Game #9: Ducks vs. Bees
GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Ducks (4-4) look to keep their momentum moving forward and climb a game over the .500 mark tonight against the New Britain Bees (2-5). The Bees, meanwhile, have been struggling in the early going and have now lost four consecutive games. Tonight is the first Fireworks Spectacular of the season, presented by Astoria Bank, and is also the first Dick’s Sporting Goods Saturday of the season.
YESTERDAY’S RECAP: The Long Island Ducks batted around and plated four runs in the bottom of the seventh to score a 4-3 victory over the New Britain Bees in the home opener on Friday night at Bethpage Ballpark.
The Ducks fell behind early when starting pitcher Keith Couch surrendered a three-run home run to Craig Maddox to give the Bees an early 3-0 lead. Despite the first-inning blast, Couch settled down to strike out three batters in the frame.
Bees starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone kept the Ducks offense grounded throughout his five innings of work, scattering four hits.
Couch followed the rocky start with three scoreless innings and ended his day with three runs allowed over four innings, on three hits, one walk and a season-high five strikeouts. Zac Treece (1-1) replaced Couch and provided three superb frames of relief work, yielding just a walk and a hit while striking out one.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Ducks got their first runner into scoring position against reliever Kyle Simon (1-1). Cody Puckett walked, and two batters later, Dan Lyons was hit by a pitch. Elmer Reyes followed with a two-run double to cut the Bees’ lead to 3-2.
Fehlandt Lentini poked a single to send Reyes to third, and Delta Cleary Jr. drove him home with a game-tying base hit. With Nolan Reimold at the plate, Lentini and Cleary Jr. pulled off a double steal of second and third, and then Reimold walked to load the bases.
Marc Krauss lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center to plate Lentini and give Long Island a 4-3 lead. It was Krauss’ third sac fly of the season, which leads the Atlantic League.
Staked to a one-run lead, Patrick Crider struck out the side in the eighth, and David Aardsma struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his first save of the year. The win gave the Flock their first back-to-back wins of the season.
ON THE MOUND: Right-hander Tim Melville makes his first home start of the season tonight and his second start in 2017. His first outing came on Sunday at Southern Maryland in game two of a doubleheader, and the righty allowed two runs in four innings. He ultimately took a no-decision in a game the Ducks ultimately won, 3-2. The former Kansas City Royals draft pick pitched three games for the Cincinnati Reds in the 2016 season.
The Bees will counter with righty Brian Dupra, making his second start of the season. Dupra is in his second season with New Britain after beginning his professional career in the Washington Nationals organization. In his first start of the season, he got the win after allowing one run on two hits in five innings against the York Revolution on April 23. The Rochester, N.Y. native finished the 2016 season with a 4-3 record and a 4.51 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) with the Bees. He made two appearances (one start) against the Ducks and compiled a 4.50 ERA, yielding four runs in eight 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.
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#20 Nolan Reimold – DH
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#26 Angelo Songco – LF
#23 Alex Burg – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#33 Tim Melville – RHP
#3 James Skelton – C
#10 Michael Crouse – CF
#35 Jovan Rosa – 3B
#24 Craig Maddox – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#28 Connor Bierfeldt – LF
#6 Jamar Walton – RF
#4 Steve Carillo – SS
#2 Jake McGuiggan – 2B
#30 Brian Dupra – RHP
UPDATE (6:47): TOP 1: A strong start for Tim Melville, throwing a 1-2-3 first, with a strikeout. No score as we head to the bottom of the first.
UPDATE (7:09): BOT 2: Angelo Songco crushes a two-run home run to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead!
UPDATE (7:37): TOP 4: Bees get to Melville for three runs to take a 3-2 lead.
UPDATE (8:05): END 5: Tim Melville is done for the night, and Floral Park native Dennis O’Grady comes in. Ducks trail the Bees 3-2.
UPDATE (8:26): Dennis O’Grady has spun two scoreless innings from the bullpen, striking out three! Time to stretch, down by 1.
UPDATE (8:34): END 7: O’Grady is through after two perfect innings from the ‘pen, and Tyler Wilson enters for the eighth! 3-2 Bees lead.
UPDATE (8:51): TOP 8: Jim Fuller escapes a two-on, two-out jam to keep it 3-2 Bees.
UPDATE (9:14): FINAL: Ducks fall to the Bees, 3-2.