The Long Island Ducks (20-16) exploded for six runs in the 6th inning en route to an 8-4 win over the Lancaster Barnstormers (23-16) Tuesday night at Bethpage Ballpark.
Lew Ford led the way with four hits while Jon Myers hit a home run in the 8th inning to help pace the Ducks. In all, eight different Long Island batters recorded at least one hit in the game and all nine batters in the Ducks lineup reached base at least once.
Starting pitcher Bobby Blevins pitched seven strong innings to improve his record to 3-1 on the season. The only blemish on his record was a two-run home run hit by Lancaster shortstop Casey Frawley in the second inning that put the visitors ahead 2-0 early on.
“I gave him a pitch that I shouldn’t have given him,” Blevins admitted. “But two runs that early in the game should never really hurt you. I got a little nervous but as long as I kept doing my job and keeping us in the game, something good would happen and that’s the sign of a good team.”
For the game, Blevins finished with seven strikeouts and only one walk.
“He’s a workhorse. We’re very confident when Bobby’s on the hill,” Ducks manager Kevin Baez said. “That’s the kind of guy you want on you team.”
Blevens now has six quality starts in his eight outings this season for Long Island.
The Ducks offense had plenty of hits in the first five innings but was unable to turn them into runs as they stranded eight base runners.
“It was so frustrating,” Baez admitted. “We were getting guys on but we just weren’t getting that timely hit. It seemed like they just kept getting out of it.”
Long Island finally broke out in the sixth inning when they sent 11 men to the plate and added six runs on six hits. Brendan Harris tied the game with a 2 RBI single before Ford put the Ducks ahead to stay with a base hit of his own. Two batters later, designated hitter Randy Ruiz singled home two more runs to put Long Island ahead 5-2.
The Ducks added a single run in the seventh inning on a fielder’s choice by Joash Brodin to go ahead 7-2.
Lancaster added a pair of runs off reliever Eric Niesen in the top of the eighth, but the solo homer by Myers in the bottom of the inning increased the lead to 8-4.
Reliever Jon Meloan struck out the side in the ninth inning to end the game and clinch the victory for the Ducks.
The Ducks and Barnstormers meet again Wednesday at 6:30 pm at Bethpage Park.
Leadoff hitter Cody Puckett reached base safely for the 26th consecutive game when he walked in the 6th inning. That is the longest streak in the league this season.
Outfielder Fehlandt Lentini was out of the lineup with a strained quad. He is considered day-to-day.