Game 135: 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 (28-36; 68-66) look for their third consecutive victory when they face the Sugar Land Skeeters (34-30; 69-65) in the middle game of a three-game series. The Ducks have already wrapped up a postseason berth by clinching the first half Liberty Division title, while Skeeters remain in thick of the playoff chase. They sit one game behind the York Revolution for first place in the second half Freedom Division standings. In addition, should a wild card scenario come into play (York wins the second half), Sugar Land’s overall record is five and a half games behind Somerset but one game better than New Britain.

YESTERDAY’S RESULT: Despite resting several starters, the Ducks turned in their highest run total since July and largest hit total in about one month. Long Island totaled 11 runs on 16 hits in an 11-3 rout of the Skeeters in Texas.

Every Ducks batter had at least one hit and scored at least one run during the game, while six drove in at least one run. Long Island was able to produce all of their offense in two innings of the game. After Jake Hale (5-3) tossed scoreless innings in the first and second, he saw 11 Ducks batters come to the plate in a six-run third inning. With two on and one out, Delta Cleary Jr.’s deep fly ball was misplayed by Rene Tosoni, resulting in an RBI double. Cody Puckett followed by a smacking a two-run single to left, increasing the lead to 3-0. After Tyler Colvin reached on an error on what could have been an inning-ending double play ball, Mike Blanke lined a single to right that scored Puckett, and Colvin ended up coming home when Jeremy Barfield’s throw from right sailed past the catcher. Chris Scura rounded out the scoring with an RBI fielder’s choice.

Two innings later, with the score 6-1, the Ducks struck again for a big two-out rally. After loading up the bases, Anthony Vega reached on an RBI infield single. Fehlandt Lentini followed with the big hit of the night, a three-run double down the left field line that ballooned Long Island’s lead to 10-1. That would end the night for Hale, and after Jon Velasquez came in, Cleary Jr. laced an RBI single to right to cap the five-run frame.

Meanwhile Jarret Leverett (6-8) turned in a second consecutive strong outing for Long Island. The tone for his night was set when he escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the first, getting Barfield to fly out to right-center and Delwyn Young to bounce into a double play. The southpaw got big outs when he faced two-on, two-out jams in the fifth and sixth, with his only blemish coming in the fourth when Tosoni hit a bloop double to right, advanced on a passed ball and scored on Barfield’s sacrifice fly to center. Freddie Cabrera tossed a scoreless eighth inning before allowing a pair of unearned runs in the ninth due to his throwing error with two outs.

Matt Wessinger connected for three hits to pace Long Island’s offense, while five others each added two.

ON THE MOUND: Bobby Blevins will get the start in game two of the series for Long Island. The right-hander is looking to end his season on a high note, as he has posted a 2-11 record with a 5.61 ERA in 2016. He turned in a quality start in his most recent outing, pitching six innings of three-run ball and allowing eight hits and two walks with one strikeout on September 7 against Bridgeport. Blevins has taken the loss in each of past three outings, but he has also received a combined five runs of support in those three games. The key for him will be avoiding the big inning, as he has allowed two three-run frames in two of those three outings. Blevins’ lone start against the Skeeters this season came on July 31 at Bethpage Ballpark when he gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five over seven innings. However, the fifth-year Duck took the loss in a 4-1 ballgame.

Sugar Land will counter with Aaron Thompson, looking to end a two-game skid. The southpaw enters with a record of 8-5 and a 3.95 ERA in 24 games (21 starts) in 2016. Like Blevins, he also tossed six innings of three-run ball in his most recent outing, giving up nine hits and a walk while striking out two and taking a no-decision at Somerset on September 7. The Skeeters have lost four consecutive starts made by Thompson, and he has a 6.26 ERA in that span (16 earned runs in 23 innings of work). Prior to that, he had made six straight quality starts and posted a 1.89 ERA during the streak (eight earned runs in 38 innings). Against the Ducks, Thompson has compiled a 1-2 record with a 3.42 ERA in four starts. His only start in Texas opposing the Flock was on May 18 when he pitched four innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 Skeeters victory.

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.

STARTING LINEUPS:

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

#18 Bobby Blevins – RHP

Skeeters
#26 Jeff Dominguez – 2B
#9   Rene Tosoni – CF
#29 Jeremy Barfield – RF
#16 Travis Scott – DH
#24 Delwyn Young – 1B
#14 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#10 Juan Martinez – 3B
#34 Johan Limonta – LF
#3   Albert Cordero – C

#18 Aaron Thompson – LHP

 —

UPDATE (7:18): TOP 1: Great start for the Flock! Dan Lyons and Cody Puckett pick up RBI singles to give the Ducks and early 2-0 lead!

UPDATE (7:31): BOT 1: The Skeeters pull even on a two-run home run to left from Jeremy Barfield, his 25th of the season.

UPDATE (7:42): TOP 2: Ducks get the lead back on a two-out RBI single from Fehlandt Lentini after Matt Wessinger doubles! 3-2 Long Island

UPDATE (8:07): TOP 4: Lentini JUST misses a three-run homer to left with two outs. Johan Limonta makes the catch at the wall to end the inning. Still 3-2

UPDATE (8:37): BOT 5: The Skeeters take advantage of an error on a potential double play ball and score four runs (one earned) to take a 6-3 lead.

UPDATE (9:20): TOP 8: Ruben Gotay’s sacrifice fly to center has scored Puckett, cutting the deficit to 6-4!

UPDATE (9:41): FINAL: Derrick Loop retires the side in order in the ninth, and the Skeeters hold on for a 6-4 win to even the series at one.

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Posted on September 13, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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