Game 121: Ducks vs. Bluefish
The Ducks concluded a seven-game road trip (and a stretch of 26 straight contests without a day off) on Sunday afternoon in Southern Maryland with a 4-1 loss to the Blue Crabs. Long Island fell behind early in their series finale at Regency Furniture Stadium, finishing the stint away from home with a 2-5 record. After a league-wide day off on Monday, the Ducks now begin what could prove to be their most important series of the 2015 season: a three-game set with the Bridgeport Bluefish in Central Islip, the final three games between the two clubs this year. Entering Tuesday, the Ducks and ‘Fish are tied for second place in the Liberty Division, one game back of the Somerset Patriots for first place. Bridgeport swept Long Island in three games from Connecticut to begin last week. Those wins also gave the Bluefish the 2015 Ferry Cup, as the team has a 14-10 advantage on the Ducks this season.
In Waldorf, the Flock saw some inconsistent hitting from their lineup throughout the series. The Ducks scored 16 runs across their two wins over the Blue Crabs, but just three runs in their two losses. In the series finale, Bruce Kern got the start for Long Island, allowing two runs in the opening frame. Fred Lewis roped the righty’s first pitch of the afternoon for a triple. Casey Stevenson then walked to bring up Zach Wilson, who hit a two-run double to put Southern Maryland on top 2-0. The score stayed the same until the sixth inning. Kern bounced back against the Blue Crabs offense, while opposing starter Brian Grening was in full control against the Ducks. However, in the sixth, Southern Maryland added one run on Grant Zawadzki’s RBI double to put the home team up 3-0. Stan Cliburn pulled Grening with two outs in the sixth and runners on base, but reliever Trey Barham secured the final out of the inning. In the seventh, the Ducks got to reliever Orlando Santos for one run on Nelfi Zapata’s RBI double into the left field corner. J.C. Romero struck out the side in the bottom of the inning for the Ducks. The lefty looked fantastic out of the bullpen, throwing his fastball with authority. Patrick Crider had a difficult appearance in the eighth, giving up one run on a double play ball hit by Craig Maddox. Cody Eppley completed the win in the ninth for the Blue Crabs with a 1-2-3 frame. It was his sixth save of the season.
Kern, despite his early struggles, finished with a quality outing. He allowed three runs on six hits in six innings while walking one and striking out three. The Long Island native fell to 7-5 on the year. Grening improved to 4-8 with the victory. Delta Cleary, Jr. led the Ducks with a pair of hits and a double in the loss. Long Island combined for six hits as a team.
CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from the series finale
CLICK HERE to view Sunday’s box score
Now, Long Island begins their pivotal final series with Bridgeport in 2015. Ian Marshall gets the start in the opener, having struggled against the Bluefish in the beginning of the team’s previous road trip. Marshall is currently 7-7 with a 3.76 ERA in 22 starts. The right-hander has tossed 127 innings, allowing 61 runs (53 earned) on 118 hits in that span. He has walked 58 and struck out 82. Marshall’s previous start came in Bridgeport on August 26. In two and two-thirds innings, the Maryland native surrendered five runs on three hits, walking seven batters and striking out one. In the third inning, Marshall walked six batters in total (one intentionally) and three with the bases loaded.
One of those batters to draw a walk with the bases loaded against Marshall was Bluefish starter David Anderson, who was forced to hit in the lineup when catcher Luis Rodriguez was injured in the second inning. Anderson will match up with Marshall once again, this time at Bethpage Ballpark. The 22-year-old comes in with just three starts in his young career with the Bluefish. A right-hander, the starter is 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA. In 17 and two-thirds innings, Anderson has allowed three runs on 10 hits with eight walks and 11 strikeouts. In the previous Marshall-Anderson contest, Anderson picked up the win by allowing one run on three hits in six innings for the second straight start. He walked two and struck out four for his second victory in three tries. The Syracuse native has not allowed more than one run in a start so far, and no more than four hits.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 310th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish. The Bluefish currently lead the series 157-152, but the Ducks hold a 86-69 advantage on Long Island It is also the 25th of 27 games between the two teams in 2015. Bridgeport leads the series 14 to 10. This year marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series. The Ducks have won the Cup in four of the first seven years, with the Bluefish claiming the trophy this season.
Home Cooking: The Ducks enter tonight’s game with an Atlantic League leading 42-18 record at home in 2015. Their .700 winning percentage is 69 percentage points better than any other team (Somerset, .631, 41-24). As a whole, the Ducks have a .301 batting average and a 3.18 ERA at Bethpage Ballpark this season. Comparatively, they are batting .261 with a 3.31 ERA on the road this year.
I Can See Cleary Now: Delta Cleary, Jr. connected for two more hits on Sunday and has now hit safely in 15 consecutive games. During the streak, the outfielder is batting .431 (28-for-65) with two doubles, one triple, four RBI and 12 runs scored. The hitting streak is two games shy of the longest by a Duck this year, accomplished by Dan Lyons from August 8-24.
New Kid on the Block: Nelfi Zapata picked up a double on Sunday and has now reached base in 13 consecutive games. During the streak, he is batting .372 (16-for-43) with six doubles, seven RBI and four runs scored. The only game in which he did not reach base since joining the Flock was his first, on August 13 against Southern Maryland. Zapata also has a hit in five straight games and in 12 of his 14 games played with Long Island.
Road Warrior: Despite taking the loss on Sunday, Bruce Kern continued his success on the road this season with six innings of three-run ball. The right-hander has a 3.15 ERA in 21 games (three starts) away from Bethpage Ballpark, and opponents are batting just .219 against him on the road. Comparatively, the Long Island native has a 3.67 ERA in 15 games (seven starts) at home while opponents are hitting .258 against him at the Duck Pond.
Off to the Races: Anthony Vega stole his 15th base of the season on Sunday when he swiped second base in the seventh inning. The Patchogue resident has compiled a .882 stolen base percentage this season, having been caught stealing only twice in 17 attempts. As a team, the Ducks have stolen 123 bases in 2015, which ranks second in the league behind Bridgeport (133).
On the Air: Today’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:
#29 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#25 Sean Burroughs – 1B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#17 Anthony Vega – LF
#11 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#21 Ian Marshall – RHP
#24 Bryan Sabatella – LF
#12 Josh Prince – 2B
#19 Welington Dotel – RF
#32 Andres Rodriguez – 1B
#25 Wilson Batista – 3B
#17 Jobduan Morales – DH
#27 Jeudy Valdez – SS
#9 Luis Rodriguez – C
#7 Ethan Chapman – CF
#3 David Anderson – RHP
Keep it here for updates all game long as the Ducks and Bluefish begin their three-game series from Bethpage Ballpark! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (6:38): TOP 1: Ian Marshall kicks and fires and we are underway from Bethpage Ballpark!
UPDATE (6:52): TOP 2: Wilson Batista with a RBI double and Jobduan Morales with a RBI single, putting the Bluefish ahead 2-0.
UPDATE (7:23): BOT 3: Long Island gets one run back on Delta Cleary, Jr.’s RBI single to right field! 2-1 Bluefish.
UPDATE (7:45): BOT 4: Ducks take a 3-2 lead! Cody Puckett with a RBI single and a run-scoring throwing error plates a pair!
UPDATE (7:54): TOP 5: Bridgeport ties the game 3-3 on a throwing error by Ian Marshall. Frank DeJiulio, Jr. on to pitch for the Ducks.
UPDATE (8:11): TOP 5: The Bluefish finish the inning with five runs and now lead 7-3.
UPDATE (8:24): BOT 5: Ducks make it a 7-5 ballgame! Run-scoring infield error by BPT and a run-scoring double play ball hit by Randy Ruiz to score two.
UPDATE (8:49): BOT 7: Dan Lyons with a RBI triple into the right field corner and the Ducks trail by one, 7-6! Randy Ruiz at the plate with one out.
UPDATE (8:50): BOT 7: Tie ballgame! 7-7 after Randy Ruiz’s RBI double!
UPDATE (8:54): BOT 7: The Ducks take a 8-7 lead! Sean Burroughs’ RBI single to center puts the Flock ahead!
UPDATE (9:19): TOP 9: The Bluefish tie the ballgame 8-8 on a RBI double from Andres Rodriguez.
UPDATE (9:22): TOP 9: A passed ball scores a run from third, Bluefish lead 9-8.
UPDATE (9:36): FINAL: Ducks drop the series opener 9-8.
Posted on September 1, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Baseball, Bethpage Ballpark, Bridgeport Bluefish, Bruce Kern, Long Island Ducks, Nelfi Zapata, Regency Furniture Stadium, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.