Game 95: Ducks at Patriots

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 11:05 a.m. at TD Bank Ballpark (Bridgewater, N.J.)

TODAY’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (15-9; 55-39) go for a sweep of their three-game road series against the Liberty Division rival Somerset Patriots (12-14; 50-46). Long Island enters the day one game ahead of the Bridgeport Bluefish for first place in the second half standings, while Somerset is now four games behind the Ducks. The Ducks now lead the season series eight to seven, having won seven of the past eight meetings between the teams and four of the past five in New Jersey.

YESTERDAY’S RESULT: An early lead proved to be enough for the Ducks, as they hung on to defeat the Patriots, 3-2, in another dramatic ballgame on Wednesday night.

The Ducks went to work quickly for three runs in the opening inning against Patriots starter Randy Boone (0-1), who had to throw 39 pitches in the frame. Delta Cleary Jr.’s RBI single to left scored Anthony Vega, who opened the game with a double. Later in the frame, Tyler Colvin drew a two-out walk to load the bases for Ruben Gotay. The second baseman would follow with a two-run double that put the Ducks up 3-0. However, from that point on, only two of the next 27 Ducks batters would reach base against the Patriots pitching staff.

D.J. Mitchell (3-3) made his Ducks debut on the mound and threw five innings to earn the win. He escaped a first-and-third, no-out jam in the second inning and a second-and-third, two-out jam in the fourth. Somerset got on the scoreboard in the fifth when Luis Mateo led off the inning with a solo homer to left field. Scott Kelly followed with a double and scored two batters later on a sac fly to left from Eric Farris. However, Mitchell stranded Aharon Eggleston at second to end his night.

Long Island’s bullpen held Somerset scoreless over the next three innings, with Danny Burawa inducing an inning-ending double play in the sixth with two on and one out. In the ninth, Carlos Guzman reached on a one-out single off of Todd Coffey. Mycal Jones pinch ran and went to second on a groundout from Mateo. Coffey then appeared to strike out Kelly on two occasions to end the game, but home plate umpire Joe Cruz called both pitches balls to give Kelly the walk.

Following an argument from Ducks manager Kevin Baez that saw him ejected from the game, Coffey faced Eggleston with the tying run at second and the winning run at first. Eggleston singled into left field, and Jones tried to score from second. However, Vega threw a perfect strike to the plate, and Mike Dowd applied the tag for the game’s final out.

ON THE MOUND: Thursday’s matinee affair will feature a pair of lefties on the mound, with the Ducks looking to secure their second consecutive three-game sweep over the Patriots.

Dustin Richardson will toe the rubber for the Flock, entering with a 1-2 record and a 3.04 ERA, 20 strikeouts and five walks in 12 games (three starts). Since joining the rotation, he has posted a 2.57 ERA, yielding four earned runs in 14 innings. All four of those runs came in his most recent outing on July 29 against Sugar Land when he suffered the loss, yielding eight hits and a walk while striking out six. Thursday will be the first time that Richardson will face Somerset this season.

Rudy Owens will try and salvage the series finale for the Patriots. The southpaw has made eight appearances (seven starts) in 2016, compiling a 2-3 record with a 5.05 ERA and 43 strikeouts to 14 walks in 46 and one-third innings. He took the loss in his most recent appearance on July 29 against Bridgeport, allowing five runs on four hits and four walks with four strikeouts in six innings of work. Owens, who made one start in the Major Leagues with the Houston Astros in 2014, has yet to take the mound against the Ducks this year.

FOLLOW ALONG: Fans can follow all the action from today’s game live on 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 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.

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

#48 Dustin Richardson – LHP

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

#30 Rudy Owens – LHP

UPDATE (11:30): BOT 1: Patriots take an early 3-0 lead in the series finale. David Vidal with a two-run double & Brian Van Kirk with an RBI infield single.

UPDATE (12:10): TOP 3: Delta Cleary Jr.’s RBI double has gotten the Ducks on the board! Bases loaded with two outs, & Rudy Owens has been lifted from the game.

UPDATE (12:21): BOT 3: Dustin Richardson escapes a second-and-third, one-out jam to keep this a two-run ballgame. 3-1 Somerset after three.

UPDATE (12:39): BOT 4: Richardson induces a 5-4-3 double play from Eric Farris to escape a first-and-third, one-out jam!

UPDATE (1:09): BOT 6: Strong inning of relief for Long Island native Kyle Hansen in the sixth as he strikes out two in a 1-2-3 frame!

UPDATE (1:23): BOT 7: Nick Struck mimics Hansen with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to short! Still a 3-1 game as we head to the eighth.

UPDATE (1:37): BOT 8: James Lomangino tosses a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.Ducks pitchers have retired the last 10 Patriots batters!

UPDATE (1:47): FINAL: Jon Hunton works a 1-2-3 ninth, & the Patriots claim the series finale 3-1. Ducks begin a three-game set in Bridgeport tomorrow.

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Posted on August 4, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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