Game 8: Ducks vs. Bees
GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:35 PM at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: After a season-opening seven-game road trip, the Long Island Ducks come home for the first time in the 2017 season tonight to host the Liberty Division rival New Britain Bees.
SUNDAY’S RECAP: The Long Island Ducks salvaged the finale of their three-game series with the Somerset Patriots, 10-6 Thursday night at TD Bank Ballpark. The Ducks pounded out a season-high 14 hits en route to victory.
The Ducks got on the board early when Fehlandt Lentini doubled off of Patriots starter Logan Darnell to lead off the game. He then stole third base and scored on a Nolan Reimold sacrifice fly.
The lead was extended to 2-0 in the top of the second, when Elmer Reyes clubbed a double to plate Alex Burg. However, the Patriots would touch up Rafael Perez for three runs in the bottom of the second, highlighted by a two-run double by Darren Ford to hand Somerset a 3-2 advantage.
Long Island wasted no time in re-claiming the lead, as Burg walloped a three-run home run off Darnell to put the Ducks ahead 5-3. The back-and-forth continued as Somerset evened the ledger with a pair of runs off Perez in the bottom of the third.
Delta Cleary, Jr. smacked a solo home run, his first of the season, in the top of the fourth as the Ducks took the lead for good. They added two more runs in the fifth, on a home run from Nate Freiman and an RBI single from Burg, as well as insurance runs in the eighth and ninth frames.
The home run from Freiman was his Atlantic League-leading fourth of the season, and the sixth of his Ducks career in 13 games played. Burg’s four RBI day was the first such performance of the 2017 season for a Ducks batter.
Darnell (0-1) allowed eight runs on 10 hits in his five innings of work, walking three, striking out two and allowing three home runs. Four Somerset relief pitchers combined to allow the final two runs of the contest in the game’s final four stanzas.
Perez did not factor into the decision as he only lasted 4.1 innings, surrendering all six runs (four earned) on 11 hits, walking one and striking out one.
The Ducks bullpen did fantastic work, with Rob Rogers (1-0) tossing two scoreless innings and getting the win. Patrick Crider issued two walks in 0.1 innings, but Tyler Wilson was able to extinguish the flames in the seventh, and added a hitless eighth out of the ‘pen. Jim Fuller twirled a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the victory.
As a whole, the Ducks bullpen kept the Patriots off the scoreboard for the final 4.2 innings of the game, and allowed just one hit while striking out three.
ON THE MOUND: Righthander Keith Couch makes his second start of the season for the Ducks. Couch took the loss in his first start of the season at the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader. The former Red Sox prospect allowed four runs (three earned) in three innings, striking out four and allowing five hits in his season debut.
New Britain sends Jonathan Pettibone to the mound tonight, also making his second start of the season. The righty spent parts of two seasons in Major League Baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2013 and 2014, going 5-5 with a 4.45 ERA in 20 starts. Pettibone has been out of baseball since the 2014 season, and got no decision in his first outing of the year with the Bees, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings.
FOLLOW ALONG: Fans can follow all the action for tonight’s game, and every Ducks game in 2017, with live streaming HD video and audio via BoxCast. The game can be viewed on the team’s official Facebook page through Facebook Live, on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel or 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.
#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
#23 Alex Burg – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#25 Keith Couch – RHP
#3 James Skelton – C
#10 Michael Crouse – CF
#35 Jovan Rosa – 3B
#24 Craig Maddox – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#28 Conor Bierfeldt – LF
#6 Jamar Walton – RF
#4 Steve Carillo – SS
#2 Jake McGuiggan – 2B
#32 Jonathan Pettibone – RHP
UPDATE 1 (7:03 pm): TOP 1: Craig Maddox hits a three-run homer to give the Bees a 3-0 lead. Keith Couch strikes out three in the frame.
UPDATE 2 (7:42 pm): MID 4: Three scoreless frames in a row for Keith Couch , who now has five strikeouts! 3-0 Bees lead.
UPDATE 3 (8:39 pm): BOT 7: Ducks bat around and score four runs to take a 4-3 lead! Marc Krauss with the go-ahead sacrifice fly.
UPDATE 4 (8:48 pm): TOP 8: Patrick Crider comes in from the bullpen after three scoreless frames from Zac Treece and strikes out the side for the shutdown inning! Ducks lead the Bees 4-3.
UPDATE 5 (9:05 pm): FINAL: David Aardsma locks down the save, striking out two, and the Ducks win it 4-3!