central Islip. The Ducks won 7-6 as Sexton took a no decision and allowed our runs (three earned) on seven hits in four innings of work. Overall in 2015, the righty has allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on 26 hits in 20 and two-thirds innings. He does not have a decision and has pitched to a 3.92 ERA.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Tonight marks the 151st all-time meeting between the Ducks and Blue Crabs. Southern Maryland currently leads the series 77-73 and has a 39-30 advantage at Regency Furniture Stadium. Tonight is also the 14th of 20 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Ducks lead the series 11 to two and have won nine consecutive games. They have outscored Southern Maryland 59-40 during the streak and 69-48 this season.
I Can See Cleary Now: Delta Cleary, Jr. connected for two hits on Thursday and has now hit safely in 12 consecutive games. During the streak, the outfielder is batting .460 (23-for-50) with one double, one triple, two RBI and 10 runs scored. He has multiple hits in five of the 12 games and in 25 games overall. Cleary, Jr. is batting .350 (14-for-40) against the Blue Crabs this year.
Sean’s Sizzling: Sean Burroughs picked up another hit on Thursday and has now hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games, with multiple hits in 10 of them. Since joining the Ducks, he is batting .392 (29-for-74) with three doubles, one homer, 16 RBI and eight runs scored. Burroughs has at least one hit in seven straight games and has driven in at least one run in four of his last six games.
Lyons and Blanke Blast Off: Dan Lyons and Mike Blanke both hit home runs in Thursday’s win. For Lyons, it was his 11th of the season, which ranks second on the team behind Jon Griffin (13). In addition, it was his third three-run blast of the year and the team’s first three-run homer since he hit one on July 3 against Somerset. Blanke’s solo blast was his ninth of the year, good for third on the team behind Griffin and Lyons. Blanke has gone deep in two of the last three games.
Sugar, We’re Going Downs: Darin Downs tossed his second consecutive quality start on Thursday and has now made four quality starts in his last five outings. In those five starts, he is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA, allowing 12 earned runs in 32 innings of work. In that span, he has yielded 27 hits and 17 walks while striking out 24. The southpaw has lowered his ERA from 5.60 to 4.17 in the five starts.
You’ve Been Thunder-Struck: Nick Struck threw another scoreless inning out of the bullpen on Thursday. The right-hander has now made seven straight scoreless appearances in relief. During those seven outings, he has given up three hits and six walks while striking out nine in seven innings. Since the start of August, Struck has yielded just two runs in 12 innings of work (1.50 ERA).
On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Live streaming audio will also 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
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#25 Sean Burroughs – 3B
#9 Mike Blanke – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 2B
#39 Nelfi Zapata – C
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#7 John Brownell – RHP
#1 Fred Lewis – RF
#24 Casey Stevenson – 2B
#29 Zach Wilson – 1B
#6 Jamar Walton – LF
#14 Bryan Nelson – 3B
#8 Craig Maddox – DH
#4 Casey Frawley – SS
#18 Keith Castillo – C
#3 Antone DeJesus – CF
#17 Tim Sexton – RHP
Check back here for updates all game long as the Ducks and Blue Crabs continue their four-game series from Regency Furniture Stadium! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (7:12): MID 1: Underway from Southern Maryland! Blue Crabs coming up to bat in a scoreless contest.
UPDATE (7:26): BOT 1: RBI single from Bryant Nelson and it’s 1-0 Southern Maryland.
UPDATE (8:19): BOT 4: The Blue Crabs pick up one run on a RBI single from Keith Castillo and lead 2-0.
UPDATE (8:47): TOP 6: Dan Lyons with the sacrifice fly to right field! RBI for the shortstop and it’s 2-1 Crabs.
UPDATE (9:01): BOT 6: The Blue Crabs post three more runs and lead 5-1. Fred Lewis highlights the scoring with a two-run single.
UPDATE (9:53): FINAL: Anthony Vega hits a RBI triple in the ninth, but Ducks fall 5-2.
Posted on August 28, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Atlantic League, Long Island Ducks, Regency Furniture Stadium, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.