Game 126: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs
Following Friday’s 16-inning contest, the Ducks bounced back with a 4-2 win in game two of four with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on Saturday night. A strong effort from Bruce Kern, combined with a pair of timely hits in the fifth inning helped the Flock keep pace in the Liberty Division. A Somerset victory and Bridgeport loss also kept the Ducks one game back of first and dropped the ‘Fish four games behind in third place.
The Ducks came from behind to earn the win on Saturday, as Southern Maryland scored the game’s first run in the fourth inning. With runners on second and third, Jamar Walton hit a sacrifice fly to center off Ducks starter Bruce Kern to give the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead. One inning later, Long Island responded by scoring three runs off Blue Crabs starter Jon Leicester and never looking back. Fehlandt Lentini plated two with a double to left, making it 2-1 Ducks. Lentini now has 17 RBI on the season. Dan Lyons followed that up with a RBI single to center, scoring Lentini and giving Long Island a 3-1 lead. With that hit, the Ducks shortstop became the first player on the team this year to reach 70 RBI. Lyons is also hitting .304 in his career year. Southern Maryland threatened in the seventh when Zach Wilson walked with the bases loaded and two outs, forcing in a run. Kern was then pulled from the ballgame for southpaw J.C. Romero. Romero threw one pitch and worked out of the inning to keep the Ducks ahead 3-2. Long Island got the run back in the bottom of the frame on Sean Burroughs’ RBI single. Romero threw a scoreless eighth, before Amalio Diaz came in for the save in the ninth. After allowing a leadoff single, Diaz used a 4-6-3 double play and fly out to end the contest.
Diaz picked up his 11th save of the year in the ninth. Kern improved to 8-5 with the win, allowing two runs on six hits in six and two-thirds innings while walking three and striking out five. Delta Cleary, Jr. and Dan Lyons each had a pair of hits in the win, with Lyons picking up a RBI and Cleary, Jr. scoring once. Every Ducks starter finished with at least one hit except for Mike Blanke, who walked once. Leicester dropped to 3-1 with the loss.
The Ducks now send Ian Marshall to the mound in game three to face his former team. Marshall is currently second on the team in innings pitched with 131 through 23 starts. He is 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA. The righty has allowed 65 runs (57 earned) on 125 hits while walking 60 and striking out 84. Marshall’s two previous starts came against the Bluefish, pitching in Bridgeport on August 26 and in Central Islip on September 1. Through both starts, the Maryland native gave up nine runs in six and two-thirds innings on 10 hits for a record of 0-1. He walked nine and struck out three. Opponents are hitting .253 against him.
Southern Maryland will have Brian Grening getting the start in Sunday’s matinee. Also a right-hander, Grening has made 17 starts in 24 overall appearances this season. He enters at 4-8 with a 4.37 ERA, having allowed 59 runs (50 earned) on 122 hits in 103 innings of work. He has walked 28 and struck out 65. Grening is 1-2 over his last three starts, two of which came against the Ducks. He faced Long Island on August 15 at Bethpage Ballpark before the Flock traveled to Southern Maryland and lost to the Crabs last Sunday. In those three outings, Grening gave up nine runs (seven earned) on 23 hits in 17 innings.
Here are today’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Today marks the 156th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Blue Crabs. Southern Maryland currently leads the series 80-75, but the Ducks have a 44-39 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Today is also the 19th of 20 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Ducks lead the series 13 to five and have won nine of the 10 games played at home. They have outscored Southern Maryland 61-44 at Bethpage Ballpark this season.
Home Cooking: The Ducks enter tonight’s game with an Atlantic League-leading 45-20 record at home in 2015. Their .692 winning percentage is 61 percentage points better than any other team (Somerset, .631, 41-24). As a whole, the Ducks have a .301 batting average and a 3.15 ERA at Bethpage Ballpark this season. Comparatively, they’re batting .261 with a 3.31 ERA on the road this year.
I Can See Cleary Now: Delta Cleary, Jr. connected for two hits on Saturday and has now hit safely in 20 consecutive games. That is the longest hitting streak by a Duck this season. In addition, it’s the longest active hitting streak in the Atlantic League and second-longest by any player this year, trailing only Camden’s Carlos Guzman (22 games from July 24 – August 18). During the streak, the outfielder is batting .427 (38-for-89) with five doubles, one triple, seven RBI and 15 runs scored. It was also his 18th two-hit game of the year and 31st multi-hit contest.
Dan’s the Man: Dan Lyons collected two more hits in Saturday’s game and ranks second on the team in hits this season with 129. He trails only Cody Puckett, who ranks second in the Atlantic League with 135. Lyons has now compiled 21 two-hit games and 30 multi-hit contests this season. In addition, he became the first Duck in 2015 to reach 70 RBI. That total is good for second in the league, trailing only York’s Andres Perez (72).
Now That’s High Quality Pitching: Bruce Kern pitched his second consecutive quality start on Saturday, both of which have come against the Blue Crabs. In the two outings, he has combined to allow five runs in 12 and two-thirds innings (3.55 ERA) on 12 hits and four walks while striking out eight. This season, he has a record of 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in four starts against Southern Maryland.
Familiar Foe: Ducks starter Ian Marshall will be facing his former team for the second time this year on Sunday. He earned the win in his first meeting with them on August 16 at Bethpage Ballpark. The right-hander spent the past two seasons with the Blue Crabs, combining to go 22-18 with a 4.04 ERA in 54 starts.
The Faithful Flock: Saturday’s crowd of 6,551 was the Ducks’ 11th past-capacity crowd of the season. It was also their 650th sold out crowd all-time, which is an Atlantic League record. Since the inaugural season of 2000, the Ducks have welcomed 6,625,001 fans through the gates of Bethpage Ballpark, which is also a league record. They lead the league in average attendance this season at 5,302.
On the Air: Today’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Live streaming video and audio will be available online 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
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#25 Sean Burroughs – 1B
#39 Nelfi Zapata – C
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#11 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#21 Ian Marshall – RHP
#1 Fred Lewis – RF
#24 Casey Stevenson – 3B
#14 Bryant Nelson – 2B
#36 Jovan Rosa – DH
#8 Craig Maddox – 1B
#6 Jamar Walton – LF
#4 Casey Frawley – SS
#18 Keith Castillo – C
#3 Antone DeJesus – CF
#11 Brian Grening – RHP
Check back here for updates all game long as the Ducks and Blue Crabs continue their four-game series from Bethpage Ballpark! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (1:33): TOP 1: Ian Marshall with his first pitch and our matinee with the Blue Crabs is underway from Bethpage Ballpark!
UPDATE (1:53): TOP 2: Two-run double for Keith Castillo, Blue Crabs take a 2-0 lead.
UPDATE (2:05): TOP 3: Casey Stevenson’s two-run single makes it 4-0 Southern Maryland.
UPDATE (2:13): BOT 3: Anthony Vega’s solo homer gets the Ducks on the board! 4-1 Crabs.
UPDATE (2:26): TOP 4: Keith Castillo’s second two-run double of the day makes it 6-1 Blue Crabs.
UPDATE (2:34): BOT 4: Nelfi Zapata with a three-run shot to left! Ducks continue to fight! 6-4 Southern Maryland.
UPDATE (2:46): BOT 4: A RBI fielder’s choice for Delta Cleary, Jr. and a run-scoring throwing error on the same play help LI tie it 6-6!
UPDATE (2:49): BOT 4: Dan Lyons with a two-run single to center giving the Ducks an 8-6 lead!!! Seven runs in the inning, still just one out!
UPDATE (2:50): BOT 4: Randy Ruiz! His two-run homer to deep left-center makes it 10-6 Ducks! What a comeback, nine runs in the frame!
UPDATE (3:07): TOP 5: Jamar Walton ties the game at 10 with a grand slam to right field.
UPDATE (3:24): BOT 5: Fehlandt Lentini works a walk with the bases loaded and Delta Cleary, Jr. drops a two-run single into left! 13-10 Ducks!
UPDATE (3:29): BOT 5: Another RBI for Randy Ruiz, as he hits a single into center and makes it 14-10 Ducks!
UPDATE (3:41): TOP 6: Bryant Nelson’s RBI double to left cuts the LI lead to 14-11.
UPDATE (3:44): TOP 6: Jovan Rosa’s RBI single to left makes it 14-12 Ducks.
UPDATE (4:08): TOP 7: A run-scoring wild pitch puts the Blue Crabs within one, tying run at third with one out. Ducks lead 14-13.
UPDATE (4:09): TOP 7: Casey Stevenson ties the game at 14-14 with a bloop RBI single to shallow center.
UPDATE (4:17): BOT 7: Fehlandt Lentini breaks the tie with a solo homer to left! 15-14 Ducks!
UPDATE (4:34): BOT 8: Cody Puckett with a RBI double! Ducks lead 16-14!
UPDATE (4:50): FINAL: Ducks win a slugfest 16-14! What a game!
Posted on September 6, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Atlantic League, Baseball, Bethpage Ballpark, Bruce Kern, Dan Lyons, Delta Cleary, Long Island Ducks, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.