Game 94: Ducks at Patriots

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 7:05 p.m. at TD Bank Ballpark (Bridgewater, N.J.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (14-9; 54-39) play the middle game of their three-game road series against the Liberty Division rival Somerset Patriots (12-13; 50-45). Long Island remains tied with the Bridgeport Bluefish for first place in the second half standings, while Somerset is now three games behind the Ducks and Bluefish.The season series is now tied at seven, as the Ducks have won six of the last seven meetings between the teams, including three of the last four in New Jersey.

YESTERDAY’S RESULT: A matchup of former Ducks teammates that won an Atlantic League championship together was as good as advertised on Tuesday night. However, it was some late offense of the Ducks that stood out in Long Island’s 4-2 10-inning victory.

John Brownell and Shaun Garceau were the story for most of the ballgame. Brownell continued his stellar pitching this season with seven innings of two-run ball (one earned). The right-hander gave up just five hits and did not walk a batter while striking out eight. His only mistake came on a leadoff solo homer by David Vidal in the second inning. He was victimized by a Dan Lyons error and a pair of singles from Bryan LaHair and Kyle Roller that gave Somerset a 2-1 lead in the seventh.

Meanwhile, Garceau stifled the Ducks lineup for seven and two-thirds innings, looking much like the pitcher Long Island had during the 2013 postseason. The righty yielded just one run on five hits and a walk while striking out four. His only mistake came in the fourth when Lyons drove in Delta Cleary Jr. with an RBI double to right-center.

The Ducks trailed 2-1 going into the ninth but were able to rally back against Patriots closer and former Duck Jon Hunton. Cleary Jr. and Cody Puckett reached on back-to-back infield singles to begin the inning. After Lyons laid down a sacrifice bunt, Ruben Gotay was intentionally walked to load the bases. Mike Dowd followed with a bases loaded walk to bring in the game-tying run.

Amalio Diaz tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. In the 10th, Anthony Vega singled to open the frame against Jeremy Bleich. Following a sac bunt from Fehlandt Lentini and a strikeout of Cleary Jr., Puckett grounded a single through the left side to bring home Vega from second with the go-ahead run. Lyons followed with a booming RBI double into the left field corner to score Puckett for added insurance. Todd Coffey closed the game out for his 18th save in the bottom of the 10th, striking out two in the inning.

ON THE MOUND: Prior to the road trip, the Ducks made a noteworthy trade to acquire right-handed pitcher D.J. Mitchell and a player to be named later from the Bridgeport Bluefish in exchange for infielder Sean Burroughs. Tonight, Mitchell makes his Ducks debut on the mound.

The three-year Atlantic League veteran has had mixed results in 2016, compiling a 2-3 record with a 4.39 ERA through 12 games (nine starts). His most recent outing came against the Patriots at TD Bank Ballpark on July 29, and he took a no-decision, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks in three and two-thirds innings while striking out four. Mitchell was spectacular though at Somerset on July 3, allowing just one unearned run on five hits and two walks over seven innings with seven strikeouts. A year ago, the former Yankee posted a 2.89 ERA in 19 starts and was the starting pitcher for the Liberty Division in the Atlantic League All-Star Game.

The Patriots will counter with right-hander Randy Boone, who just rejoined the team on July 23. In two starts thus far, he has surrendered seven runs on 13 hits and two walks with four strikeouts in seven and one-third innings. The Texas native was outstanding with Somerset in 2015, going 5-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 16 starts. Thanks to his efforts, his contract was purchased by the Uni-President Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. While with the Patriots, he made four starts against the Ducks and was 0-2 with a 6.26 ERA and a .326 batting average against.

FOLLOW ALONG: Fans can follow all the action from tonight’s game liveon the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Live streaming audio will be available online 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
#23 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#32 Tyler Colvin – DH
#15 Ruben Gotay – 2B
#29 Mike Dowd – C
#21 Mike Blanke – 1B

#30 D.J. Mitchell – RHP

Patriots
#2   Scott Kelly – 2B
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#3   Eric Farris – CF
#8   David Vidal – C
#24 Bryan LaHair – DH
#31 Kyle Roller – 1B
#6   Brian Van Kirk – RF
#13 Carlos Guzman – 3B
#14 Luis Mateo – SS

#36 Randy Boone – RHP

UPDATE (7:26): TOP 1: It’s a three-run first inning for the Flock! Delta Cleary Jr. with an RBI single, and Ruben Gotay with a two-run double!

UPDATE (7:36): BOT 1: D.J. Mitchell strikes out the side in his first inning as a Duck! 3-0 Long Island after one.

UPDATE (7:53): BOT 2: Mitchell retires three straight to escape a first-and-third, no-out jam! Ducks remain ahead by three.

UPDATE (8:27): BOT 4: Mitchell induces a groundout from Carlos Guzman to strand two in scoring position! Ducks remain in front 3-0 after four.

UPDATE (8:49): BOT 5: Somerset closes to within one on a solo homer to left by Luis Mateo and a sac fly to left by Eric Farris. 3-2 Ducks lead after five.

UPDATE (9:26): BOT 7: Scott Shuman strikes out two in a scoreless seventh inning! Ducks still lead by one after seven.

UPDATE (10:10): FINAL: Anthony Vega throws out Mycal Jones at the plate on a two-out single to left from Aharon Eggleston! Ducks win it 3-2! WHAT AN ENDING!

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

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