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Game 64: Ducks at Skeeters

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 7:05 p.m. CDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (33-30) will try to build on their three-game winning streak when they face the Sugar Land Skeeters (26-37) in the fourth game of a seven-game series. Long Island has now won five of their past seven games, while Sugar Land has dropped six consecutive games. The Ducks now lead the season series four games to two over Sugar Land and have taken all three games thus far in Texas.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: An outstanding start from Matt Larkins and a ninth inning rally gave the Ducks a 4-1 victory over the Skeeters on Sunday night.

Larkins and Skeeters starter Brett Marshall locked up in a terrific pitcher’s duel for the majority of the ballgame. Long Island plated a run in the first inning when Fehlandt Lentini tripled and came home on Lew Ford’s RBI groundout. Larkins worked out of a first-and-second, no-out jam in the first, but he surrendered a run in the third when Kevin Ahrens walked with two outs and scored on Travis Scott’s double to right-center.

Both starters would keep their opponent off the scoreboard from that point on. Larkins pitched seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out six. Marshall lasted six innings, yielding a run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

The Skeeters threatened to break the tie in the eighth inning when Ahrens walked with one out and went to second on a groundout by Scott. However, Zac Treece (5-1) came on and struck out Bryan Pounds to end the inning. Long Island took the momentum into the ninth and rallied for three runs against reliever Evan Reed (1-1) to take a 4-1 lead. Following a double by Alex Burg with one out, Jordan Pacheco lined an RBI single to right-center on the first pitch to give the Flock a 2-1 lead. Giovanny Alfonzo and Lentini followed later in the frame with two-out RBI singles to extend the advantage to three.

Rob Rogers entered in the ninth inning, in search of his first save of the season. After allowing a leadoff double to Anthony Giansanti, the Long Island native retired the next three hitters on two flyouts and a groundout sandwiched in between to seal the victory.

ON THE MOUND: The Ducks will send Alfredo Simon (0-1, 4.00 ERA) to the mound as they go for a guaranteed series victory. The right-hander, who will be making his third start of the year, is coming off of a strong start against the Somerset Patriots on Wednesday at Bethpage Ballpark. In five scoreless innings, the former big leaguer gave up just one hit, a single to Christian Marrero, and four walks while striking out four batters. He threw 83 pitches in the game, 43 for strikes, and left the game with neither side having plated a run. Long Island went on to win the game 4-2. Tonight will be Simon’s first-ever encounter with the Skeeters.

Sugar Land will give the ball to former Duck Mitch Talbot (1-0, 7.20 ERA), who makes his seventh appearance (fifth start) of the season. He most recently pitched last Tuesday in New Britain, earning the victory in Sugar Land’s last win. The former big leaguer tossed five innings of three-run ball, surrendering six hits and one walk while striking out four. He threw 81 pitches in the outing, 50 of them for strikes. Tonight will be his first time facing the Flock after spending time with them in 2014. He made nine appearances (seven starts) for Long Island, compiling a 3-2 record with a 4.14 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 37 innings. His contract was then purchased by the Lamigo Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League on August 24.

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
#23 Alex Burg – C
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#30 Ruben Gotay – 3B
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#25 Alfredo Simon – RHP

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

#24 Mitch Talbot – RHP

UPDATE (6:34): The tarp is on the field in Sugar Land as rain continues to fall. Tonight’s game is still scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. CDT.

UPDATE (6:44): Skeeters have announced that tonight’s game will now begin at 7:25 p.m.

UPDATE (7:59): TOP 1: Great start for the Flock! An RBI groundout from Lew Ford & a two-run single from Elmer Reyes give the Ducks a 3-0 lead!

UPDATE (8:31): BOT 2: Sugar Land strings together seven consecutive two-out hits to take a 6-3 lead over the Ducks.

UPDATE (8:54): BOT 3: A sac fly from Hector Olivera makes it a 7-3 game.

UPDATE (9:15): BOT 4: A two-out, two-run error hands the Skeeters a pair of runs to extend their lead to six.

UPDATE (9:30): BOT 5: Newest Duck Roman Gomez retires the Skeeters in order in his first inning with the Flock!

UPDATE (10:04): TOP 7: Ducks draw a run closer on a two-out RBI double down the right field line by Dan Lyons!

UPDATE (10:22): BOT 7: A two-out RBI single by Derek Miller puts Sugar Land back up by six.

UPDATE (10:48): FINAL: Skeeters get their first win of the series by a 10-4 margin. Long Island will look to start a new winning streak tomorrow night.

Game 63: 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 (32-30) look to make it three consecutive victories in Texas when they battle the Sugar Land Skeeters (26-36) in game three of a seven-game series. Long Island has won four of their past six games, while Sugar Land has lost five consecutive games. 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 10 and a half games in the Freedom Division. The Ducks now lead the season series three games to two over Sugar Land.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: The Ducks racked up 12 consecutive hits for a second consecutive night and combined that with a quality start from John Brownell to earn a 6-3 win over the Skeeters on Saturday night.

Facing former Duck Bobby Blevins (4-4), the Ducks erupted for three runs in the third inning to take an early lead. Fehlandt Lentini drove in the first run with an RBI double, and two batter later, Lew Ford drove in a pair with a two-run double. Blevins settled in to toss three scoreless innings after that, but the Ducks rallied for a run in the seventh inning. Lentini doubled with two outs, and Anthony Vega followed with a grounder up the third base line. The ball kicked off of Bryan Pounds’ glove for an infield single, and Lentini scored on Pounds’ error to increase Long Island’s lead to 4-0.

Brownell (5-1) dazzled over the first six innings, yielding just two hits and a walk without giving up a run. Sugar Land scratched across a run against him in the seventh when Joel Guzman’s sac fly drove in Pounds. One inning later, Brownell allowed a two-out single to Kevin Ahrens, and Kevin Baez summoned John Lannan to face lefty Travis Scott. Scott drew a walk, setting the stage for Pounds, who drove a two-run triple to right-center field. With the lead now just 4-3, Henry Hirsch came in from the bullpen and struck out Anthony Giansanti to end the threat.

Long Island got their two-run lead back in the ninth against Julio DePaula. Dan Lyons scored from third on a passed ball, and Ford connected for his second double and third RBI of the night, scoring Vega from third. Amalio Diaz came on for the bottom of the ninth and yielded a walk and a single with one out in the frame. However, he induced a ground ball from pinch hitter Lance Zawadzki for a game-ending double play, which was started by an incredible diving stop up the middle from Elmer Reyes.

ON THE MOUND: Matt Larkins (2-6, 5.12 ERA5-) takes the mound in the third game of the series for the Flock. The right-hander is coming off of a tough outing against the Somerset Patriots in game two of Tuesday’s doubleheader. He allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings, walking one while striking out six. Prior to that, the second-year Duck had given up just eight runs over 32 innings in his previous five starts, good for a 2.25 ERA. Larkins has also been terrific on the road this year, compiling a 3.38 ERA in his six games and an even better 2.54 ERA in just his five road starts. The Idaho resident took a no-decision against the Skeeters on May 30 at Bethpage Ballpark, but he pitched well, giving up only one run on four hits and four walks over six innings while striking out six. Long Island won the game in extra innings, 3-2.

The Skeeters will counter with Brett Marshall (5-3, 5.11 ERA) on Sunday evening. The right-hander enters the outing after suffering the loss on Tuesday night in New Britain. He gave up five runs on eight hits and two walks over five and one-third innings and struck out four batters in the 7-4 defeat. Sugar Land has lost each of Marshall’s last two starts, though he turned in a quality start in the first of those two. Tonight will be the third-year Skeeters’ first start of the season against Long Island. In 2016, he went 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts against the Ducks, yielding eight runs on 10 hits and 11 walks in eight innings of work.

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
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#20 Lew Ford – LF
#26 Angelo Songco – DH
#23 Alex Burg – C
#15 Jordan Pacheco – 1B
#30 Ruben Gotay – 3B
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#44 Matt Larkins – 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
#3   Albert Cordero – C
#6   Derek Miller – CF

#2   Brett Marshall – RHP

UPDATE (6:15): TOP 1: Fehlandt Lentini leads off the game with a triple and scores on a groundout by Lew Ford! Ducks take an early 1-0 lead!

UPDATE (6:26): BOT 1: Skeeters put the first two on, but Matt Larkins retires three straight to keep Sugar Land off the scoreboard!

UPDATE (7:01): BOT 3: After a two-out walk by Kevin Ahrens on a close pitch, Travis Scott drives an RBI double to right-center, tying the game at one.

UPDATE (7:33): END 5: Larkins retires the side in order for the second consecutive inning and has set down seven in a row! Still 1-1 as we go to the sixth.

UPDATE (7:47): BOT 6: Larkins continues dealing, as he strikes out the side! The righty has struck out five tonight!

UPDATE (8:07): BOT 7: Skeeters put runners at the corners with two outs, but Larkins gets Derek Miller to ground out to short! 1-1 as we head to the eighth.

UPDATE (8:28): BOT 8: Patrick Crider and Zac Treece combine for a scoreless eighth inning! We head to the ninth, all tied at one.

UPDATE (8:46): TOP 9: Ducks take the lead! RBI singles from Jordan Pacheco, Giovanny Alfonzo & Lentini put the Flock in front 4-1!

UPDATE (9:04): FINAL: Long Island native Rob Rogers earns his first save of the year, & the Ducks earn their third win in a row, 4-1 over the Skeeters!

Game 59: Ducks vs. Patriots

DE6I0525GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (29-29) host the Somerset Patriots (36-22) for a single admission doubleheader tonight to begin a four-game series. The twin bill is necessitated by Monday night’s inclement weather. The Ducks and Patriots are meeting for their second series in a week’s time, with Somerset taking two of three at TD Bank Ballpark. However, Long Island swept a three-game series in May at Bethpage Ballpark. Entering this series, the Patriots lead the Ducks by seven games in the standings with 14 games remaining in the half.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: The Long Island Ducks split a single admission doubleheader with the Somerset Patriots on Tuesday night at Bethpage Ballpark, winning the opener 8-4 before falling in game two 8-2.

Somerset took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one on an RBI single by Greg Golson off Ducks starter Henry Hirsch. Long Island answered in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single from Angelo Songco off Patriots starter Lucas Irvine. An RBI triple from Scott Kelly in the second put the Patriots back on top, but Lew Ford’s run-scoring groundout and another RBI single from Songco in the third put the Ducks ahead 3-2.

The Patriots briefly tied the game in the top of the fourth on an RBI double by Alfredo Rodriguez. However, a four-run bottom of the frame gave Long Island the lead for good at 7-3. Run-scoring doubles from Anthony Vega and Songco, along with a two-run single by Elmer Reyes, highlighted the inning.

Both sides traded runs in the fifth to round out the scoring. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Aharon Eggleston and an RBI double by Fehlandt Lentini made it an 8-4 ballgame.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Hirsch pitched three and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks while striking out three. Irvine lasted three innings, yielding three runs on seven hits and a walk with one strikeout. John Lannan (1-0) collected the win in his Ducks debut after recording the final out of the fourth inning to strand two on base. Logan Darnell (3-2) suffered the loss, surrendering five runs on six hits and a walk in three innings.

Christian Marrero opened the scoring for the Patriots in game two with an RBI double in the second inning off Ducks starter Matt Larkins. Two more runs in the fourth on Tyler Bortnick’s RBI single and a wild pitch increased the lead to three.

Somerset doubled their lead with a three-run fifth inning. Carlos Guzman’s RBI single and a two-run home run to left field by Kyle Roller did the damage. Vega put the Ducks on the scoreboard with a two-run home run to center field off Patriots starter Will Oliver in the bottom of the fifth.

Oliver did not factor into the decision but pitched four and one-third innings of two-run ball, giving up seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Duane Below (4-1) picked up the win after pitching two and two-thirds scoreless innings of relief, yielding just one hit while striking out two. Larkins (2-6) took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits and a walk over five innings with six strikeouts.

Vega and Songco each finished the day with three hits and three RBI to lead the Flock, while Vega scored four times.

ON THE MOUND: Long Island sends right-hander Alfredo Simon to the mound to make his second start with the club. Simon is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA, having allowed four runs in four innings against the Lancaster Barnstormers on June 16. “Big Pasta” has spent parts of nine seasons in Major League Baseball from 2008-2016 with the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers. In 2014, he made the National League All-Star team as a starting pitcher with the Reds.

Somerset counters with MLB veteran Jerome Williams, making his eighth start with the club. Williams is 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA on the season, and is coming off a no decision in his last start against York, where he allowed one run on five hits in 6.1 innings. Williams spent time in the big leagues with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals.

 

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
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#26 Angelo Songco – 1B
#23 Alex Burg – C
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#6 Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#25 Alfredo Simon – RHP

Patriots
#2 Scott Kelly – SS
#1 Justin Pacchioli – CF
#13 Carlos Guzman – 1B
#7 Greg Golson – RF
#40 Kyle Roller – DH
#32 Mark Minicozzi – 3B
#14 Christian Marrero – RF
#9 Tyler Bortnick – 2B
#4 Yovan Gonzalez – C

#47 Jerome Williams – RHP

UPDATE (7:47) – BOT 3: Great pitcher’s duel so far tonight. Still no score at Bethpage Ballpark.

UPDATE (8:11) – TOP 5: Dan Lyons makes not one, but two spectacular defensive gems in the inning to keep the game scoreless!

UPDATE (8:52) – BOT 6: Marc Krauss hits a home run over the wall in center to put the Ducks up 2-0 on New Jersey (SP).

UPDATE (9:31) – TOP 8: New Jersey (SP) ties the game at two with a pair of runs.

UPDATE (9:49) – BOT 8: We grab the lead right back thanks to RBI hits from Alex Burg and Giovanny Alfonzo. 4-2 Ducks to the ninth.

Games 57 & 58: Ducks vs. Patriots

Larkins-Pitching-at-Somerset-4-26-17GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:00 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (28-28) host the Somerset Patriots (35-21) for a single admission doubleheader tonight to begin a four-game series. The twin bill is necessitated by Monday night’s inclement weather. The Ducks and Patriots are meeting for their second series in a week’s time, with Somerset taking two of three at TD Bank Ballpark. However, Long Island swept a three-game series in May at Bethpage Ballpark. Entering this series, the Patriots lead the Ducks by seven games in the standings with 14 games remaining in the half.

SUNDAY’S RECAP: The Long Island Ducks defeated the Lancaster Barnstormers 6-2 in the finale of a three-game series at Clipper Magazine Stadium Sunday afternoon.

The Ducks got on the board in the top of the fourth, when Lew Ford beat out an infield single and scored on a double from Angelo Songco. Two batters later, Jordan Pacheco drilled a double down the left field line to score two more and give Long Island a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the sixth the Ducks tacked on three more and took a 6-0 lead against Barnstormers starter Jarret Leverett thanks to a three-run home run from Songco. The blast was Songco’s team-leading 14th round tripper of the season.

Lancaster got on the board in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run home run from K.C. Hobson. Other than that blip, Rafael Perez was terrific for Long Island earning the win to improve to 5-2 with seven innings of six-hit ball. The former Duck Leverett (4-2) got the loss for the Barnstormers after allowing six runs on 10 hits in six innings.

Eight of the nine Ducks batters in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit, with Ford, Songco and Pacheco each totaling two hits.

ON THE MOUND: Long Island looks to get started on the right foot with Henry Hirsch on the mound in the opener. Hirsch is making his second start and fourth overall appearance, and is 0-1 with a 2.89 ERA. Working in a long relief role, Hirsch threw 4.1 scoreless innings on the recent six-game road trip, including 2.1 frames of one-hit ball against Somerset.

The Patriots send right-hander Lucas Irvine to the bump in game one, making his 10th start of the season. Irvine is 3-1 with a 4.28 ERA, and threw six scoreless innings in his last start against the Ducks on June 15. However, Irvine got no decision as the Ducks won 3-1 behind Matt Larkins’ one-hit performance. The righty has struggled with control this season, and has walked three batters in five of his last six starts.

In game two, the Ducks will send Matt Larkins to the mound, looking to build off the positive momentum of four-straight quality starts. The highlight of the stretch was Larkins’ 8.1 innings of one-hit ball on June 15 at Somerset, when he took a perfect game into the seventh and a no-hitter into the ninth. In his last four outings, the Idaho native has a 2-1 record with a sterling 2.00 ERA (6 ER/27.0 IP) and sports a 23:8 K:BB ratio.

Somerset sends Will Oliver to the mound in game two, making his second start of the season and his eighth overall appearance. Oliver last threw a 1-2-3 inning on June 16 against York and got the win with a perfect 10th inning against the Ducks on June 14. Overall this season, the former Yankees draft pick is 2-0 with a 3.63 ERA. The right-hander went 7-2 with a 3.30 ERA in 16 starts with the Patriots in 2016.

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 (Game One):

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#11 Anthony Vega – CF
#20 Lew Ford – LF
#26 Angelo Songco – DH
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#15 Jordan Pacheco – C
#6 Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#48 Henry Hirsch – RHP

Patriots
#2 Scott Kelly – SS
#1 Justin Pacchioli – CF
#13 Carlos Guzman – 1B
#7 Greg Golson – RF
#40 Kyle Roller – DH
#4 Yovan Gonzalez – C
#9 Tyler Bortnick – 2B
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#8 Alfredo Rodriguez – SS

#16 Lucas Irvine – RHP

UPDATE (6:15) – TOP 1: The Patriots take an early 1-0 lead in Game One of the twin bill.

UPDATE (6:28) – BOT 1: Angelo Songco ties the game at one with an RBI single to score Anthony Vega!

UPDATE (6:38) – TOP 2: The Patriots take the lead back on and RBI triple from Scott Kelly. 2-1 Somerset leads.

UPDATE (7:14) – BOT 3: RBIs from Lew Ford and Angelo Songco put the good guys back on top 3-2!

UPDATE (7:29) – TOP 4: Somerset ties the game with a run. All knotted up at 3-3 in Game One of the doubleheader.

UPDATE (7:45) – BOT 4: The Ducks score four runs in the inning to take a 7-3 lead!

UPDATE (8:14) – BOT 5: Fehlandt Lentini doubles home a run and the Ducks lead expands to 8-4.

UPDATE (8:46) – FINAL: Ducks 8, Patriots 4.

W: Lannan (1-0)
L: Darnell (3-2)

STARTING LINEUPS (Game Two):

Ducks
#11 Anthony Vega – LF
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#26 Angelo Songco – AB
#23 Alex Burg – C
#34 Marc Krauss – LF
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#30 Ruben Gotay – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#44 Matt Larkins – RHP

Patriots
#33 Chris Grayson – LF
#1 Justin Pacchioli – CF
#13 Carlos Guzman – DH
#21 Adam Donachie – C
#40 Kyle Roller – 1B
#32 Mark Minicozzi – 3B
#14 Christian Marrero – RF
#9 Tyler Bortnick – 2B
#8 Alfredo Rodriguez – SS

#26 Will Oliver – RHP

UPDATE (9:45) – TOP 2: The Patriots grab a 1-0 lead in Game Two.

UPDATE (10:37) – TOP 4: The Patriots score two more and take a 3-0 lead.

UPDATE (10:59) – TOP 5: The Patriots tack on another three runs and have a 6-0 lead.

UPDATE (11:15) – BOT 5: Anthony Vega hits a two-run home run to narrow the Patriots’ lead to 6-2.

UPDATE (11:57) – FINAL: Patriots 8, Ducks 2.

W: Below (4-1)
L: Larkins (2-6)

Game 54: Ducks at Barnstormers

Vega-Running-5-17-17GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:30 p.m. at Clipper Magazine Stadium (Lancaster, Pa.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (27-26) continue their six-game road trip by beginning a three-game series with the Lancaster Barnstormers (28-25). Tonight’s contest is the first time that the Ducks will play the Barnstormers on the road this season, and is just the fifth matchup between the clubs this year. Lancaster has won three of the first four games, all coming at Bethpage Ballpark in May.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: The Long Island Ducks defeated the Somerset Patriots 3-1 on a near-historic night at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, N.J. on Thursday.

Ducks starter Matt Larkins (2-5) nearly made history, coming just three outs shy of pitching the second no-hitter in franchise history (Rod Henderson, 5/25/01 vs. Atlantic City). The right-hander retired the first 20 batters he faced before allowing a two-out walk in the seventh inning to Carlos Guzman, ending his bid for a perfect game. He set down the next four hitters in order to bring a no-hitter into the ninth. However, he surrendered a leadoff solo home run to Chris Grayson that ended his chance at history.

“It was a little bit of a let down,” Larkins commented following the game. “You want to get through nine with it. It’s one of those things that doesn’t happen too often. I threw a good changeup down and away, and he kind of just got enough of it to get it out. I have no problem with the pitch; He just did a good job of hitting it.”

Larkins finished his night with eight and one-third innings pitched, yielding just the homer and two walks while striking out seven batters. He threw 99 pitches while earning the victory, 67 of which were strikes.

“I felt good pretty much the whole game,” Larkins commented following the game. “I think I knew pretty much the whole game what was going on. It was just one of those nights where I had a really good sinker going – had a lot of movement on it – and then really good command of the other two pitches.”

The Ducks (27-26) were kept off the scoreboard by Patriots starter Lucas Irvine until the top of the seventh inning, when Long Island broke through against reliever Duane Below. Delta Cleary Jr.’s two-out single and Giovanny Alfonzo’s RBI double put the Flock ahead 1-0. Long Island added single runs in the eighth and ninth to build a 3-0 lead on RBI singles by Angelo Songco and Dan Lyons.

Following Grayson’s homer in the ninth, Somerset (32-21) put the tying runs on base via a one-out walk to Scott Kelly and a two-out walk to Carlos Guzman. However, Chin-Hui Tsao struck out former Duck Mark Minicozzi to end the ballgame.

Irvine took a no-decision for the Patriots, tossing six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out five. Below (3-1) suffered the loss, surrendering two runs on four hits and a walk in two innings of relief with four strikeouts. Tsao collected his seventh save of the season after recording the final two outs of the game, both on strikeouts.

Marc Krauss led the Flock offensively with two hits in the victory, while Elmer Reyes added a hit and three walks.

ON THE MOUND: The Ducks begin the series by sending Alfredo Simon to the mound to make his Long Island debut. The nine-year MLB vet was a National League All-Star in 2014 while pitching with the Cincinnati Reds, going 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA in 196.1 innings. In 2016, Simon appeared in 15 games (11 starts) with Cincinnati, in his second stint with the club, going 2-7 with a 9.36 ERA. “Big Pasta” also pitched for the Baltimore Orioles and Detriot Tigers in his big league career.

Lancaster counters with Atlantic League veteran Bryan Evans, in his third season with the club. Evans is 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in his first nine starts of the season, which marks his third with the Barnstormers. The 30-year-old has not faced the Ducks yet this season, but in his last start on June 10, he allowed one run on three hits in six innings to get the win over the York Revolution. Evans was an Atlantic League All-Star in 2016, and was the Barnstormers’ Opening Day starter in 2015 and 2016. Last year, he set the franchise record with 130 strikeouts, including a single-game record 13 against the Ducks on August 14.

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
#11 Anthony Vega – LF
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#26 Angelo Songco – RF
#30 Ruben Gotay – 3B
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#15 Jordan Pacheco – C
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#25 Alfredo Simon – RHP

Barnstormers
#6 Rico Noel – CF
#15 Caleb Gindl – RF
#2 Blake Gailen – DH
#18 K.C. Hobson – 1B
#19 Sean Halton – 3B
#4 Garrett Weber – 2B
#21 Trayvon Robinson – LF
#32 Anderson De La Rosa – C
#1 Vladimir Frias – SS

#20 Bryan Evans – RHP

UPDATE (7:03) – BOT 2: Elmer Reyes has made a pair of great defensive plays and we are scoreless heading to the third.

UPDATE (8:01) – BOT 4: The Barnstormers take a 4-0 lead as they rally against Alfredo Simon.

UPDATE (8:14) – TOP 5: The Ducks get on the board as Elmer Reyes drives home Delta Cleary Jr. with a base hit. 4-1 Barnstormers.

UPDATE (9:43) – TOP 8: Marc Krauss drives a solo home run to right field and the Ducks climb back to within three. 5-2 Barnstormers.

UPDATE (10:03) – BOT 8: The Barnstormers tack on two insurance runs to extend a 7-2 lead.

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