Game 122: Ducks vs. Bluefish


In a wild, back-and-forth affair, the Ducks fell just short of victory in their series opener with the Bridgeport Bluefish on Tuesday night at Bethpage Ballpark. The teams traded leads throughout the contest, but the ‘Fish emerged with the 9-8 win thanks to a two-run rally in the ninth inning. The Ducks are now two games back of first-place Somerset, while the Bluefish sit one game back in second place. The Flock are also 3-7 in their last 10 games, and 10-15 against their cross-sound rivals in 2015.

The Bluefish were first to score, bringing in two runs in the second frame against Ducks starter Ian Marshall. Marshall, who struggled in his previous start against the Bluefish a week ago, ran into more trouble this time out. A RBI double from Wilson Batista and a RBI single hit by Jobduan Morales put the road team on top 2-0. But, by the end of the fourth, the Ducks led 3-2. Delta Cleary, Jr. continued his great hitting of late with a RBI single in the third off Bluefish starter David Anderson. Anderson stymied the Long Island offense in Bridgeport last week when going up against Marshall, but was not as sharp in his first career start in Central Islip. Two more runs crossed in the fourth on Cody Puckett’s RBI single and a throwing error by Bluefish second baseman Josh Prince. Marshall failed to escape the fifth frame, allowing one run to score on an errant pickoff throw to first. With one runner on, Kevin Baez called on Frank DeJiulio, Jr. for relief. But, four more runs would score, one of which was charged to Marshall. Puckett’s throwing error at third base scored a pair in the inning.

Long Island was able to respond in the home half with two runs to make it a 7-5 ballgame. Batista made an error of his own at the hot corner that let one run score, while Ruiz brought in one run on a double play ball. The Ducks retook the lead and momentum in the seventh with a three-spot, going ahead 8-7. Lyons smacked a RBI triple into the right field corner, Ruiz hit a RBI double, and Sean Burroughs hit a RBI single against his former team to give Long Island the one-run advantage. Sam Gervacio, who left pitch after pitch up in the zone, surrendered all three runs. After a scoreless eighth, the Bluefish stormed back in the ninth against Ducks closer Amalio Diaz. Josh Prince would single to lead off the inning and advance to second on Welington Dotel’s sacrifice bunt. Andres Rodriguez then tied the game with a RBI double. Batista’s groundout to short pushed Rodriguez 90 feet away from home. With Jobduan Morales at the plate, Diaz fired a pitch in the dirt that skipped through Mike Blanke’s legs to the backstop, scoring Rodriguez. Blanke was charged with a passed ball, and the Bluefish led 9-8. Patrick Mincey allowed one hit in the ninth, but no runs, completing the win for the ‘Fish.

Burroughs finished the game with three hits, while Ruiz, Cleary, Jr. and Fehlandt Lentini each had two. Both starters took a no decision. Marshall allowed four runs on seven hits in four innings of work. He walked and struck out two. Diaz suffered the loss for Long Island to fall to 1-3 on the year. Nick Struck, Patrick Crider, and J.C. Romero each fired a hitless inning of relief for the Flock.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from the opener

CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez and Dan Lyons

CLICK HERE to view Tuesday’s box score

The Ducks will send Darin Downs to the hill in game two of the series, looking to bounce back and stay near the top of the Liberty Division. After a rough start to his Long Island career, Downs has been much more effective of late. On the year, the lefty is 3-4 with a 4.17 ERA through nine starts. In 49 and two-thirds innings, he has given up 24 runs (23 earned) on 44 hits while walking 25 and striking out 39. Opponents are hitting .243 against him. After going 0-3 in his first four starts as a Duck, Downs has posted a record of 3-1 in his last five outings, pitching a minimum of six innings in each. Last time out, he picked up the win on August 27 in Southern Maryland when the Ducks defeated the Blue Crabs 6-3. Downs allowed two runs on seven innings in the win. The Bluefish defeated Downs the lone time they faced him this year.

Bridgeport continues their second-half push for the postseason with Robert Carson on the hill. Carson is currently 5-2 with a 2.75 ERA through 19 appearances (eight starts). The lefty began the season as a reliever, but has now made seven straight starts for Ricky VanAsselberg’s team. Through 55 and two-thirds innings, the former New York Met has allowed 22 runs (17 earned) on 54 hits with 19 walks and 63 strikeouts. Carson made back-to-back starts against the Flock on July 25 and August 1, going 1-0 across both appearances. In a combined eight and two-thirds innings, the 26-year-old gave up one run on 12 hits while walking one and striking out 13.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 311th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish. The Bluefish currently lead the series 158-152, but the Ducks hold a 86-70 advantage on Long Island  It is also the 26th of 27 games between the two teams in 2015. Bridgeport leads the series 15 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 42-19 record at home in 2015. Their .689 winning percentage is 58 percentage points better than any other team (Somerset, .631, 41-24). As a whole, the Ducks have a .301 batting average and a 3.25 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 three hits on Tuesday and has now hit safely in 16 consecutive games. During the streak, the outfielder is batting .429 (30-for-70) with three doubles, one triple, five RBI and 13 runs scored. The hitting streak is one game shy of the longest by a Duck this year, accomplished by Dan Lyons from August 8-24.

New Kid on the Block: Nelfi Zapata delivered a pinch hit RBI single in the ninth inning on Tuesday and has now reached base safely in 14 consecutive games. During the streak, he is batting .386 (17-for-44) 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 six straight games and in 13 of his 15 games played with Long Island.

Triple Threat: Dan Lyons picked up a triple in the seventh inning on Tuesday for his seventh three-bagger of the year. That total is good for fourth in the Atlantic League, tied with Southern Maryland’s Jamar Walton. As a team, the Ducks have compiled 25 triples in 2015, which is tied for third in the league with Bridgeport. The Blue Crabs lead the league with 42, while York ranks second with 30.

Now That’s High Quality Pitching: Tonight’s Ducks starter, Darin Downs, has 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 4.16 in those five starts and has given up three runs or less in six of his nine starts with Long Island.

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:


#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#9 Mike Blanke – DH
#25 Sean Burroughs – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#39 Nelfi Zapata – C
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#11 Elmer Reyes – 2B

#23 Darin Downs – LHP


#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

#37 Robert Carson – LHP

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 (6:39): TOP 1: Darin Downs deals his first pitch and game two of three with Bridgeport is underway in Central Islip!

UPDATE (7:29): BOT 3: Fehlandt Lentini puts the Ducks on top 1-0! RBI single into center field!

UPDATE (8:06): BOT 5: Elmer Reyes with a solo shot to left field! 2-0 Flock!

UPDATE (8:07): BOT 5: Back to back!!! Fehlandt Lentini with a solo shot to left, following up Elmer Reyes! 3-0 Ducks!

UPDATE (8:39): BOT 6: Elmer Reyes strikes again! This time, a two-run double makes it 5-0 Ducks! Still no one out, runners on second and third!

UPDATE (8:43): BOT 6: Fehlandt Lentini with the RBI single to right! 6-0 Long Island! 12 hits as a team.

UPDATE (8:46): BOT 6: Delta Cleary, Jr.’s RBI groundout puts the Ducks ahead 7-0!

UPDATE (8:53): BOT 6: Sean Burroughs keeps the train moving with a two-run single to left! 9-0 Ducks!

UPDATE (8:58): BOT 6: Anthony Vega with a bases-clearing double! Three more runs, it is 12-0 Ducks!

UPDATE (9:45): FINAL: Ducks dominate in game two, winning 12-0! Nine runs in the sixth frame!


Posted on September 2, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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