Game 62: Ducks at Skeeters

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:05 p.m. CDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (31-30) take on the Sugar Land Skeeters (26-35) in game two of a seven-game series. Long Island has now won two of their past three games after taking the opener on Friday, and Sugar Land has now lost four consecutive games dating back to game two of Tuesday’s doubleheader. Both teams are in third place in their respective division, with the Ducks sitting six games in back of first in the Liberty Division and the Skeeters trailing the Blue Crabs by nine and a half games in the Freedom Division. The season series between the teams is tied at two.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: A pair of multi-run innings and a strong start from Rafael Perez led the Ducks to a 5-1 win on Friday night in Texas.

Long Island got their night started in the second inning against Sugar Land starter Jake Hale (4-2). After retiring the first five batters he faced, Hale allowed back-to-back two-out singles to Elmer Reyes and Ruben Gotay. That set the stage for Giovanny Alfonzo, who connected on a two-run double down the right field line.

It remained 2-0 until the top of the sixth inning when the first four Ducks batters picked up hits off of Hale to knock him out of the game. After back-to-back singles by Lew Ford and Angelo Songco, Alex Burg grounded an RBI double down the left field line and Reyes drove a two-run single to left-center. Hale finished with five runs and nine hits allowed in five innings of work.

Meanwhile, Perez (5-2) cruised over the first five innings of the ballgame, retiring 15 of the first 16 batters he faced. His only blemish in that time was a single by Derek Miller in the third. However, he seemed to run out of gas on a hot and humid night in the sixth. Perez allowed back-to-back singles to open the frame and nearly surrendered home runs to both Josh Prince and Anthony Giansanti. However, both balls went just foul down the left field line. Perez retired both but walked Travis Scott with two outs, and that was followed by a passed ball that scored Hector Olivera.

After a walk to Kevin Ahrens that brought the tying run to the plate, Kevin Baez summoned Rob Rogers from the bullpen. The Long Island native got Bryan Pounds to hit into a force out at third on the first pitch he threw to end the threat. Rogers would then pitch back-to-back scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth to keep the 5-1 lead intact. Amalio Diaz got into some trouble in the ninth, allowing a walk and a single to begin the frame. However, he rebounded to strike out the side and seal the win.

ON THE MOUND: Saturday night will feature a pair of former teammates and two-time Atlantic League champions on the mound. John Brownell (4-1, 3.15 ERA) will take the baseball for the Ducks. The right-hander got off to a rough start on Monday night, surrendering six runs in three and two-thirds innings against the Patriots before rain postponed the game and erased the stats. Prior to Monday, he allowed four earned runs in back-to-back starts on June 9 against Bridgeport and June 14 at Somerset, with the Ducks dropping both games. Brownell will be making his first start against the Skeeters this season but has faced them 16 times in his career, compiling an 11-3 record and a 2.48 ERA.

On the other side will be Bobby Blevins (4-3, 4.63 ERA), who spent time with the Ducks from 2012-16 and won championships with Brownell in the first two seasons. The righty took a no-decision his last time out, surrendering three unearned runs on five hits and a walk. He also struck out three in Sugar Land’s 7-6 loss at Bridgeport on Sunday, June 18. Blevins lost his two outings prior to that as well and has compiled a 5.29 ERA in his last three outings (10 ER in 17 innings). The Briarcliff, N.Y. native defeated the Flock in his first matchup with his former team on June 1 at Bethpage Ballpark, tossing six scoreless innings and yielding five hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

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
#11 Anthony Vega – LF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#26 Angelo Songco – 1B
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#15 Jordan Pacheco – C
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#7   John Brownell – RHP

Skeeters
#7   Josh Prince – 2B
#4   Kevin Ahrens – SS
#16 Travis Scott – 1B
#15 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#21 Anthony Giansanti – RF
#38 Joel Guzman – DH
#36 Hector Olivera – LF
#9   Wilfredo Rodriguez – C
#6   Derek Miller – CF

#19 Bobby Blevins – RHP

UPDATE (6:22): We are underway in Sugar Land, as both sides trade zeroes in the opening inning.

UPDATE (6:56): TOP 3: Ducks strike first! An RBI double by Fehlandt Lentini and a two-run double by Lew Ford give the Flock an early 3-0 lead!

UPDATE (7:27): END 5: John Brownell tosses his third consecutive 1-2-3 inning and has now retired 10 straight Skeeters! Onto the sixth inning we go.

UPDATE (7:54): TOP 7: A two-out double by Lentini and a single by Anthony Vega, along with an error, give the Ducks a 4-0 lead!

UPDATE (8:06): BOT 7: Sugar Land scratches out a run on a sacrifice fly to right from Joel Guzman. Long Island’s lead is now 4-1.

UPDATE (8:38): BOT 8: A two-out, two-run triple by Bryan Pounds makes it a 4-3 game. However, Henry Hirsch comes on to strike out Anthony Giansanti!

UPDATE (8:52): TOP 9: Ducks get their three-run lead back! Ford’s RBI double and a passed ball give the Flock a 6-3 advantage!

UPDATE (9:07): FINAL: Tremendous diving stop by Elmer Reyes to start a game-ending 4-6-3 double play!! Ducks win again in Texas, 6-3!

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Posted on June 24, 2017, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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