Friday, May 15, 2015

L.I. Ducks: Bridgeport continues dominance over Flock

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Bridgeport Bluefish 
win second straight series over 
Long Island Ducks

Bluefish Lead Ferry Cup Series 5-1
I - BPT 10; L.I. 2
II - BPT 9; L.I. 0
III - BPT 7; L.I. 6
IV - L.I. 5; BPT 2
V - BPT 7; L.I. 3
VI - BPT 9; L.I. 7

Long Island Ducks: Bridgeport Responsible For Half Of Flock's Losses.

After getting swept by the Bluefish in Bridgeport last week, the Ducks tried exacting their revenge, albeit unsuccessfully, against the Bluefish beginning with Tuesday's game at the Pond.

Long Island took series opener behind the pitching of John Brownell, and the hitting of Lew Ford.

Brownell faced 28 batters over his 7 innings pitched, and threw 98 pitches, with 63 (64%) going for strikes.  He allowed a pair of earned runs on 6 hits and one walk, and fanned 4 batters to join the league leaders with his third victory of the season.

Closer Ryan Kussmaul earned his league leading 6th save of the season.

Lew Ford was Tuesday's hitting star.  He went 4 for 4 at the plate, with a double and 3-run home run in the 3rd inning to help push the Ducks passed the Bluefish by a 5-2 final.

In Wednesday night's game, Ian Marshall made the start, and was opposed by Bridgeport's Scott Maine.

Marshall allowed earned runs in the 3rd and 4th innings, and exited to a no-decision after 5 innings pitched.

In the bottom of the 4th, Cody Puckett led the Ducks off with a double.  Jon Griffin and Jose Morales both singled to load the bases.   With 1-out, DH Blake Davis was hit with a Scott Maine pitch to force a run across the plate.  Then with 2-outs, Dan Lyons drew a walk to tie the game at two.  The Ducks, however, left the bases loaded.

The Bluefish then went on to tally 5 more runs against Long Island's bullpen.  Except for a Lew Ford home run in the 7th, the Bluefish bullpen locked down the Ducks for a 7-3 victory, and series split.

In Thursday's rubber game, neither starting pitcher fared well.  Eric Niesen toed the rubber for Long Island.  He faced 27 batters and threw 93 pitches, with only 56 (60%) going for strikes.  In 5 full innings pitched, he allowed 7 runs (5 ER) on 10 hits and a pair of walks, with 4 strikeouts.  He exited on the losing side of a 7-6 game.

Niesen was opposed by Bridgeport's Cory Riordan, whom only lasted 4.2 innings.  He allowed 6 earned runs on 10 hits and a walk, with one strikeout.  He earned a no-decision for his efforts.   Reliever Erik Braxton pitched to a pair of batters in the 5th, to earn the victory.

Despite 3 home runs and 14 hits by the Ducks, they found themselves on the short side on a 9-7 game.  Jon Griffin was 3 for 4 hit 2 home runs, and now has 4 for the season.  Dan Lyons was 3 for 5 with a double and RBI, and improved his average to a .290 mark.  At the top of the order, Bryan Sabatella and Reggie Corona combined to go 4 for 6 with 2 runs scored.

Lew Ford leads the circuit with 18 RBI.

Is Eric Niesen pitching out of his element?  Prior to this season, he made 312 career appearances, but only 76 as a starter.  The former reliever was pressed into the starting rotation this season.  He is 0-2 after 4 starts this season.  In 19 innings pitched, he has allowed 13 earned runs on 27 hits and 10 walks, with 20 strikeouts (4th most in Atlantic League).  In Thursday's game, his ERA grew from 5.14, to a 6.16 mark.

Long Island Ducks
Lancaster Barnstormers

The Ducks are now 4-7 in their last 10 games, and leveled out at 10-10 for the season.  They presently trail the 1st place Somerset Patriots by 3 games.


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