Game 110: Ducks at Skeeters

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 7:05 p.m. CDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (19-20; 59-50) continue their week-long road trip when they open up a three-game series against the Sugar Land Skeeters (26-15; 61-50). Entering Friday, the Ducks hold an 8-6 advantage in the season series, with the two teams splitting the first four games played in Texas. Long Island enters the day two and a half games behind the Bridgeport Bluefish, who have taken over first place in the Liberty Division for the second half. Sugar Land, who has won five consecutive games, sits atop the Freedom Division with a three and a half game lead over the York Revolution.

YESTERDAY’S RESULT: The Ducks were unable to avoid the four-game sweep in New Britain, as the Bees shut down Long Island’s lineup for a 7-0 win.

Long Island had a couple chances to plate runs against Mike Lee (5-5), including in the first inning when they drew back-to-back walks with one out. However, Cody Puckett’s double play ball ended the threat. New Britain jumped on the board with a single run in the second inning thanks to a throwing error on what likely would have been an inning-ending double play.

The Bees added to their lead in the fourth against Chris McCoy (1-2) when they plated two runs on Michael Crouse’s RBI double and Jon Griffin’s run-scoring groundout. Another run in the fifth came home on Jovan Rosa’s RBI single, making it a 4-0 ballgame. McCoy threw well overall, allowing just three earned runs in six innings of work on seven hits and one walk while striking out three. However, he could not benefit from any run support.

The Ducks put runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but a double play ended that rally. The in the ninth, Long Island loaded the bases with one out on two walks and a single against Joseph Kuzia. New Britain’s righty would bounce back though and retire the next two batters to end the game. Kuzia combined with Eric Fornataro for three scoreless innings of relief. Meanwhile, Danny Burawa allowed three runs in the eighth on four hits to round out the scoring.

ON THE MOUND: Daniel Herrera will make his first start of the season for the Ducks on Friday night. The southpaw threw a scoreless inning of relief on August 11 against Somerset but had some difficulties against Lancaster this past Saturday. In three and two-thirds inning of relief, he gave up five runs on five hits and four walks while striking out four batters. The knuckleballer did not make a start as a member of the Ducks in 2013, but he did start three games with Somerset in 2014 and 11 with Camden in 2015. Herrera was 2-0 with a 5.00 ERA in eight games (two starts) against Sugar Land a year ago.

Roy Merritt, the 2015 Championship Series MVP, will take the mound for the Skeeters. The southpaw has posted fine numbers against in 2016, compiling a 7-2 record with a 2.83 ERA through 24 games (17 starts). He has struck out 86 batters while walking only 23 in 114 and one-third innings of work. He dazzled in his most recent outing, pitching seven shutout innings against the Bees and allowing just two hits while striking out seven this past Sunday. Merritt has earned the win in six of his past eight starts and has not suffered a loss since June 24 against Somerset. The 30-year-old has faced the Ducks just once this season, earning the win on July 28 at Bethpage Ballpark. That night, he gave up three runs on eight hits in five and one-third innings, walking one and striking out seven.

FOLLOW ALONG: Fans can follow all the action from tonight’s game live on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Streaming audio will also 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
#15 Ruben Gotay – 2B
#21 Mike Blanke – C
#32 Tyler Colvin – 1B
#17 Matt Wessinger – SS
#11 Chris Scura – DH

#13 Daniel Herrera – LHP

Skeeters
#7   Josh Prince – 2B
#26 Jeff Dominguez – LF
#9   Rene Tosoni – CF
#2   Ricky Hague – 3B
#24 Delwyn Young – 1B
#29 Jeremy Barfield – LF
#16 Travis Scott – DH
#14 Lance Zawadzki – 3B
#5   Wilfredo Rodriguez – C

#33 Roy Merritt – LHP

UPDATE (7:23): TOP 1: The Ducks burst out for three runs! An RBI single for Delta Cleary Jr. & a two-run single for Ruben Gotay puts the Flock in front early.

UPDATE (7:44): TOP 2: Fehlandt Lentini drives in and scores a run to give the Ducks a 5-0 lead!

UPDATE (8:09): BOT 3: Sugar Land closes to within 5-2 on a solo homer from Wilfredo Rodriguez and an RBI single from Ricky Hague.

UPDATE (8:34): BOT 4: A four-run inning has put the Skeeters ahead 6-5. Rene Tosoni’s two-out, three-run double capped the scoring.

UPDATE (8:57): BOT 5: An opposite-field three-run homer by Lance Zawadzki has ballooned Sugar Land’s lead to 9-5.

UPDATE (9:41): END 7: James Lomangino & Patrick Crider have each turned in scoreless outings out of the bullpen. Still a 9-5 ballgame.

UPDATE (9:46): BOT 8: Add Kyle Hansen to the mix, as he retires the side in order in the eighth! Onto the ninth at Constellation Field.

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Posted on August 19, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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