Game 112: Ducks at Skeeters
GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:05 p.m. CDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (20-21; 60-51) wrap up their seven-game road trip with the series finale and rubber game against the Sugar Land Skeeters (27-16; 62-51). The Ducks hold a 9-7 lead in the season series, and the two teams have split the first six games played in Texas this year. Long Island remains three games behind the Somerset Patriots in the Liberty Division standings for the second half, while Sugar Land sits atop the Freedom Division with a two and a half game lead over the York Revolution.
YESTERDAY’S RESULT: Saturday saw the Ducks fall behind early, rally to take the lead, lose it with two outs in the ninth, and then answer back for a 5-4 win in 10 innings to end a seven-game losing skid as well as Sugar Land’s six-game winning streak.
Skeeters starter Brett Marshall was superb out of the gate, retiring the first nine Ducks hitters in a row and striking out six. Meanwhile, Sugar Land took a first inning lead against Nick Struck when Rene Tosoni grounded an RBI single up the middle. Struck would pitch back-to-back scoreless frames though in the second and third to keep it a 1-0 game, and Long Island would heat up offensively in the fourth.
Beginning their second trip through the order, Anthony Vega and Fehlandt Lentini both reached to open the inning. Following a sacrifice bunt and a popout, Ruben Gotay came through with his second two-run single of the series, a blooper to shallow left. Up 2-1, the Ducks would add to their lead in the fifth when Vega and Lentini again reached base, this time with two outs. Following an intentional walk to Delta Cleary Jr., Cody Puckett drew a bases loaded walk to force in a third run. Gotay then beat out an infield single to extend the lead to 4-1.
Long Island’s pitching staff found a way to keep the lead intact over the next four innings. Struck gave up a single and a walk with one out in the sixth, and Kevin Baez summoned Patrick Crider from the bullpen. He allowed a single and a sac fly to make it a 4-2 game, but retired Johan Limonta to maintain that advantage. After a 1-2-3 inning from Danny Burawa in the seventh, Amalio Diaz got into trouble in the eighth by allowing a leadoff walk and a single. However, he struck out the next two batters and induced a flyout from Wilfredo Rodriguez after the runner had pulled off a double steal.
Up 4-2 going into the ninth, Todd Coffey (3-4) quickly recorded a pair of flyouts to come within one out of the save. However, after getting ahead 0-2 on Josh Prince, the closer would allow a walk to keep the game alive. Jeff Dominguez followed with a single, and after the two pulled off another double steal, Tosoni delivered a game-tying two-run single to center that forced extra innings.
Rather than fall apart, the Ducks immediately rallied against Dan Runzler (0-1) in the 10th. Puckett drew a leadoff walk and took second on a wild pitch. After Gotay struck out, Mike Dowd was intentionally walked to set up a lefty-lefty matchup with Tyler Colvin. The former big leaguer would hit a weak roller to first base and beat the play to load the bases for Mike Blanke. Long Island’s first baseman then hit a ground ball to hole on the left side, and Puckett beat the throw home to put the Ducks back in front 5-4. Sugar Land immediately got the tying run on in the bottom of the inning when Blanke dropped a throw from Gotay. However, Coffey responded by retiring the next three in order to seal the victory.
ON THE MOUND: In the series finale, Mike Jackson Jr. will make his second start of the road trip. The right-hander impressed in his Ducks debut on Monday at New Britain despite taking the loss. In six innings, he allowed four runs (two earned), but all came in one inning and three scored on one pitch, a three-run homer from Michael Crouse. Jackson Jr. gave up six hits and walked just one while striking out three. Prior to joining the Flock, the Pittsburgh resident posted an 8-2 record with a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts with the Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association. Dating back to June 28, he has tossed nine consecutive quality starts, compiling a 1.74 ERA in that span.
The Skeeters have signed Michael Nix to pitch the rubber game of the series. The right-hander began the season in the Mexican League, combining to start 21 games with Saltillo and Aguascalientes. He posted a 7-8 record with a 5.38 ERA and walked 57 batters while striking out 70 in 115 and one-third innings. Nix has spent time in each of the past four seasons with the Skeeters and has compiled an 18-14 record with a 3.35 ERA in 54 games (37 starts). During the 2015 campaign, he made three starts and was 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA. All three of his starts came in September.
FOLLOW ALONG: Fans can follow all the action from tonight’s game live on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. 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.
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#23 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#15 Ruben Gotay – 2B
#29 Mike Dowd – C
#32 Tyler Colvin – 1B
#21 Mike Blanke – DH
#17 Matt Wessinger – SS
#30 Mike Jackson Jr. – RHP
#7 Josh Prince – SS
#26 Jeff Dominguez – 2B
#9 Rene Tosoni – CF
#29 Jeremy Barfield – RF
#16 Travis Scott – 1B
#14 Lance Zawadzki – 3B
#5 Wilfredo Rodriguez – DH
#34 Johan Limonta – LF
#3 Albert Cordero – C
#31 Michael Nix – RHP
UPDATE (6:23): TOP 1: The Ducks rally with two outs and take the early lead on an RBI single from Ruben Gotay! He’s driven in six runs in the series!
UPDATE (6:47): BOT 2: Wilfredo Rodriguez ties the game at one with an RBI fielder’s choice. Mike Jackson Jr. induces a double play though to end the frame!
UPDATE (7:06): BOT 3: Jackson Jr. works around a leadoff double by Albert Cordero to retire three in a row! Still a 1-1 ballgame after three.
UPDATE (7:29): BOT 4: A five-spot for Sugar Land gives them a 6-1 lead in the fourth. All five runs come home with two outs.
UPDATE (8:13) BOT 6: Skeeters add three runs on a two-run single from Josh Prince and a fielding error. Sugar Land leads 9-1.
UPDATE (8:34): BOT 7: Another pair of runs come across for the Skeeters, as they extend their lead to 11-1.
UPDATE (8:53): BOT 8: Mike Blanke tosses a scoreless inning in his first relief appearance as a Duck! He last pitched in 2014 with the White Sox organization.
UPDATE (9:01): Final: Skeeters take the series finale 11-1 over the Ducks. Long Island opens a six-game homestand on Tuesday night!
Posted on August 21, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged 2016, Atlantic League, Brett Marshall, Cody Puckett, Constellation Field, Long Island Ducks, Michael Nix, Mike Jackson Jr., Nick Struck, Ruben Gotay, Sugar Land Skeeters, Todd Coffey. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.