Game 68: Ducks vs. Skeeters

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

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Long Island (37-30) wraps up the final weekend of the first half with the opening game of a three-game series against the Sugar Land Skeeters (35-32). With three games to play in the first half, the Ducks control their own playoff destiny, holding a one-game lead over the Somerset Patriots in the Liberty Division. With a 3-2 loss in 15 innings at Southern Maryland last night, the Skeeters fell out of first-half contention, losing the Freedom Division title to the York Revolution.

YESTERDAY’S RESULT: The Ducks lost 8-7 to the York Revolution in a topsy-turvy series finale.

Ducks starter Jack Snodgrass struggled in the first two innings, allowing six runs. With the bases loaded in the first, Snodgrass struck out the next two batters but walked Kevin Rivers to bring in the game’s first run. The next batter, Alfredo Marte, hit a broken-bat two-run single to give the Revs a 3-0 lead.

After Cody Puckett’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first, York stormed back for three more runs in the second and one in the third to take a 7-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Ducks rallied for four runs against Revs starter Ty’Relle Harris. Ruben Gotay’s two-run double, Matt Wessinger’s RBI groundout, and Anthony Vega’s RBI single brought the Ducks back to within three at 7-5.

York took an 8-5 lead in the top of the sixth on Michael Burgess’ RBI double, but Long Island climbed back in with a huge shot from Wessinger in the bottom of the inning. With Mike Dowd at second base and two outs, Wessinger clobbered a two-run home run, his first as a Duck, over the left field wall, bringing the Ducks within one.

Long Island had a chance to tie the game in the eighth inning. After a leadoff single by Gotay, Carlos Hughes pinch ran at first base. With Dowd at the plate, Hughes tried to steal second base but was cut down by York catcher Keith Castillo.

Snodgrass (5-6) took the loss, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts in two innings. Manny Corpas (1-0) collected the win with one and one-third scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Harris did not receive a decision, but tossed three and two-thirds innings of five-hit ball, surrendering five runs and three walks with four strikeouts. Ricardo Gomez retired the final three Ducks batters to record his first save.

ON THE MOUND: The Atlantic League’s top ERA man, Mark Blackmar, returns to the mound following a seven-inning shutout performance of Bridgeport on June 26. In the 4-0 Ducks win, the righty out-dueled former big leaguer Blake Beavan with seven strikeouts and no walks, dropping his ERA to 2.49. In three of Blackmar’s past four starts, the Texan has pitched exactly seven innings, allowing two or less runs. Tonight marks the third head-to-head meeting for Blackmar against the Skeeters. He’s 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA over 11 and two-thirds innings, striking out nine.

Fourth-year Skeeters right-hander Sean Gallagher toes the rubber against the Ducks for the third time this season. Gallagher sits tied for the league lead in wins (6), having won five of his past seven starts. In his previous outing, on June 26 against Somerset, the Massachusetts native allowed three runs on eight hits and four walks over six innings. Despite not receiving a decision, Sugar Land won 9-6. In two starts against Long Island, Gallagher has pitched well. The former Cubs draft selection in 2004 has yielded three earned runs on nine hits with 11 strikeouts over 15 innings.

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

Ducks
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#15 Ruben Gotay – DH
#29 Mike Dowd – C
#21 Mike Blanke – 1B
#17 Matt Wessinger – 3B

#49 Mark Blackmar – RHP

Skeeters
#7 Josh Prince – 2B
#9 Rene Tosoni – CF
#29 Jeremy Barfield – LF
#16 Travis Scott – 1B
#2 Ricky Hague – 3B
#24 Delwyn Young – DH
#10 Kent Matthes – RF
#4 Beamer Weams – SS
#5 Wilfredo Rodriguez – C

#36 Sean Gallagher – RHP

UPDATE (6:08): First pitch for tonight’s game has been delayed to 7:05 p.m. Stay tuned for further updates here.

UPDATE (7:03): Tonight’s game currently remains in a rain delay. We will update the game status here as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience!

UPDATE (7:41): Tonight’s game is now scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m. Thank you once again for your patience!

UPDATE (8:33): TOP 1: Ricky Hague’s two-run single gives the Skeeters a 2-0 lead over the Ducks.

UPDATE (10:11): After a 36-minute rain delay, we have resumed play at Bethpage Ballpark. Bottom 5, first-and-second, one-out for the Ducks.

UPDATE (10:42): TOP 7: Wilfredo Rodriguez lifts a two-out, two-run home run to center. Skeeters lead 4-0.

UPDATE (11:12): BOT 7: The Ducks get their largest run-scoring inning of the year! Eight runs put them in front 8-4! Three hits and three walks in the frame.

UPDATE (11:38): FINAL: The Ducks hold on to beat the Skeeters 8-4! Long Island improves to 38-30 and the magic number is TWO!

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Posted on July 1, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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