Game 78: Ducks vs. Patriots
GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (39-38, 3-4) return to action out of the Atlantic League All-Star break and host the Somerset Patriots (44-32, 2-4) Friday night. The Ducks currently sit in third place on the Liberty Division standings, only one game behind the Bridgeport Bluefish for first place in the second half standings, while the Patriots sit in last, 1.5 games back.
YESTERDAY’S RECAP: The Long Island Ducks defeated the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs 4-3 Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series at Regency Furniture Stadium.
The Ducks scored two pitches into the game when Fehlandt Lentini crushed a Brian Grening fastball over the wall in left for a leadoff home run. Two batters later, Lew Ford deposited a pitch over the wall in left center for Long Island’s second homer of the frame, and Marc Krauss added a third round-tripper to extend a 3-0 lead.
Southern Maryland responded in the bottom of the second against John Brownell, with Brian Bistagne connecting for a two-run double to narrow the gap to 3-2. The Blue Crabs tied the game at three in the bottom of the third on a Cory Vaughn sacrifice fly.
In the top of the fifth the Ducks regained the lead when Lentini legged out an infield single, and a throwing error allowed him to advance to third. Delta Cleary Jr. lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Lentini and give Long Island a 4-3 edge.
Brownell (7-1) threw his fourth-straight quality start, and his 10th overall on the season. The righty tossed seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out seven. Grening (7-3) took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on 10 hits in eight innings. David Aardsma tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to lock down his seventh save of the season.
Lentini led the Ducks by going 3-for-5 with a home run, an RBI and two runs scored.
ON THE MOUND: Matt Larkins gets the ball for the Ducks in the first game out of the break, looking to keep his stretch of strong pitching alive. In his last three starts, Larkins is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA (3 ER/23 IP), and has allowed just 13 hits and has a 21:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Overall, the right-hander is 3-6 with a 4.00 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts) this season. Larkins is enjoying a breakout season, striking out a career-high 7.8 batters per nine innings this year, while allowing fewer hits than he has in any other year of his six-year career.
He will be opposed by left-hander Efrain Nieves, who will be making just his fifth appearance and second start of the year. The second-year Patriot wis 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in a small sample this season, and has walked eight batters and struck out four in eight innings pitched. In his last outing on July 7, Nieves allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits while walking four in three innings against the Sugar Land Skeeters in a 12-0 loss.
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 Lew Ford – DH
#26 Angelo Songco – 1B
#30 Ruben Gotay – 3B
#34 Marc Krauss – LF
#23 Alex Burg – C
#6 Giovanny Alfonzo – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#44 Matt Larkins – RHP
#8 Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
#1 Justin Pacchioli – CF
#4 Yovan Gonzalez – C
#40 Kyle Roller – DH
#32 Mark Minicozzi – 3B
#13 Carlos Guzman – 1B
#9 Tyler Bortnick – 2B
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#33 Zach Racusin – RF
#22 Efrain Nieves – LHP
UPDATE (7:23) – TOP 3: Matt Larkins is sharp again early and we are scoreless at Bethpage Ballpark.
UPDATE (7:35) – BOT 3: The Ducks take a 1-0 lead on Dan Lyons’ third home run of the season!
UPDATE (8:30) – TOP 6: The Patriots get on the board and take a 2-1 lead.
UPDATE (9:11) – BOT 7: Angelo Songco ties the game up with an RBI single! We’re tied at two with the Patriots!
UPDATE (9:29) – TOP 8: The Patriots take a 3-2 lead on a Mark Minicozzi single.
UPDATE (9:56) – FINAL: Patriots 3, Ducks 2.
W: Wright (3-1)
L: Diaz (2-2)
SV: Shaban (5)
Posted on July 14, 2017, in Game Previews and tagged David Aardsma, Delta Cleary Jr., Fehlandt Lentini, John Brownell, Lew Ford, Long Island Ducks, Marc Krauss, Matt Larkins, Somerset Patriots, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.