Tuesday, May 31, 2016

L.I. Ducks: Gone Barnstorming

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Long Island Ducks
Lancaster Barnstormers
Prince Street

Long Island Ducks: Flock Forging Ahead While Somerset Patriots Remain in Retreat.

Joining the millions of Memorial Day travelers hitting the road Monday, the Ducks were Pennsylvania bound for a month of June opening series against the Lancaster Barnstormers.

Long Island's John Brownell will face off against Lancaster's J.D. Martin in Tuesday's opener. Brownell, 32, will be making his sixth start of the season.  He is 3-0 with a 3.37 ERA, and has allowed 31 hits, nine walks, and fanned 25 over 29.1 innings so far this season.

The Barnstormers are presently in third place in the Freedom Division, playing at par with an 18-18 record.  Not coincidentally, they are 5-5 in their last ten games, and four games out of first place behind the York Revolution.

The Ducks recent home stand featured a series win over Bridgeport, and a four game split against the New Britain Bees.  They'll enter Tuesday's action in first place of the Liberty Division with a 1.5 game lead over the Somerset Patriots, whom lost in extra innings Monday to York.

Somerset has lost their last two, and eight of their last ten games.  After starting the season 13-0, they've been in free fall since with an 8-17 record over their last 25 games.  Long Island, on the other hand, is 17-9 over their last 26 games, and are 21-9 since tripping out of the starting gate with a 1-6 record.

Waddling Around the Bases Like a Bunch of Mad Mallards...

The Ducks line-up lists three top ten hitters.  Lew Ford's .348 mark is second in the league, while Fehlandt Lentini (.310) and Dan Lyons (.308) rank seventh and eighth respectively.

Lentini also leads the league in games played, at-bats, and runs scored.  He's also second overall in hits, and tied for second with 25 RBI.  Lew Ford ranks among the top four with 24 RBI.

What Long Island lacks in home run potential, they more than make up for with offensive balance and relentlessness.  The Ducks are tied for last in the Atlantic League in home runs, and drawing walks.  Yet, they lead the league in runs scored, hits, team average, and triples, and rank second in doubles, total bases, team OPS, and team slugging.

Hurlers Quacking Down on Opposing Hitters

Long Island hurlers have combined to lead the Atlantic League in strikeouts, shutouts, fewest hits allowed, and average against.  They're additionally second in least earned runs allowed, team ERA, and WHiP, and rank third in slugging against.

Jack Snodgrass leads the Atlantic League in strikeouts, with his staff mate Darin Downs close behind in second.  They're presently the only two pitchers to have surpassed 40 strikeouts so far this season.   Starter Mark Blackmar's 1.77 ERA is good enough for third in the circuit.

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