Game 53: Ducks vs. Barnstormers


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

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (30-22) continue their seven-game homestand tonight when they open up a four-game series with the Lancaster Barnstormers (26-25). The two teams have split six meetings thus far in 2016, with both sides taking all three games at their home ballpark. Long Island sits atop the Liberty Division standings by a half-game over the Somerset Patriots, while Lancaster remains three games behind the York Revolution for first place in the Freedom Division.

YESTERDAY’S RESULT: Despite falling behind early, the Ducks rallied back to top the New Britain Bees 3-1 and complete a sweep of the three-game series.

For the second straight night, a Ducks starter was able to work his way out of jams. Mark Blackmar navigated his way through seven innings, giving up eight hits and three walks in the process. However, he surrendered only one run, on an RBI single by Jonathan Roof in the third inning. However, the righty was able to strand nine runners on base during his time on the mound to turn in his second consecutive quality start and sixth of the season.

Meanwhile, Long Island’s offense was having trouble breaking through against Bees starter Shawn Haviland. The Ducks failed to score in the first six innings of the game, leaving six men on base in the process. It looked as though they had taken a 2-0 lead in the first on a Ruben Gotay homer down the right field line, but the umpires reversed the call, ruling it foul instead. Long Island was eventually able to tie the game in the seventh inning. With two outs, Matt Wessinger hustled to reach second base on a line drive into the right-center field gap. Fehlandt Lentini followed with an RBI single to even the score at one.

One inning later, after Patrick Crider and Nick Struck (1-2) teamed up for a 1-2-3 top of the frame, Ruben Gotay drew a leadoff walk against Jarret Leverett (0-3). Dan Johnson then stepped to the plate and hit a 1-0 pitch to right-center field for a towering two-run homer. With the Ducks in front 3-1, Todd Coffey came on for a third straight night and struck out the side for his ninth save of the year.

ON THE MOUND: John Brownell will take the mound, once again looking to become the franchise’s all-time wins leader. He remains tied with Randy Leek at 40 wins in his Ducks career. In 2016, the right-hander is 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA and 47 strikeouts, both of which rank sixth in the Atlantic League. He has pitched back-to-back complete games in his past two starts, a victory on Long Island over Sugar Land June 5 and a hard-luck loss in Southern Maryland on June 11. In the two starts, he has given up just three runs in 17 innings on 10 hits and two walks while striking out 17. Brownell suffered a loss in his only outing of the year against Lancaster, which came on the road May 31. That night, he yielded four runs on eight hits and two walks over six innings with five strikeouts.

The Barnstormers will call upon Mike Lee to start the series opener. In 14 games (three starts), the right-hander has compiled a 2-2 record with a 5.20 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 27 and two-thirds innings. He lasted just three innings in his most recent start, giving up six runs (five earned) on eight hits in a 9-4 loss to Somerset on June 12. In his first two starts though, he surrendered just two runs on nine hits and a walk over nine innings while striking out five. Included in that was a no-decision on May 31 against Brownell and the Ducks. However, Long Island touched up Lee for five runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk in one inning of relief at Bethpage Ballpark on May 5 in game two of a doubleheader.

FOLLOW ALONG: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Streaming video and audio will also be available 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.

#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#15 Ruben Gotay – 2B
#26 Dan Johnson – 1B
#21 Mike Blanke – C
#6   Blake Tekotte – DH
#17 Matt Wessinger – 3B
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#11  Carlos Hughes – SS

#7  John Brownell – RHP

#2   Blake Gailen – CF
#12 Kevin Ahrens – SS
#15 Caleb Gindl – RF
#30 Josh Whitaker – LF
#29 Josh Bell – 3B
#44 Sean Halton – DH
#37 Charlie Cutler – C
#7   Lance Zawadzki – 2B
#18 K.C. Hobson – 1B

#39 Mike Lee – RHP

UPDATE (6:56): END 1: No score after one inning of play from Bethpage Ballpark. John Brownell stranded two Lancaster runners on base.

UPDATE (7:32): TOP 3: An RBI single to left by Josh Whitaker puts Lancaster ahead 1-0, but Brownell strikes out Halton & Cutler to leave the bases loaded.

UPDATE (7:48): BOT 3: Ducks answer right back with a two-out RBI single to left from Ruben Gotay! 1-1 ballgame after three.

UPDATE (7:56): TOP 4: Lance Zawadzki leads off with a solo homer to left-center. Lancaster goes back in front 2-1.

UPDATE (8:48): MID 7: Time to stretch at the ballpark! Still a 2-1 ball game in favor of the Barnstormers after six and a half.

UPDATE (9:06): BOT 7: Back-to-back two-out RBI singles by Fehlandt Lentini and Delta Cleary Jr. have given the Ducks a 3-2 lead!

UPDATE (9:24): TOP 8: Patrick Crider comes in and strikes out a pair to leave the tying and go-ahead runs on base! 3-2 Ducks after seven and a half!

UPDATE (9:37): BOT 8: Matt Wessinger scores from first base on a two-out RBI single to center by Anthony Vega Ducks now in front 4-2!

UPDATE (9:50): FINAL: Amalio Diaz strikes out the side in the ninth to earn the save, and the Ducks win their fifth in a row, 4-2 over the Barnstormers!


Posted on June 17, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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