Saturday, May 03, 2014

L.I. Ducks: Finally Thwart Revolution For First Home Victory Of 2014

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

York Leads Opening Day Series 2-1
GM 1 - York 6; Long Island 1
GM 2 - York 8; Long Island 7
GM 3 - Long Island 4; York 3
GM 4 - Sunday Afternoon

LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Bobby Blevins Continues His Strong Pitching; Ducks Win First Home Game Of 2014 Season.

Have the York Revolution no respect for the returning champion's triumphant return home, on Opening Day no less?  Clearly, for York, which defeated the Ducks in the 2011 Atlantic League championship series, the answer is no, they did not.

The Revolutionary party-crashers from the Freedom Division were having none of it.  They came, they saw, and they ruined what was otherwise supposed to be a celebratory weekend at Long Island's Bethpage Park.

They treated Ducks starting pitchers John Brownell and Shaun Garceau rather rudely in the first two games of this four game weekend series.  John Brownell took the loss on Opening Day.  He pitched 6 innings, and was roughed up for 4 earned runs on 6 hits.  He walked 2 and fanned 5 batters before exiting on the losing side of an eventual 6-1 final.

In Saturday's first game of a twin-bill, the Ducks failed to hold a 5-2 lead, and eventually bowed to the Revs by an 8-7 score.  Shaun Garceau only lasted 4 innings, allowed 4 earned runs on 6 hits, walked 2, and fanned 5 before departing, but escaped with a no-decision.  However, he saw his ERA balloon to a ghastly 18.48 mark after two starts this season.

Over the first two games of the series, York pitching held the Ducks to a .184 batting average on 12 for 65 at the plate.  Long Island managed 4 extra base hits, which included two home runs, drew 8 walks and fanned 8 times.

The Ducks finally prevailed over the Revolution in Saturday's night cap, on the strength of Bobby Blevins' 7 inning gem, and clutch hitting from Cody Puckett.

Bobby Blevins climbed the hill for Long Island, and once again pitched marvelously over his seven innings of work.  Over that span, he allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits, walked none, and struck out 8 batters, all swinging.

York took the initial lead with a pair of runs in the 4th inning.  But, the Ducks stormed back to give Blevins a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 5th inning, on an RBI double struck by shortstop Dan Lyons, and a two run single by right fielder Fehlandt Lentini.

Jeremy Accardo entered the game in the 8th inning in relief of Bobby Blevins, and with one out, was greeted by York center fielder Sean Smith with a long home run over the left field wall, which tied the game at three, and unfortunately reduced Bobby Blevins effort to a no decision.

However, Long Island regained the lead when second baseman Cody Puckett came up with a big 2-out base hit in the bottom of the 8th inning, to score Lew Ford (single) from second base.

Closer Leo Rosales entered the game in the 9th, looking to close things out.  The first Revs batter went down swinging at strike three.  The second York batter looked at strike three.  Then, the final Revolutions batter literally threw his bat through strike three to end the game.  The bat finally came to rest foul, down the right field line.

Although Jeremy Accardo blew the save opportunity, he gets credit for Long Island's first home victory.   Leo Rosales earned his 3rd save of the young season.  In two starts and 13 innings pitched, Bobby Blevins has allowed 4 earned runs on 6 hits, walked none, and fanned 14 batters.  His ERA dropped from 3.00 down to a 2.77 mark.

In Saturday's Game One, catcher Keith Castillo became the first Duck with 2 home runs.  Lew Ford leads the team with 6 RBI.

Long Island evened their season record at 4-4.


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