Games 56: Ducks vs. Barnstormers
GAME TIME/LOCATION: 1:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, NY)
TODAY’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (31-24) look to salvage a split of their four-game series with the Lancaster Barnstormers (28-26) on Sunday afternoon in the homestand finale. Lancaster now leads the season series five to four, though the Ducks still hold a 4-2 edge at Bethpage Ballpark. Long Island is now one game behind the Somerset Patriots for first place in the Liberty Division, while Lancaster has closed to within two and a half games of the York Revolution for first place in the Freedom Division.
YESTERDAY’S RESULTS: Long Island’s offense could not get much going in both games of Saturday’s day/night doubleheader, falling in a pair of pitcher’s duels by scores of 3-2 in 10 innings and 4-1.
Bobby Blevins, who was in need of a strong start, pitched very well for the Ducks during the day game. He surrendered a pair of runs in the third inning on back-to-back RBI triples from K.C. Hobson and Sean Halton. However, the righty left the bases loaded and did not allow any further runs in his six innings of work. Lancaster managed four hits and three walks against him while he struck out a season-best eight.
Meanwhile, Terry Doyle stifled the Ducks’ offense over the first six innings of the game. Long Island had just four hits and a walk against him during the first six innings and could not dent home plate. They did break through however to tie the game in the seventh, as Dan Johnson walked with one out to end Doyle’s day. Butch Hobson called upon closer Cory Burns, who immediately allowed a two-run homer to Mike Blanke that tied the game at two.
Long Island had several opportunities to win the game after it went to extras against Pete Andrelczyk (3-0). In the ninth, Ruben Gotay was thrown out at home plate on a one-out single to righty by Blake Tekotte that would have won the game. Matt Wessinger then struck out to end the threat. Josh Bell would put Lancaster ahead 3-2 in the 10th on a two-out solo homer to left-center off Amalio Diaz (4-2). However, the Ducks got Anthony Vega to third and Delta Cleary Jr. to second with two outs in the ninth. Ruben Gotay though would fly out to center to end the ballgame.
In game two, the Ducks once again had trouble finding their offensive prowess. Kelvin De La Cruz (4-6) was superb in his Barnstormers debut, allowing just two hits and a walk over six innings of one-run ball while striking out five. The only run he allowed came in the second on Blanke’s RBI groundout to third. Kevin Munson, Josh Wall and Ryan Dennick then combined for three scoreless innings of relief, yielding just two hits, a walk and a hit batter.
Darin Downs (4-4) started strong for the Ducks, giving up just one run over the first five innings on a first inning RBI single by Josh Bell. Downs would end up striking out seven batters in six and two-thirds innings, but he was saddled with the loss after giving up two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh. Bell’s RBI single to left and a sac fly off the bat of Halton put Lancaster in front 3-1. A wild pitch in the seventh rounded out the scoring.
ON THE MOUND: Bruce Kern gets the start for Long Island in the final game of the homestand. The right-hander has made 12 appearances (five starts) this year and has gone 0-1 with a 2.88 ERA. His most recent outing came in the homestand opener against New Britain where he took a no-decision, yielding three runs (one earned) over five innings on seven hits while striking out four. Long Island went on to win the game 5-4. The Long Island native has only made one appearance against the Barnstormers this year, throwing a scoreless inning of relief on June 1 at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
Bryan Evans will toe the rubber for Lancaster, looking for a series victory. The right-hander has done well for the Stormers this year, compiling a 3-2 record with a 3.99 ERA in 11 games (10 starts). Most recently, he took a no-decision against the Skeeters on Tuesday, allowing just two runs on four hits and a walk over seven innings while tying a season-high with nine strikeouts. Lancaster went on to lose the game though 3-2. Evans is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts against the Ducks, yielding five runs on 11 hits and four walks over 12 innings with 15 strikeouts. He set down nine Ducks batters on strikes in a 7-4 win at Lancaster on June 2 and yielded just one run over six innings at Long Island on May 5 in game one of a doubleheader but walked three in the 1-0 loss.
FOLLOW ALONG: Today’s game will be broadcast live online via the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Streaming video and audio will be available by CLICKING HERE. The game will also be broadcast live on WRHU/88.7-FM Radio Hofstra University and online at wrhu.org for fans in Nassau County. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a pitch-by-pitch account of today’s game via Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.
DUCKS GAME NOTES: For today’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
#2 Cody Puckett– 3B
#6 Blake Tekotte – DH
#29 Mike Dowd – C
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#17 Matt Wessinger – SS
#30 Bruce Kern – RHP
#37 Charlie Cutler – C
#12 Kevin Ahrens – SS
#15 Caleb Gindl – CF
#30 Josh Whitaker – LF
#29 Josh Bell – 3B
#44 Sean Halton – RF
#18 K.C. Hobson – DH
#54 Mike McDade – 1B
#7 Lance Zawadzki – 2B
#22 Bryan Evans – RHP
UPDATE (1:40): TOP 1: We are underway on Long Island as Bruce Kern tosses a 1-2-3 first inning!
UPDATE (2:04): TOP 2: Kern works around back-to-back singles to open the inning and strands two in scoring position! Still no score.
UPDATE (2:23): TOP 3: WHAT. A. CATCH! Delta Cleary Jr. with a full extension diving grab to rob Josh Whitaker of an RBI base hit! Keeps the ballgame scoreless.
UPDATE (2:33): BOT 3: A pop-up by Ruben Gotay falls in the middle of the infield, scoring Matt Wessinger from third! Ducks take a 1-0 lead!
UPDATE (3:02): TOP 5: Kern does it again! He gets a flyout from Sean Halton to strand two more runners on base. Lancaster has left nine men on thus far.
UPDATE (4:04): TOP 7: RBI singles from Josh Bell and K.C. Hobson have erased the Ducks’ 1-0 lead. Lancaster is now in front 2-1.
UPDATE (4:42): FINAL: Ducks waddle off winners! Cleary Jr. with a two-out, two-strike RBI infield single and Lentini scores on an error! Ducks win 3-2!
Posted on June 19, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged 2016, Atlantic League, Bethpage Ballpark, Bobby Blevins, Bruce Kern, Bryan Evans, Darin Downs, Kelvin De La Cruz, Lancaster Barnstormers, Long Island Ducks, Mike Blanke, Terry Doyle. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.