Games 12 and 13: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:00 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, NY)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (5-6) host the Lancaster Barnstormers (5-7) in a single admission doubleheader to conclude their three-game series. The Ducks currently lead the series one game to none.

TUESDAY’S RESULT: The Ducks were off-balance for much of the game, as a dominant pitchers duel silenced both offenses for much of the contest. The Flock finally managed to break through in the later innings, as Anthony Vega singled with the bases loaded so that the Ducks could waddle off with the win.

Darin Downs started the game on the mound for the Ducks looking to rebound from a shaky start against the New Britain Bees his last time out. He did more than that, as he was able to go six full innings allowing only one hit and one run (unearned) with four walks while striking out a season-high seven opposing batters.

Offense was very hard to come by for the first seven innings in this game. Not only was Downs very sharp, but his counterpart, Austin Bibens-Dirkx was as well. The right-hander went seven and two thirds innings for the Barnstormers, allowing only five hits and one run and no walks, with six strikeouts. The Barnstormers scored an unearned run in the top of the third inning, and then a solo home run in the seventh by Josh Whitaker gave the Barnstormers a 2-0 lead.

The Ducks rebounded in a big way in the bottom of the eighth, as a wild pitch by Bibens-Dirkx would allow Vega to score from third, cutting the Barnstormers lead in half. After a scoreless ninth from Kevin Vance, three straight singles from Lew Ford, Nate Frieman, and Sean Burroughs tied the game at two. Four batters later, with two outs and the winning run at third, Vega stepped up to the plate. On a 1-2 count, he delivered for the Flock, driving a base knock into center field to score the run and win the game for the Ducks.

ON THE MOUND: The first game of the doubleheader sees Bobby Blevins take to the mound for the Ducks against Bryan Evans for the Barnstormers. Blevins was very good for the Ducks in his most recent start against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on April 28. He pitched five complete innings, allowing three runs (only one earned) while striking out three.

Evans has been inconsistent for the Barnstormers. His record so far stands at 1- 0 with a 6.00 ERA.  His win came in Southern Maryland on April 21 in a game in which he pitched five complete innings, and gave up no runs on only two hits, and striking out four. His next two appearances were challenging, as he was taken out after throwing just a third of an inning in a start in Sugar Land, and then pitched two days later in long relief of fellow Barnstormers starter Brandon Bixler. Evans gave up two runs on six hits while striking out three in three in two-thirds innings.

Game two will have Jack Snodgrass for the Ducks against the Barnstormers Brandon Bixler. Snodgrass was sharp in his most recent start against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on April 29. The lefty pitched six complete innings giving up only two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks, while striking out a career-high nine Southern Maryland batters.

Bixler comes into this appearance with a game already under his belt. In his April 29 start against the Somerset Patriots, he was only able to go 2.1 innings, while giving up three runs on five hits with a walk, striking out none. Bixler had spent parts of five seasons with the Minnesota Twins organization before signing with the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2015, and then the Barnstormers this season.

FOLLOW ALONG: Tonight’s contest will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel with live streaming video and audio. Fans can follow the broadcast 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 – DH
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – LF
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#35 Nate Freiman – 1B
#25 Sean Burroughs – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#21 Mike Blanke – C
#27 Anthony Vega – RF

#18 Bobby Blevins – RHP

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

#22 Bryan Evans – RHP

UPDATE (6:33): END 2: No score after two innings thus far. Nate Freiman collected a double in the second for the Ducks!

UPDATE (7:10): MID 5: Bobby Blevins works around a pair of singles to keep the Stormers off the scoreboard! Still a scoreless ball game.

UPDATE (8:06): FINAL: The Ducks draw three walks in the seventh, including Mike Blanke’s with the bases loaded! Ducks win 1-0 in waddle-off fashion!

STARTING LINEUPS (GAME TWO)

Ducks
#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – LF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#35 Nate Freiman – 1B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#2   Cody Puckett -2B
#6   Blake Tekotte – CF
#29 Mike Dowd – C
#17 Matt Wessinger – 3B

Barnstormers
#8   Jeff Kobernus – 2B
#21 Michael Crouse – CF
#15 Caleb Gindl – RF
#54 Mike McDade – 1B
#29 Josh Bell – DH
#30 Josh Whitaker – LF
#12 Kevin Ahrens – 3B
#10 Chase Patterson – C
#20 Justin Jackson – SS

#32 Brandon Bixler – LHP

UPDATE (8:57): BOT 1: Long Island strikes first on a sacrifice fly to center by Delta Cleary Jr.! 1-0 Ducks!

UPDATE (9:20): BOT 2: The Ducks have plated three runs in the inning thus far, extending the lead to 4-0 and knocking Brandon Bixler out of the game!

UPDATE (9:30): BOT 2: A sac fly to center off the bat of Fehlandt Lentini caps a four-run inning for the Ducks! 5-0 lead after two!

UPDATE (10:06): BOT 3: Long Island explodes for five more runs in the third and now lead it 10-0!

UPDATE (10:47): BOT 5: Another run comes across for the Flock on a RBI groundout from Anthony Vega! 11-0 ballgame!

UPDATE (11:02): TOP 6: Kevin Ahrens puts the Barnstormers on the board with a three-run double. Ducks lead has been cut to 11-3.

UPDATE (11:09): BOT 6: The Ducks answer right back with a two-run double from Lentini! Long Island is now in front 13-3!

UPDATE (11:18): FINAL: Ducks win 13-5 to complete a three-game sweep of the Barnstormers and a 6-0 opening homestand of the season!

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Posted on May 5, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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