Games 3 & 4: Ducks at Blue Crabs

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 1:00 p.m. at Regency Furniture Stadium (Waldorf, Md.) 

TODAY’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs look to avoid the rain drops as they play a single admission doubleheader, with both games scheduled for seven innings. Saturday night’s game was postponed due to inclement weather, the third game in three days to begin the season that has been affected by rain. Both sides split the first two games of the series on Thursday and Friday. Long Island leads in the all-time series is 90-89.

FRIDAY’S RECAP: Despite building an early 4-0 lead, the Ducks were unable to claim their second consecutive win to begin the season as Southern Maryland rallied for a 6-5 victory.

Long Island went to work immediately against six-year MLB veteran Pat Misch. Fehlandt Lentini single, moved to second on a sac bunt, stole third and scored on Nolan Reimold’s sac fly to right. Following a double by Marc Krauss, Nate Freiman positively crushed a two-run home run to left-center field for his first and Long Island’s first home run of the year.

The skies then opened, and the teams had to wait out a one-hour, seven-minute rain delay, the second time in as many nights that rain had stopped the game. Misch was unable to continue after the long wait, though seven-year Major League veteran Rafael Perez still started for the Ducks. After a scoreless bottom of the first, the Ducks added to their lead in the second when Alex Burg launched a solo blast to left off Austin Fleet.

Perez pitched two solid innings but lost his dominance in the third when Southern Maryland collected three runs on five hits off him. An RBI single by Danny Muno and a two-run single by Zach Wilson trimmed the lead to 4-3. Perez avoided further trouble, but the Blue Crabs were back in the ballgame.

A two-out RBI single by Alex Burg in the fourth gave the Ducks a two-run cushion, but the bullpen was unable to preserve it like they had on Thursday night. The normally dominant Zac Treece walked Zach Cone with one out in the sixth, and that was followed by a two-run homer to left of the bat of Patrick Palmeiro that tied the game at five. Treece walked the next two hitters before Tyler Wilson came on to escape the jam.

Chin-Hui Tsao then pitched the eighth for a second consecutive night and allowed a one-out solo homer to former Duck Mike Blanke. With the Blue Crabs now on top 6-5, ex-Yankee Cody Eppley came on and earned the save in the ninth, retiring the Ducks in order. Five Blue Crabs relievers kept the Ducks off the scoreboard over the final five innings.

ON THE MOUND: Long Island native Keith Couch will take the mound for the Ducks in game one. The right-hander was born in Mineola, attended Holy Diocesan High School in Hicksville, played collegiate baseball at Adelphi University in Garden City and now resides in Elmont. He spent the first seven seasons of his career in the Boston Red Sox organization and split time in 2016 with Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. In 22 appearances (20 starts), he combined for a 10-8 record with a 3.96 ERA, three complete games and 73 strikeouts in 127 and one-third innings. The 27-year-old was a member of the 2014 Pawtucket Red Sox squad that won the International League championship, and he started and won the decisive Game Five of the series.

Maryland native Daryl Thompson will oppose Couch for the Blue Crabs. The right-hander was born in La Plata, Md., just a short drive from Regency Furniture Stadium, and went to La Plata High School. In five seasons with Southern Maryland, he has compiled a 31-29 record with a 4.03 ERA over 95 games (89 starts). 2016 was a struggle for Thompson, as he went just 5-9 with a 4.69 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) and surrendered a career and league high 27 home runs. In three games (two starts) against the Flock, he was 0-1 with a 4.73 ERA. The ex-Major Leaguer pitched in four games (three starts) with the Cincinnati Reds during the 2008 and 2011 seasons, going 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA.

Game two will feature the Ducks debut for Tim Melville. The right-hander made his Major League debut in April of 2016 for the Cincinnati Reds. He pitched four innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits and four walks while striking out five against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Melville would make three appearances (two starts) total for the Reds and also pitched in nine games (three starts) in the minors. The 27-year-old has also spent time in the Royals and Tigers organizations and made a career-high 27 starts in 2015 with Triple-A Toledo. He was originally drafted in the fourth round by Kansas City in 2008.

Brian Grening returns to Southern Maryland this season and gets the ball in the second game. The righty made 39 appearances (14 starts) for the Blue Crabs in 2016 and posted a 10-6 record with a 3.09 ERA, two complete games and 114 strikeouts to just 22 walks in 116 and two-thirds innings. It was a significant improvement for the California native, who went 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 2015 with the Blue Crabs and 3-8 with a 6.83 ERA in 2014 with Southern Maryland and Lancaster. Against Long Island, he compiled a 1-1 record with a 2.08 ERA in six games (two starts). Grening’s career began with three seasons in the Cleveland Indians organization, reaching as high as Triple-A for one start.

FOLLOW ALONGFans can follow all the action for both games, and every Ducks game in 2017, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Streaming HD video and audio via BoxCast will be available on the team’s official Facebook page through Facebook Live, on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel and at LIDucks.com in the Video Center. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a pitch-by-pitch account of today’s twinbill via Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: For today’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS (GAME ONE):

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#35 Nate Freiman – DH
#26 Angelo Songco – LF
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#23 Alex Burg – C
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – SS

#25 Keith Couch – RHP

Blue Crabs
#7   Gary Brown – CF
#15 Danny Muno – 2B
#29 Zach Wilson  – 1B
#16 Michael Snyder – DH
#27 Cory Vaughn – LF
#23 Zach Cone – RF
#6   Patrick Palmeiro – 3B
#9   Edwin Garcia – SS
#24 Mike Blanke – C

#20 Daryl Thompson – RHP

UPDATE (1:16): BOT 1: Long Island native Keith couch tosses a scoreless first inning, striking out Wilson and Snyder!

UPDATE (1:44): BOT 2: Blue Crabs put up four runs to take a 4-0 lead. Mike Blanke’s two-run single and a sac fly from Gary Brown highlight the inning.

UPDATE (2:04): TOP 4: Nate Freiman gets the Ducks on the scoreboard with another mammoth home run to left! The solo blast makes it a 4-1 game.

UPDATE (2:11): BOT 4: Gary Brown restores Southern Maryland’s four-run lead with a solo homer that just clears the wall in left. 5-1 Blue Crabs.

UPDATE (2:50): BOT 6: Strong Ducks debut for lefty reliever Jim Fuller, who strikes out two in a 1-2-3 sixth inning!

UPDATE (2:55): FINAL: Ducks drop game one of the twinbill to the Blue Crabs, 6-1. Game two coming up in approximately 30 minutes.

STARTING LINEUPS (GAME TWO):

Ducks
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#26 Angelo Songco – RF
#20 Nolan Reimold – LF
#34 Marc Krauss – DH
#35 Nate Freiman – 1B
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#15 Dominic Blanco – C

#33 Tim Melville – RHP

Blue Crabs
#7   Gary Brown – CF
#15 Danny Muno – 2B
#29 Zach Wilson  – 1B
#16 Michael Snyder – DH
#27 Cory Vaughn – LF
#4   Chad Hinshaw – RF
#6   Patrick Palmeiro – 3B
#9   Edwin Garcia – SS
#25 Ryan Wiggins – C

#11 Brian Grening – RHP

UPDATE (3:34): Having some technical difficulties to start the broadcast. Should begin at about 3:40. Game two just got underway in Southern Maryland.

UPDATE (3:46): BOT 1: Zach Wilson’s RBI single and Cory Vaughn’s sac fly give the Blue Crabs an early 2-0 lead.

UPDATE (3:58): TOP 2: Ducks trim the deficit to one on a sacrifice fly to left by Dan Lyons! It’s his first RBI of the year.

UPDATE (4:35): MID 5: The afternoon is complete for Melville. Following the first, he allowed just one hit and one walk over three scoreless innings.

UPDATE (4:48): TOP 6: Nolan Reimold doubles, Marc Krauss singles, and we are all tied up at two apiece!

UPDATE (4:59): BOT 6: David Aardsma twirls a scoreless inning in his Ducks debut, striking out two! 2-2 heading to the seventh.

UPDATE (5:10): TOP 7: Delta Cleary Jr. delivers! His two-strike, two-out RBI single plates pinch-runner Fehlandt Lentini to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead!

UPDATE (5:22): FINAL: Amalio Diaz secures his first save of the season, and the Ducks win it, 3-2, to split the twinbill and the four-game series!

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Posted on April 23, 2017, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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