Game 7: Ducks at Patriots

Larkins-Pitching-at-Somerset-4-26-17

GAME TIME/LOCATION: 7:05 p.m. at TD Bank Ballpark (Bridgewater, N.J.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (2-4) look to salvage the finale of a three-game series against the Somerset Patriots (6-0) and end their season-opening road trip on a high note. Somerset has claimed the first two meetings of 20 scheduled games between the two teams during the 2017 season.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: In typical Ducks-Patriots fashion, both sides engaged in a pair of extra-inning games that were decided by a one-run margin. Unfortunately for Long Island, it was Somerset who came out on top in both ends of a single admission doubleheader, taking game one, 2-1, in 11 innings, and game two, 3-2, in 10 innings.

Alex Burg came up with another clutch two-out RBI in the second inning of the opener, driving in Nate Freiman with a run-scoring double off Patriots starter Tyler Cloyd to put the Flock in front. Matt Larkins started for the Ducks and tossed three and two-thirds scoreless innings to begin his day. However, in the fourth, a two-out single from Bryan LaHair followed by a throwing error from Cody Puckett on a grounder from Zach Lutz set the stage for Carlos Guzman. The first baseman tied the game with an RBI single to right.

Neither side managed to push across the go-ahead run over the next six innings, but both had their chances. Leadoff hits by Delta Cleary Jr. in the sixth and Elmer Reyes in the eighth went for naught for Long Island. The Ducks also put runners at the corners with two outs in the 11th on a single, an error and a walk, but Puckett grounded out.

Somerset picked up leadoff singles in the seventh and eighth, as well as a leadoff double in the 10th, but like Long Island, they were unable to take the lead. However, in the 11th inning, Justin Pacchioli singled, Lutz walked and Guzman singled in the winning run with a base hit to center.

Patrick Crider, Zac Treece, Jim Fuller, Amalio Diaz and Dennis O’Grady each turned in scoreless outings, including three shutout innings from O’Grady. However, Tyler Wilson took the loss after surrendering the winning run. Four Somerset relievers combined for eight scoreless innings, including four from southpaw Rick Teasley. Duane Below, who pitched the final two, collected the win.

In game two, the Ducks again struck first on back-to-back singles by Fehlandt Lentini and Cleary Jr. and a sac fly from Marc Krauss off Patriots starter David Kubiak. The righty would settle in though, and the Ducks would be held off the scoreboard over the next six innings.

Meanwhile, John Brownell was in vintage form and kept the Ducks ahead with six shutout innings. Despite only striking out one, he stranded six runners on base in the first four innings and worked very efficiently on the mound. The right-hander recorded the first two outs of the seventh inning on flyouts and got ahead of nine-hitter Scott Kelly 0-2, leaving him a strike away from a complete game shutout. However, Kelly singled to right, Darren Ford singled to left, and Alfredo Rodriguez tied the game at one with a base hit to left.

Long Island broke the tie in the ninth on another home run from Freiman, a solo blast to left-center. David Aardsma was then called upon to close out the game, after Rob Rogers wiggled out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth. Aardsma walked Ford to lead off the inning, who then stole second. Rodriguez singled to left to put runners on the corners, and Olmo Rosario followed with an RBI double to left to tie the game back up. Somerset would load the bases against Aardsma with two outs, but Cleary Jr. made a fabulous running catch to rob Yovan Gonzalez of the game winning hit.

Lentini doubled to left with one out in the 10th, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position. Cleary Jr. and Krauss were unable to drive him in though, and the Patriots broke through to win the game in the bottom of the frame. Tyler Bortnick singled against Treece, stole second, moved to third on an error by Dominic Blanco, and scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND: Major League veteran Rafael Perez makes his second start of the year for the Ducks on Thursday night. The southpaw made his Ducks debut on Friday in Southern Maryland, pitching three innings and taking a no-decision. He began the night with back-to-back scoreless innings, striking out three batters. However, he surrendered five hits in a three-run third inning, including four consecutive singles with one out. Perez got out of further trouble to keep the Ducks in front, but the Blue Crabs eventually rallied to win the game, 6-5.

Somerset will counter back with a former Major League southpaw of their own in Logan Darnell. The lefty made his debut in a Patriots uniform as the Opening Day start on Friday, pitching five scoreless innings and allowing four hits while striking out three. He took a no-decision in Somerset’s 2-1 walk-off win over Lancaster. Darnell reached the Major Leagues with the Minnesota Twins in 2014, posting an 0-2 record and a 7.13 ERA in seven games (four starts). The 28-year-old pitched with Triple-A Rochester in 2016 and made 18 starts, compiling an 8-8 record with a 3.53 ERA and two complete games. However, he struck out just 53 batters in 109 and two-thirds innings.

FOLLOW ALONG: Fans can follow all the action for tonight’s game, 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 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
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#20 Nolan Reimold – LF
#35 Nate Freiman – DH
#26 Angelo Songco – 1B
#23 Alex Burg – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B

#40 Rafael Perez – LHP

Patriots
#7   Darren Ford – CF
#8   Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
#10 Olmo Rosario – RF
#20 Jerry Sands – DH
#13 Carlos Guzman – 1B
#9   Tyler Bortnick – 2B
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#2   Scott Kelly – 3B
#21 Adam Donachie – C

#15 Logan Darnell – LHP

UPDATE (7:17): TOP 1: Ducks strike first for the third straight game! Nolan Reimold’s sac fly to center brings home Fehlandt Lentini to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead!

UPDATE (7:38): TOP 2: Elmer Reyes picks up his first RBI of the season with a single up the middle that plates Alex Burg! 2-0 Flock!

UPDATE (7:48): BOT 2: Three runs come home for the Patriots, who now lead 3-2. RBI single for Aharon Eggleston & a two-run double by Darren Ford.

UPDATE (8:00): TOP 3: Alex Burg takes the lead right back! He crushes a two-out, three-run home run to left-center! Ducks jump back in front, 5-3!

UPDATE (8:19): BOT 3: Patriots tie the ballgame back up with two runs. A run-scoring double play ball & an RBI single by Eggleston make it 5-5.

UPDATE (8:24): TOP 4: The runs keep on coming! Delta Cleary Jr. smacks his first home run of the season! His solo blast puts the Ducks back ahead, 6-5.

UPDATE (8:42): TOP 5: Nate Freiman cranks another home run! His league-leading fourth of the year! Burg adds an RBI double as well! Ducks now lead, 8-5.

UPDATE (8:57): BOT 5: Eggleston’s third RBI single of the game trims the lead to 8-6. However, Rob Rogers comes in & induces an inning-ending double play!

UPDATE (9:43): BOT 7: Rob Rogers pitches two scoreless innings before Patrick Crider & Tyler Wilson combine to leave the bases loaded. 8-6, on to the eighth.

UPDATE (9:50): TOP 8: Long Island extends their lead to three after a double by Reyes & a sac fly by Lentini! Ducks now in front 9-6.

UPDATE (10:17): TOP 9: Dan Lyons collects his third hit of the night, driving a two-out RBI single to right! Long Island’s lead is now 10-6!

UPDATE (10:25): FINAL: Jim Fuller retires the side in order, and the Ducks snap Somerset’s six-game winning streak with a 10-6 victory to end the road trip!

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Posted on April 27, 2017, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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