Game 11: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, NY)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (4-6) host the Lancaster Barnstormers (5-6) in the first game of a three-game series and first meeting of 2016. The two teams finished the 2015 series between them tied at 10 games a piece.

SUNDAY’S RESULT: The Ducks were led by a dominant start from Mark Blackmar, Cody Puckett’s bat, and Todd Coffey’s glove. The Ducks bats were alive again, as five runs and 11 hits were just enough to score the win.

Blackmar did not get a decision in the game, but had one of the better starts the Ducks rotation has seen in this young season. He threw six complete innings of one-run ball, allowing only two hits and one run. It was a great game for Blackmar, even after his first start, when he threw five innings of three-hit, shutout ball against the New Britain Bees on April 25.

Cody Puckett’s bat was alive and well in this game. Puckett recorded a season-high three hits, including a crucial knock in the bottom of the eighth inning. New Ducks first baseman Nate Freiman had singled with one out, Sean Burroughs hit an infield single, Blake Tekotte walked, and Dan Lyons singled to score Freiman. The bases were loaded, there was one out, and Puckett was coming to the plate. He swung and missed at the first pitch and fouled the second pitch off. He was down 0-2 when he swung and drove a ball hard the opposite way to score Burroughs and Tekotte, and the Ducks took a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish.

Another big part of the win was Todd Coffey. The Ducks closer showed some unexpected defense in the top of the ninth, with Angel Flores at the plate and nobody out. Bryant Nelson was at second with a lead-off double, and so it seemed like the perfect time to drop down a bunt to move him to third. Flores squared up to bunt, but popped it up. It looked like it would fall in to complete the sacrifice, but Coffey laid out to make the catch next to the mound. He proceeded to strikeout Nick Akins, and Eric Garcia grounded out to end the game.

ON THE MOUND: Darin Downs takes to the mound for the Ducks against Austin Bibens-Dirkx for the Barnstormers. Downs was very good in his first start against the Somerset Patriots on April 22, going five full innings and giving up only one run on four hits with six strikeouts, but struggled in his second start against the New Britain Bees.  He did well in the first two innings, but three runs in the third were enough to get the Bees the win.

Bibens-Dirkx has been sharp for the Barnstormers. His record so far stands at 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA.  His win came in Southern Maryland on April 22 in a game in which he pitched five complete innings only one run on four hits with three strikeouts. His loss was a tough pill to swallow, as he played in a pitchers duel against the Somerset Patriots. He pitched five more innings with only three hits and two runs, but those runs were all Somerset needed as Jeremy Horst pitched into the seventh giving up only one run and striking out seven.

FOLLOW ALONG: Tonight’s contest will be broadcast with live streaming video and audio via the Ducks’ official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a pitch-by-pitch account of tonight’s game via Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: For tonight’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Ducks
#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#35 Nate Freiman – 1B
#25 Sean Burroughs – 3B
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#6   Blake Tekotte – CF
#21 Mike Blanke – C
#27 Anthony Vega – LF

#23 Darin Downs – LHP

Barnstormers
#8   Jeff Kobernus – 2B
#3   Travis Witherspoon – CF
#15 Caleb Gindl – DH
#29 Josh Bell – 3B
#36  Mike McDade – 1B
#30 Josh Whitaker – LF
#12 Kevin Ahrens – SS
#37 Charlie Cutler – C
#21 Michael Crouse – RF

#31 Austin Bibens-Dirkx – RHP

UPDATE (7:15): TOP 3: Lancaster opens the scoring with a RBI groundout from Jeff Kobernus following a fielding error. 1-0 Barnstormers.

UPDATE (7:28): TOP 4: Darin Downs strikes out the side and has now set down seven Barnstormers batters on strikes tonight!

UPDATE (8:01): BOT 5: Long Island puts runners at the corners but are unable to push a run across. Still a 1-0 game after five innings.

UPDATE (8:22): Outstanding start for Downs tonight! 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 88 pitches, 52 strikes!

UPDATE (8:29): TOP 7: A solo home run over the left field wall from Josh Whitaker extends the Lancaster lead to 2-0.

UPDATE (9:08): BOT 8: The Ducks are on the scoreboard, as Anthony Vega scores from third on a wild pitch! 2-1 ballgame

UPDATE (9:22): BOT 9: Three straight singles, including a RBI base hit to right by Sean Burroughs, has tied the game at two!

UPDATE (9:28): FINAL: Vega delivers a two-out RBI single up the middle, and the Ducks have their first waddle-off win of the year! 3-2 victory!

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Posted on May 3, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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