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20th Anniversary Team Voting – Outfield (Week 4)

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19 seasons of Long Island Ducks baseball have come and gone. Players from all around the world and of all varieties of baseball experience have worn the Ducks uniform since the first pitch on April 28, 2000. In that time, they have played in front of nearly 8 million fans in Central Islip, and millions more around the rest of the country. Those players and coaches have also earned three Atlantic League Championships, seven Division Championships, 13 half-season Division Championships and over 1,300 victories. As the Ducks 20th Anniversary Season, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, approaches, it is time to determine which members of the Flock have stood above the rest.

Our final week of outfielder voting has descended upon us! We have had three exciting weeks thus far, with fans casting hundreds of ballots each week to help determine the first three outfielders on the 20th Anniversary Team. However, any good squad needs to have depth in the outfield. Couple that with the litany of terrific outfielders that have worn the Ducks uniform, and that is why we have decided to include a fourth outfield spot among this exclusive group. Our final three nominees for the position all have won at least one Atlantic League championship with the Ducks, and two of the three were instrumental in securing Long Island’s back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. Let’s take a look at the three candidates:


Jason Johnson
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“Jason Johnson makes the catch! He makes the catch!” Chris King’s play-by-play call of Jason Johnson securing the final out of the Ducks 2004 Atlantic League Championship clincher is one that echoes through the annals of Ducks history. While that catch was certainly a momentous occasion in Johnson’s career, it certainly wasn’t the only highlight in his three-year stint with the Ducks. The California native debuted for the team during the 2003 season, and though he only appeared in 24 games, he made an immediate impact with a .305 batting average, 11 RBIs and 11 runs. One year later, he broke out in a big way en route to that long-awaited first playoff appearance and championship. In 100 regular season games, Johnson posted career-highs in home runs (11), RBIs (58), runs (78), triples (6) and stolen bases (36), the last of which led the Flock. The former Phillies draft pick would lead the Ducks to the postseason one more time in his final year of professional baseball, playing in 94 games during the 2005 campaign. He batted .281 with 41 RBIs, 44 runs, 20 doubles and 12 steals during that final season before hanging up the cleats. Johnson was a superb defender as well, making just seven errors in his three seasons manning right field.


Kraig Binick
Kraig Binick Action Shot

Another Long Island native makes the list of nominees! Kraig Binick, a Chaminade High School and NYIT alum, joined the Flock in 2011 among a talented group of outfielders that included Matt Esquivel, Lew Ford, Kennard Jones and John Rodriguez. He hit in the ninth spot on Opening Day, but by season’s end, he was at or near the top of the lineup daily. Binick was comfortable from the get-go and went on to win the Atlantic League batting title with a .343 average. He also led the league in on-base percentage (.429), stolen base percentage (.894) and stolen bases (42). During a year in which the club won both the first and second half as well as a Liberty Division Championship, Binick represented the Ducks at the All-Star Game in York and was an Atlantic League Post-Season All-Star. The former Orioles draft pick played in 123 games the following season with Long Island, earned another All-Star Game selection, and lifted the Flock to an Atlantic League Championship behind a .405 batting average in the postseason. One year later, after beginning the season in Mexico, Binick returned to lead the Ducks to the second half title and another Atlantic League Championship. Defensively, he committed just nine errors over three seasons in which he played all three outfield positions. His clutch performances also increased his popularity among Ducks fans, as he compiled a .352 batting average in 26 postseason games.


Joash Brodin
Joash Brodin Action Shot

The 2012 season saw the Ducks put together a dominating first half before injuries and player contract purchases took a toll on the roster. Amidst a challenging second half, the Ducks needed a bat and some versatility in the field for their playoff run. Meanwhile, Joash Brodin was dominating in the Frontier League, hitting .370. However, the team he played with folded, and Brodin needed a new home. It was a perfect match! The switch-hitter joined the team in late-July with the ability to play the corners in both the outfield and infield. He hit .282 over the season’s final 49 games and then torched the opposition to the tune of a .359 batting average in the playoffs, en route to a championship. Brodin returned to Long Island the following season and put together an All-Star campaign, batting .307 with 11 homers, 49 RBIs, 79 runs, 21 doubles and 14 stolen bases in 106 games. The performance was worthy of having his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and although he was unable to partake in the Ducks championship run, he had certainly made his impact upon the club. 2014 was Brodin’s final year with the club, and although his batting average dipped from where it was the previous two seasons, he still chipped in with nine homers, 60 RBIs, 21 doubles and 28 stolen bases over his 133 games.


The three nominees have been revealed, and a tight race is expected to wrap up our outfielder balloting. Cast your vote for Johnson, Binick or Brodin now by clicking the button below to visit our voting page. You can vote as many times as you’d like over the next week, but you can only choose one candidate on your ballot. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!

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Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our three nominees for the designated hitter spot.

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Game 138: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs

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The Long Island Ducks begin their final series of the season tonight when they welcome the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs into Bethpage Ballpark. It promises to be an exciting weekend at the Duck Pond as all three games of the series feature some great promotions! Tonight marks Italian Heritage Night at the ballpark as the first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive Bracelets, courtesy of Order Sons of Italy in America. Tomorrow night features the last postgame Pyrotecnico Fireworks Extravaganza of the season, this time courtesy of Flushing Bank. Then, to wrap up the season, the Ducks will be hosting Fan Appreciation Day, presented by Pepsi, on Sunday. Bethpage Ballpark will be the place to be this weekend as the Ducks send off the 2014 season with a bang!

The Blue Crabs, on the other hand, will look to put a damper on the weekend as they enter this series still in contention for a postseason berth. It has been a strong second half for Southern Maryland, which has seen them now surprisingly stick around into the final weekend. They currently stand three games back in the division with three-to-play, needing to win-out and get help from both Sugar Land and Lancaster losing out. It is a tall order for the Crabs, but they will be entering the Duck Pond with confidence, having won seven of their last 10, including sweeping the three game series here last week. Unfortunately for Southern Maryland, both the Skeeters and the Barnstormers have been playing well of late.

Lancaster took the rubber game of the series against the Ducks last night at Bethpage Ballpark 5-3. Despite a combined eight runs and 24 hits in the contest, all of the offensive production for both teams came in the fifth inning. The ‘Stormers plated five runs off John Brownell in the top of the fifth, helped in large part to a pair of errors by the Ducks. Only one of the five runs charged against the Flock in the inning were earned. In the bottom of the frame, a bases-clearing three-run double from Jan Vazquez ultimately provided Long Island’s lone run production of the evening.

CLICK HERE to view the full recap from Thursday’s game, complete with audio highlights and postgame comments from Kevin Baez and John Brownell.

Tonight, the Ducks will send Bob Zimmermann to the mound for his 18th appearance (fourth start) of the season. So far, the fourth-year Duck is 3-2 with a 3.55 earned run average and 18 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched.  In his last two starts, Zimmermann is 1-0, having allowed one run on eight hits and one walk over 11 innings of work, including five shutout innings against Sugar Land on Sept. 4. The righty worked three scoreless innings of relief in his last appearance on Sept. 13 at the York Revolution. In his lone appearance against the Blue Crabs this year, Zimmermann allowed two runs on three hits over two innings of relief.

His counterpart tonight will be Southern Maryland starter Daryl Thompson, who will be making his 22nd appearance (21st start) of the year. The third-year Blue Crab enters 6-6 this season with a 4.88 ERA and 95 strikeouts against 38 walks in 116 innings pitched. Thompson is coming off the heels of two consecutive starts against the Bridgeport Bluefish, both times allowing four runs. However, on Sept. 7 the righty set a season high with 11 strikeouts in a complete game effort. Even more impressive was that Thompson did not walk a single batter in that outing. The Maryland native has made two appearances (one start) against the Ducks this season, having allowed four runs over five and one-third innings of work.

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Tonight marks the 18th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and eighth of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series 11-6 and have a 4-3 lead at home. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 134 games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 73-61 lead overall and a 36-34 advantage on Long Island.

Record Setter: By making his 29th start of 2014 on Thursday, John Brownell set a new franchise record for most starts in a single season. The previous mark of 28 was set by Randy Leek (2008) and B.J. LaMura (2009). The third-year Duck is one win shy of the franchise record for wins in a season, set by Mike Loree in 2011. He is also just three strikeouts shy of his own franchise record of 133 for one season, which he set in 2013. Brownell has now tossed a franchise record 202 innings this season, five shy of Allan Sontag’s Atlantic League record set with the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2000.

The Streak Continues: With three hits on Thursday, Cody Puckett has now hit safely in eight straight games. During the streak, he is batting .419 (13-for-31) with three doubles, one homer, four RBI, four runs and two walks. It also marked the 13th three-hit and 44th multi-hit game of the year for Puckett.

Jan’s Big Night: With two hits on Thursday, Jan Vazquez earned his seventh multi-hit game of the season. The first-year Duck also drove in a season-high three runs for his third multi-RBI game of the year. The catcher collected his first triple of 2014 and fifth double, giving him eight extra-base hits.

Off to the Races: Joash Brodin stole his 27th base of the season on Thursday night when he swiped second in the second inning. It marked the second consecutive night in which Brodin stole a base. The third-year Duck ranks second on the team in steals, 19 behind Fehlandt Lentini (46). In addition, Brodin also earned his 24th two-hit and 32nd multi-hit game of the year.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: The Ducks bullpen tossed two scoreless innings of relief on Thursday. As a whole, the bullpen has now allowed three runs over their last 19 and two-thirds innings (1.37 ERA) on 14 hits and six walks with 25 strikeouts. Eric Niesen has worked seven consecutive relief appearances without allowing an earned run. In that span, he has 10 strikeouts against six hits and two walks. The third-year Duck has 65 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched this season. Josh Lansford has given up just one run in his last nine appearances, compiling a 1.17 ERA in that span (7.2 innings pitched).

On the Air: Today’s ballgame with be broadcast on Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather 103.9 LI News Radio, with live streaming audio and video also available on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak and David Weiss will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are today’s starting lineups.

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – DH
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#30 Sergio Miranda – 3B
#12  Dan Lyons – SS

#43  Bob Zimmermann – RHP

Blue Crabs
#4   Bobby Stevens – SS
#20 Jermaine Mitchell – CF
#15 Cyle Hankerd – RF
#2   Jake Opitz – 2B
#12 Steve Moss – DH
#44 C.J. Ziegler – 1B
#23 Mike Schwartz – LF
#19 Angel Chavez – 3B
#8  James Skelton – C

#32 Daryl Thompson – RHP

Be sure to check back here for updates throughout the ballgame from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look spoil the Blue Crabs’ playoff hopes!

UPDATE (7:19): TOP 1: The Blue Crabs jump in front 3-0 on a three-run home run from Jake Opitz

UPDATE (7:44): BOT 2: Ducks pull within two on a solo home run from C.J. Retherford – his second home run with the Flock!

UPDATE (8:14): END 4: Blue Crabs still leading the Ducks 3-1. Both teams with four hits to this point.

UPDATE (8:52): BOT 6: A Joash Brodin sacrifice fly trims the deficit to 3-2! Ducks outhitting the Blue Crabs seven-to-six.

UPDATE (9:35): TOP 9: A solo home run from C.J. Ziegler extends the Blue Crabs lead back out to 4-2. Last licks for the Ducks coming up..

UPDATE (10:00): FINAL: Ducks plate a run in the ninth, but ultimately fall short to the Blue Crabs 4-3.

Game 137: Ducks vs. Barnstormers

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In last night’s post, we mentioned how the Long Island Ducks and the Lancaster Barnstormers have played their fair share of exciting ballgames against each other this season. Really, you can even go back to the 2012 Atlantic League Championship Series to see the thrilling history between the two clubs. Well, last night’s game lived up the billing. The Ducks rallied from four runs down to win a 6-5 thriller in waddle-off fashion. It tied the largest comeback victory of the year while marking the fourth waddle-off win this season. The other three waddle-off victories were:

May 21 vs Southern Maryland: Cody Puckett RBI double in the bottom of the 12th scores Chris McClendon to give the Flock not only their first walk-off win of the year, but also their first extra-inning victory.

May 30 vs Somerset: Ducks rally for three runs in the bottom of the ninth off Patriots closer Jon Hunton, capped by a Joash Brodin game-winning single to left-center, to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 victory.

July 6 vs Camden: After the Riversharks rallied for three-runs in the top of the ninth to tie the ballgame at seven, Brodin sent the Faithful Flock home happy with a game-winning RBI double to left. It also gave the Ducks a five-game winning streak at the time.

So while last night’s theatrics were not necessarily new to the team, they did come at a good time, as the Ducks ended their three-game losing skid. Jared Lansford started the game for Long Island, but ran into trouble early, allowing five runs over his five innings of work on nine hits and a walk. The Ducks were trailing 5-1 after the top of the fifth, with their lone run coming on a run-scoring fielder’s choice from Lew Ford in the bottom of the third.

Trailing by four runs, the Flock’ comeback began in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI groundout from Brendan Harris in Shunsuke Watanabe’s final inning of work. It was the first of five unanswered runs by the Ducks. Fehlandt Lentini’s RBI groundout in the seventh brought Long Island within two before Cody Puckett’s two-run double in the eighth tied the game at five. Brett Lorin followed in the top of the ninth with a scoreless inning of relief to cap off an impressive night for the Ducks’ bullpen and set the table for the walk-off victory. With one out and Dan Lyons leading off second base in the bottom of the ninth, Harris drilled a fastball from Ian Kadish deep to left-center, splitting the outfielders and earning the Flock the 6-5 win.

CLICK HERE to view the full recap from Wednesday’s game, complete with audio highlights and postgame comments from Kevin Baez, Harris and Puckett.

The pitching matchup tonight in the finale of the season series between the Ducks and ‘Stormers features two of the top pitchers in the Atlantic League this year. On one hand, you have John Brownell, who tonight will set a new franchise record with his 29th start of the year. So far, the reigning Delmonte-Smelson Team MVP and Atlantic League Championship Series MVP is 13-8 with a 3.69 ERA. His 195 innings pitched lead the league, while the 124 strikeouts rank second behind Matt Wright of Sugar Land (137) and the 13 wins are tied with three other players for the league-lead. While Brownell has only won once in his last seven starts, only one of those appearances did not result in a quality start (8/23 vs. Somerset). In fact, 10 of his last 11 starts have been quality starts. In four starts against Lancaster this year, the righty is 2-1 with a 4.33 ERA and one complete game (June 2).

On the other hand, its Barnstormers starter Chris Schwinden, who makes his 25th start of the year. The first-year ‘Stormer has been outstanding this season, carrying a 13-5 record alongside a league-leading 2.48 ERA into tonight’s ballgame. The former New York Met spent a brief stint in the Texas Rangers organization this year, but has still tossed 159 and one-third innings in the Atlantic League, striking out 99 batters against just 31 walks. Schwinden has allowed more than three runs in a start just once in his last 10 appearances. In four starts against the Ducks, Schwinden is 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA (eight earned runs in 14 and one-third innings pitched).

Here are today’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the final meeting of the season between the Ducks and Barnstormers and last of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Barnstormers lead the series 12-7, including a 5-4 edge at Bethpage Ballpark. Long Island and Lancaster have played 192 games against each other all-time, with the Ducks holding a 99-93 lead and a 49-44 advantage at home.

Record Setter: By making his 29th start of 2014 tonight, John Brownell will break the franchise record for most starts in a single season. The previous mark of 28 was set by Randy Leek (2008) and B.J. LaMura (2009). With a win, Brownell would tie the team record of 14 in one season (Mike Loree, 2011). With nine strikeouts, he would tie his own record of 133, set in 2013. Brownell has already surpassed the Ducks record for innings pitched with 195, previously held by Bob Zimmermann (179 in 2012).

Cardiac Quacks: Wednesday’s waddle-off win for the Ducks was their fourth of the season and first since July 6 against the Camden Riversharks. The other two came on May 21 against Southern Maryland and May 30 against Somerset. In addition, the four-run comeback matched the largest come-from-behind victory of the season for the Ducks, which they also completed on July 31 at Camden.

The Streak Continues: With a game-tying double in the eighth inning on Wednesday, Cody Puckett has now hit safely in seven consecutive games. During the streak he is batting .370 (10-for-27) with three doubles, one homer, four RBI, three runs and two walks. In addition, by driving in two runs, Puckett picked up his team-leading 17th two-RBI game and his 21st multi-RBI game overal this year.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: The Ducks bullpen tossed four scoreless innings of relief on Wednesday. As a whole, the bullpen has now allowed just three runs over their last 17 and two-thirds innings (1.53 ERA) on 12 hits and four walks with 21 strikeouts. Tommy Organ worked a scoreless inning and has now made 10 consecutive appearances without allowing a run. The first-year Duck has given up a run in only one of his 18 appearances this season (3, 8/24 vs. Somerset).

Smacking the ‘Stormers: Lew Ford continued his outstanding play against the Lancaster Barnstormers this season with one hit, one RBI and one run on Wednesday. The former big leaguer leads all Ducks with a .434 batting average, 24 RBI, 16 runs, 33 hits and 10 walks in 19 games against the ‘Stormers. Ford now has 93 RBI this year and trails Chad Tracy of York by two for the league lead (95).

On the Air: Today’s ballgame with be broadcast with live streaming audio and video available on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Chris King will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are today’s starting lineups.

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#25 Brendan Harris – SS
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#30 Sergio Miranda – 3B

#7   John Brownell – RHP

Barnstormers
#1   Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#10 Olmo Rosario – 3B
#2   Blake Gailen – CF
#8   Cole Garner – LF
#24 Andrew Clark – DH
#15 Gabe Jacobo – 1B
#7   Greg Golson – RF
#4   Lance Zawadzki – SS
#27 Juan Apodaca – C

#20 Chris Schwinden – RHP

Be sure to check back here for updates throughout the ballgame from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look take two of three from the Barnstormers!

UPDATE (7:51): TOP 4: Barnstormers put up five runs (one earned) one five hits and two errors. Lance Zawadzki’s two-run double capped the inning.

UPDATE (8:05): BOT 4: Ducks get on the scoreboard with a bases-clearing three-run double from Jan Vazquez! ‘Stormers still lead 5-3

UPDATE (9:43): FINAL: Ducks fall to the Barnstormers 5-3. The Flock wrap up the regular season with a three-game set vs. the Blue Crabs, starting tomorrow

Game 130: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs

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The Long Island Ducks returned to action at Bethpage Ballpark last night for the first time in over a week. Unfortunately, the Flock’s migration back to the Northeast did not end their losing streak, which has now hit four games. The Ducks dropped the final three games of the seven-game series over the weekend to the Sugar Land Skeeters, before dropping last night’s series opener against the Sugar Land Skeeters 10-1. With the loss, coupled by an idle night for the Somerset Patriots and losses by both the Skeeters and the Lancaster Barnstormers, Long Island remains two back in the wild card and now sits three back for the Liberty Division lead. CLICK HERE for more information on the current playoff scenarios.

Bobby Blevins toed the rubber for the Ducks last night, carrying 12 consecutive quality starts into the evening. That streak ended, despite beginning the ballgame with five strong innings, allowing just one unearned run over that span. Blevins ran into trouble in the sixth, albeit without a lot of help from the defense behind him. With the game knotted at one entering the inning, the Blue Crabs would plate seven runs (three earned), all with two outs, to take an 8-1 lead. Blevins was chased from the game after five and two-thirds innings, allowing seven runs (three earned) to end his quality-start streak.

Offensively, the Ducks were stymied by a combination of Gaby Hernandez, Sean Keeler and Justin Berg. The lone run for Long Island came on a C.J. Retherford sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Both Lew Ford and Joash Brodin each recorded two hits in the contest to lead the Ducks. Long Island totaled seven hits on the evening, but were never able to organize a rally to form a comeback.

CLICK HERE to view the full recap from Tuesday’s game, complete with a pregame interview with former Met and Yankee great Dwight Gooden, audio highlights from the game and postgame comments Kevin Baez and Retherford.

Looking to end their four-game losing skid, the Ducks will send Shaun Garceau to the mound tonight for his 26th appearance (25th start) of the season. So far, the second-year Duck is 13-3 with a 4.79 earned run average and 98 strikeouts against 47 walks in 148 and one-thirds innings of work. Garceau has won five of his last six starts, and is currently tied with teammate John Brownell and Chris Schwinden (Lancaster) for the league lead in wins. The 2014 Atlantic League All-Star has an opportunity to become the league’s first 14 game-winner tonight against a team that he has had considerable success against this year. In three starts against the Blue Crabs, Garceau is 3-0, having allowed five runs over 19 innings (2.37 ERA) with 25 strikeouts against three walks.

His opposition tonight is Blue Crabs righty Ian Marshall, who will be making his 25th start of the year. The second-year Crab is 9-9 this season with a 4.12 ERA over 137 and one-third innings with 73 strikeouts against 40 walks. Marshall has won just once in his last five starts, but had previously enjoyed a stretch earlier this season in which he won five-straight decisions over six starts (6/24 – 7/24). In three starts against the Flock, Marshall is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Tonight marks the 16th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and sixth of 10 games between them on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series 11-4 and have a 4-1 lead at home. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 132 games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 71-61 lead. However, the series is tied at 34 on Long Island.

Harris is Heating Up: Despite seeing his hitting streak end at 21 consecutive games, Brendan Harris drew a walk to extend his on-base streak to 24 games. The hitting streak is tied for the longest by a Duck this season (Fehlandt Lentini, 6/6-6/27 and 6/29-7/22). Cody Puckett has the longest on-base streak by a Duck this year (29, 5/6-6/6). During the 24-game on-base streak, Harris is batting .362 (34-for-94) with six doubles, three home runs, 15 RBI, 22 runs and 17 walks.

Multi-Hit Nights: With two hits on Tuesday, Lew Ford earned his team-leading 52nd multi-hit game of the year. The former big leaguer has multiple hits in nine of his last 13 contests. During that span, Ford is batting .408 (22-for-54) with four doubles, one home run, eight RBI and 11 runs. Joash Brodin recorded two hits on Tuesday to earn his 31st multi-hit game of the year. The second-year Duck also stole his 23rd base of the season, which is second-most on the team (Fehlandt Lentini, 45). The Ducks have now stolen 111 bases on the season, which ranks second in the Atlantic League (York, 175).

Hot Start: With a single on Tuesday, C.J. Retherford has picked up a hit in seven of his eight games with the Flock. The infielder has 10 hits in his first 29 at-bats (.345 AVG) with four RBI, five runs and four walks. Three of his first eight games have been multi-hit contests.

Oh, What a Relief They Are: With a scoreless inning of relief on Tuesday, Josh Lansford has now tossed five consecutive scoreless innings. In that span, he has alowed three hits and two walks while striking out four in four innings. Lansford has allowed just two earned runs over his last 13 outings.

Go Go Garceau: Ducks starter Shaun Garceau has earned a win in five of his last six starts entering tonight’s outing. In that span, he has compiled a 2.84 ERA, allowing 12 earned runs over 38 innings of work. The right-hander has given up 37 hits and 10 walks while striking out 23 over those six starts. Garceau has won five consecutive starts twice this season (6/4-6/26 and 8/6-8/30).

On the Air: Tonight’s ballgame with be broadcast on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can also follow all of the action online by CLICKING HERE. Marc Schwartz will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups.

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#22 Joash Brodin – RF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

Blue Crabs
#4   Bobby Stevens – SS
#20 Jermaine Mitchell – CF
#15 Cyle Hankerd – RF
#2   Jake Opitz – 2B
#12 Steve Moss – DH
#44 C.J. Ziegler – 1B
#23 Mike Schwartz – LF
#19 Angel Chavez – 3B
#8   James Skelton – C

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game at Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks look to get back to their winning ways!

UPDATE (6:50): TOP 1: The Blue Crabs grab a 2-0 lead on a Jake Opitz sacrifice fly and a run-scoring double steal.

UPDATE (7:13): BOT 1: TIE GAME! RBI singles from Lew Ford and Cody Puckett even up the ballgame at two!

UPDATE (7:39): TOP 3: The Blue Crabs regain the lead on a two-run double from Steve Moss. Southern Maryland on top 4-2

UPDATE (8:12): BOT 4: DUCKS LEAD! Two-out rally, highlighted by a run-scoring hit-batsman and a two-run single from Adam Bailey puts the Flock on top 5-4!

UPDATE (8:39): TOP 6: Southern Maryland evens the ballgame at five on a RBI single from Angel Chavez

UPDATE (9:16):TOP 7: The Blue Crabs plate three runs on a RBI single from Steve Moss and a fielding along with a RBI double from C.J. Ziegler. 8-5 Crabs

UPDATE (9:48): BOT 8: Two-out RBI singles from Adam Bailey and C.J. Retherford bring the Ducks within a run! Score now 8-7, Blue Crabs

UPDATE (9:58): TOP 9: Southern Maryland adds a Mike Schwartz sacrifice fly to increase its lead to 9-7. Last licks for the Ducks!

UPDATE (10:06): FINAL: Justin Berg converts the save the Blue Crabs take the ballgame 9-7. Recap to follow shortly

Games 124/125: Ducks at Skeeters

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The Ducks continued their winning ways on Wednesday night, using a two-out rally in the 10th inning to top the Skeeters 3-2. Long Island’s victory was their sixth in a row, and moved the Flock back to their overall high water mark this season at 13 games over .500. The Ducks have frequently commented over the past couple weeks how every game at this point is essentially a playoff game for them. Well, they are certainly playing like a team that wants to defend their back-to-back Atlantic League titles.

On Wednesday night, Bobby Blevins was brilliant once again on the mound. For the second time this year in Sugar Land, he allowed just four hits over seven innings, only this time, he did not allow a single run. The right-hander walked just two batters and struck out four, displaying the control and success that has enabled him to be so reliable this year. His biggest jam was in the fifth, when he allowed a walk and hit a batter with one out in the frame, but he struck out Adam Godwin and retired Travis Scott on a ground out to escape trouble. He was unfortunately denied a win when Kris Regas allowed a game-tying two-run homer in the eighth to Delwyn Young, but the strong start and eventual Ducks win is what matters most.

Offensively, the Ducks racked up 10 hits in the game against Clint Everts and the Skeeters bullpen and consistently threatened to put up big innings. Despite leaving 12 men on base, the Ducks still managed to pull out the victory thanks to a rare rough night for the Skeeters defense. In the first inning, Fehlandt Lentini stole second base and moved to third when Travis Scott’s throw went into center field. He would score later in that at-bat on a ground out by Brendan Harris. Then in the sixth, Harris would score from third when Cody Puckett’s grounder to Michael Rockett at third was booted for an error.  The biggest break of all would come in the 10th when the Ducks mounted a two-out rally. C.J. Retherford reached on a liner to short that Dominic Ramos couldn’t scoop out of the dirt. Then, after a single by Puckett and a walk by Brandon Bantz, Joash Brodin was hit by a two-strike pitch from Brian Broderick to force home the eventual winning run.

Long Island’s biggest break outside of Texas came in Lancaster on Wednesday night when the Barnstormers rallied from a 12-1 deficit to the Somerset Patriots for a 14-12 win in 12 innings. It was a stunning comeback for a Lancaster team desperately seeking the Second Half Freedom Division title. The Ducks win and Patriots loss trimmed Long Island’s deficit in the Liberty Division standings to just half a game. In addition, Lancaster now leads the Freedom Division by a game over Sugar Land, dropping the Skeeters into a potential wild card spot. The Ducks still trail the Skeeters by a game in the wild card race, but the Flock did guarantee themselves the head-to-head tiebreaker over Sugar Land by winning their 11th game of the season against them last night.

CLICK HERE to read the full recap from Wednesday’s game, complete with audio highlights. CLICK HERE to get a full breakdown of the Ducks’ playoff scenarios.

Tonight, the Ducks and Skeeters will play a single admission doubleheader at Constellation Field, featuring two seven inning games. Shaun Garceau will start for the Ducks in game one, looking to become the first Atlantic League pitcher to 14 wins this season. He enters at 13-3 with a 4.73 ERA thus far. Garceau has won five consecutive starts for the second time this season and has a 2.23 ERA in that span. He’ll be opposed by Sean Gallagher, who is just 1-4 with a 5.19 ERA in 2014. The righty earned a win his last time out, allowing just two runs over five and two-thirds innings on six hits and four walks with five strikeouts.

Game two will feature Bob Zimmermann for the Ducks. The righty reliever will make his 15th appearance and third of the season and enters with a 2-2 record and a 4.17 ERA. His last start came in game two of a doubleheader on July 27 at Bridgeport, and Zimmermann tossed six innings of one-run ball, allowing just five hits. He last pitched on Monday night, retiring all four batters he faced to close out the four-game sweep of Camden.  He’ll be opposed by Dan Meadows, who will make his 18th appearance and sixth start of 2014. He is 2-4 with a 4.07 ERA to this point. The southpaw lost his last start, which came on August 22 against Southern Maryland. In that outing, he allowed four runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts over three and two-thirds innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Skeeters: Tonight marks the 16th meeting of the season between the Ducks and Skeeters and sixth of 10 games between them in Texas. The Ducks lead the series 11-4 and have a 4-1 lead on the road. Long Island and Sugar Land have played 55 games against each other all-time, with the Skeeters holding a 30-25 lead overall and a 17-8 advantage at Constellation Field.

Starter Domination: Ducks starters have been outstanding during Long Island’s six-game winning streak. After Bobby Blevins tossed seven scoreless innings on Wednesday, Ducks starters have combined to post a 1.02 ERA during the streak, yielding just five earned runs over 44 innings of work. They have also combined to allow just 35 hits and 5 walks while striking out 24 batters.

Blevins on the Bump: Despite earning a no-decision on Wednesday, Bobby Blevins tossed his 12th consecutive quality start. During those 12 starts, the right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.34 ERA, allowing just 14 earned runs in 94.1 innings of work. In that span, he has also yielded 77 hits and 11 walks while striking out 48. Blevins has not walked a batter in seven of those 12 starts.

Harris is Heating Up: With a single on Wednesday, Brendan Harris extended his hitting streak to 16 consecutive games. During the streak, Harris is batting .397 (27-for-68) with five doubles, two home runs, 10 RBI, 16 runs and nine walks. He has multiple hits in seven of the 16 games.

Cody’s Crushing It: Cody Puckett had another hit on Wednesday and has now hit safely in 18 of his last 20 games. In those 20 games, he’s batting .361 (30-for-83) with five doubles, one triple, one homer, 18 RBI and six runs. Eight of the 18 games with a hit have been multi-hit contests.

Bailey’s Bashing the Ball: Adam Bailey collected two hits on Wednesday, and he has now hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, earning multiple hits in eight of them. In those 11 games, Bailey is batting .432 (19-for-44) with two doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and seven runs and six walks.

Hot Start: C.J. Retherford has picked up back-to-back multi-hit games in his first two games with the Ducks. The infielder has four hits in his first nine at-bats with a run batted in, two runs scored and a walk. Retherford totaled 39 multi-hit games this season with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks.

Off to the Races: Fehlandt Lentini (45) and Dan Lyons (13) both stole a base on Wednesday. Neither have been caught stealing this year. Lentini’s 45 steals rank second in the league (Wilson Valdez, 48).

On the Air: Tonight’s doubleheader will be broadcast with live streaming audio on the Ducks official YouTube channel. Fans can follow all the action for both games by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups for game one:

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#25 Brendan Harris – SS
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#6    Bill Hall – DH
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – 3B
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

Skeeters
#41 Adam Godwin – CF
#9   Rene Tosoni – 1B
#24 Delwyn Young – 2B
#16 Travis Scott – DH
#14 Denny Almonte – LF
#4   Dominic Ramos – SS
#7   Todd Jennings – C
#2   Michael Rockett – 3B
#6   Bridger Hunt – RF

#36 Sean Gallagher – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the game as the Ducks look to move into first place in the Liberty Division!

UPDATE (6:49): TOP 3: Ducks strike for three runs! Brendan Harris lifted a sac fly to right, and Lew Fordfollowed with a mammoth two-run homer to left!

UPDATE (7:17): BOT 4: Sugar Land gets on the scoreboard on Michael Rockett’s RBI single to right, but Garceau leaves the bases loaded. Ducks lead 3-1.

UPDATE (7:31): TOP 5: Ducks get the run back on a two-out RBI single to right by Adam Bailey! 4-1 Flock!

UPDATE (8:07): BOT 6: Skeeters tie the game at four on a RBI single by Adam Godwin and a two-run single by Rene Tosoni.

UPDATE (8:17): TOP 7: Ducks get the lead back on a RBI single to left by Ford! 5-4 Long Island in front!

UPDATE (8:28): BOT 7: Skeeters re-tie the score, again with two outs. Ryan Langerhans doubled, and Rockett singled him home. 5-5 as we go to extras.

UPDATE (9:18): MID 10: Both teams remain tied at five. Each side has threatened to score in extra innings, but neither has pushed across a run.

UPDATE (9:44): TOP 11: Ducks get the lead back on a wild pitch from Jared Wells that scores Brendan Harris! 6-5 Flock!

UPDATE (9:58): FINAL: After first two reach, Lambin strikes out on a bunt, and Josh Lansford gets Rockett to line into a game-ending double play! Ducks win 6-5! Game two coming up shortly.

UPDATE (10:09): Here are the starting lineups for game two:

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – CF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#11 C.J. Retherford – 1B
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#14 Brandon Bantz – C
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#43 Bob Zimmermann – RHP

Skeeters
#41 Adam Godwin – CF
#5   Chase Lambin – DH
#24 Delwyn Young – 1B
#16 Travis Scott – C
#9   Rene Tosoni – RF
#4   Dominic Ramos – SS
#14 Denny Almonte – LF
#2   Michael Rockett – 3B
#6   Bridger Hunt – 2B

#35 Dan Meadows – LHP

UPDATE (10:41): END 1: No score after one in game two as Bob Zimmermann gets Travis Scott to hit into an inning-ending double play.

UPDATE (10:51): TOP 2: C.J. Retherford launches his first homer as a Duck! His solo blast to left gives the Flock a 1-0 lead!

UPDATE (11:25): TOP 4: Ducks extend the lead to 3-0 on a two-out, two-run triple to left by Brandon Bantz!

UPDATE (12:10): END 6: Great job by Tommy Organ! He works out of a first and second, one-out jam in the sixth to keep the Ducks up by 3!

UPDATE (12:28): FINAL: Sergio Perez strands two on base in the seventh inning, and the Ducks sweep the doubleheader with a 3-0 shutout in game two!

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