Games 5 & 6: Ducks at Patriots


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

TODAY’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (2-2) will play their second doubleheader in four day following the postponement of Tuesday’s game in Somerset due to inclement weather. The Ducks and Somerset Patriots (4-0) meet for the first two times this season in a double matinee featuring two seven-inning games. After splitting the season-opening four-game set with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs this past weekend, the Ducks set their sights on winning their first two Liberty Division games.

SUNDAY’S RECAP: The Long Island Ducks split a doubleheader with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Sunday afternoon in Waldorf, Md. The Flock was grounded 6-1 in the opener, but won the second game 3-2.

In game one, the Blue Crabs touched up Ducks starting pitcher Keith Couch for four runs in the second inning. A two-run single by former Duck Mike Blanke, and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Gary Brown, highlighted the inning.

Nate Freiman continued his hot start to the year, by torching his second home run of the young season in the fourth off Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson. In the bottom of the fourth, Brown touched up reliever Rob Rogers for a solo homer to bring the lead back to four, at 5-1.

A wild pitch from Rogers in the fifth brought home the sixth and final Blue Crabs run of the contest. Thompson (1-0) earned the win with six innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Couch (0-1) took the loss, surrendering four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts in three innings. Jim Fuller threw a perfect inning out of the bullpen for the Ducks, striking out a pair.

In the second game, the Blue Crabs took an early 2-0 lead, with Zach Wilson collecting an RBI single and Cory Vaughn bringing home a run on a sacrifice fly in the first.

Dan Lyons closed the gap to 2-1 in the second with a sacrifice fly. The score held until the top of the sixth when Nolan Reimold doubled and then scored on an RBI single by Marc Krauss, tying the game at two.

One inning later, Dominic Blanco drew a two-out walk, Fehlandt Lentini pinch ran and stole second, and Delta Cleary Jr. followed with a two-strike, two-out RBI single to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead.

Ducks starter Tim Melville lasted four innings, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk with one strikeout. Blue Crabs starter Brian Grening pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk with one strikeout. Neither factored in the decision.

Patrick Crider was the first to be summoned from of the bullpen for Long Island, answering the call with a perfect fifth inning. David Aardsma (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless sixth inning, striking out two, and Cody Eppley (0-1) suffered the loss, yielding a run on one hit and one walk in the seventh. Amalio Diaz picked up his first save of the year with a scoreless seventh, striking out a pair.

Krauss and Cody Puckett had two hits apiece in the second game of the twinbill to lead the Flock. With a .462 batting average, Krauss had a great series against Southern Maryland, and Elmer Reyes’ .571 average after four games paces the team.

ON THE MOUND: Right-hander Matt Larkins makes his season debut for the Ducks tonight, as he begins his first full season on the Island. Larkins, who was acquired via a trade with Lincoln of the American Association last September, made two strong starts in the 2016 regular season for the Ducks.  Throughout his career, the University of California, Riverside product has proven to be a reliable and durable arm in the rotation, and is expected to continue that role in 2017. The Moscow, Idaho resident paced the American Association in innings pitched (152.0) in the 2015 season while with Amarillo.

Somerset counters with right-handed pitcher Tyler Cloyd, who will be making his Patriots debut. Cloyd spent parts of two seasons in the major leagues, pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012 and 2013, posting a 4-9 record with a 5.98 ERA. The University of Nebraska at Omaha product played overseas in 2015 with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization, and appeared in four games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, in 2016.

Game two will see John Brownell make his second start of the season for the Flock. The righty earned a victory on Opening Day with five innings of one-run ball at Southern Maryland, yielding just five hits and a walk while striking out five. He will face a very familiar foe in the Patriots, a team he has opposed 14 times during the regular season in his career. During the 2016 season, Brownell made three starts against Somerset and posted a 1-0 record with a 3.32 ERA and 16 strikeouts to just three walks in 19 innings. He earned a pair of no-decisions at TD Bank Ballpark, allowing four earned runs in 12 innings.

David Kubiak will make his first start of the season for the Patriots in game two. The righty appeared in relief on Saturday against the Lancaster Barnstormers, pitching two innings and allowing a run on two hits and a walk with one strikeout. He made 20 starts during the 2016 season with the Bridgeport Bluefish and compiled a 7-4 record with a 3.75 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 100 and two-thirds innings. The Riverhead, N.Y. native also made three appearances with Double-A Trenton after his contract was purchased by the New York Yankees organization on May 4. In three starts against Long Island, Kubiak posted a 1-2 record with a 4.86 ERA but struck out 20 in 16 and two-thirds innings.

FOLLOW ALONG: Fans 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 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.


#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#20 Nolan Reimold – LF
#34 Marc Krauss – DH
#35 Nate Freiman – 1B
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#23 Alex Burg – C
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B

#44 Matt Larkins – RHP

#9   Tyler Bortnick – 2B
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#10 Olmo Rosario – RF
#24 Bryan LaHair – DH
#3   Zach Lutz – 3B
#13 Carlos Guzman – 1B
#4   Yovan Gonzalez – C
#33 Chris Grayson – CF
#2   Scott Kelly – SS

#12 Tyler Cloyd – RHP

UPDATE (11:33): TOP 2: Alex Burg delivers a two-out RBI double to left field, giving the Ducks an early 1-0 lead!

UPDATE (12:11): BOT 4: Following a throwing error with two outs, Carlos Guzman lines an RBI single to right, tying the ballgame at one.

UPDATE (12:45): BOT 6: Nice running catch by Cleary Jr. for the inning’s final out! Scoreless appearances from Crider, Treece & Fuller thus far. Still 1-1.

UPDATE (1:03): BOT 7: Amalio Diaz strikes out Tyler Bortnick to strand the winning run at third! We head to extras with the score tied at one.

UPDATE (1:40): END 9: Dennis O’Grady with a pair of scoreless innings out of the bullpen! We move to the 10th, still knotted at one.

UPDATE (1:55): BOT 10: Cody Puckett with a terrific pick out of the dirt at third to record the final out & strand the winning run at second! To the 11th.

UPDATE (2:17): FINAL: Carlos Guzman wins the ballgame with an RBI single to center in the bottom of the 11th. Game two coming up in about 30 minutes.


#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
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 2B
#15 Dominic Blanco – C

#7   John Brownell – RHP

#7   Darren Ford – CF
#8   Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
#10 Olmo Rosario – LF
#24 Bryan LaHair – 1B
#20 Jerry Sands – RF
#13 Carlos Guzman – DH
#4   Yovan Gonzalez – C
#9   Tyler Bortnick – 2B
#2   Scott Kelly – 3B

#5   David Kubiak – RHP

UPDATE (3:02): TOP 1: Marc Krauss brings home Fehlandt Lentini with a sacrifice fly to center! Ducks take an early 1-0 lead in game two.

UPDATE (3:43): BOT 3: Brownell induces an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to work around a hit and two errors! Ducks still lead 1-0.

UPDATE (4:21): END 6: Back-to-back 1-2-3 innings by Brownell. Cleary Jr. has also retired seven of the last 10 Patriots batters. 1-1, onto the seventh.

UPDATE (4:39): BOT 7: Three consecutive two-out singles for the Patriots ties the game at one. Alfredo Rodriguez’s RBI single forces extra innings.

UPDATE (5:02): BOT 8: Rob Rogers gets Scott Kelly to line out to second, leaving the bases loaded! Onto the ninth we go.

UPDATE (5:11): TOP 9: Nate Freiman crushes his team-leading third home run of the year! Ducks take a 2-1 lead!

UPDATE (5:32): BOT 9: Olmo Rosario ties the game back up with an RBI double. Cleary Jr. makes a terrific running catch though to leave the bases loaded!

UPDATE (5:49): FINAL: Tyler Bortnick singles, steals second, goes to third on an error and scores on a wild pitch. Patriots win 3-2 in 10 innings.


Posted on April 26, 2017, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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