The Long Island Ducks got timely hitting and six solid innings from starter John Brownell to defeat the Bridgeport Bluefish 6-2 at Bethpage Ballpark. The game was called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to rain, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the sellout crowd of 6,578 who were still treated to a fireworks show while they waited for the rain to let up.
Fehlandt Lentini hit a pair of doubles and batted in two runs for the Ducks while Lew Ford went 3-for-3 to raise his average on the season to .361 which places him second in the Atlantic League. Ford is now 6-for-8 in his last two games.
The Ducks fell behind 1-0 in the first inning as Brownell struggled a bit at the start of the game. “The early innings have sort of been the Achilles heel of my career,” Brownell said after the game. “It’s tough trying to find your rhythm early in the game because you haven’t really established one. But once you get through that, you find what’s working. I had a pretty good fastball and I threw the cutter off that and that’s what seemed to work tonight.”
After throwing 48 pitches in the first two innings, Brownell threw just 51 in the next four and held the Bluefish to just one run in the fifth inning on a home run by right fielder Prentice Redman. The win improved his record to 8-4 on the season.
“He bounced back,” Ducks’ manager Kevin Baez said when asked about Brownell’s performance. “He battled and he pitched well.”
The Ducks evened the game in the bottom of the third inning. Lentini led off with a double and stole third base before Ford picked him up with an RBI single.
Long Island went ahead for good with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when they staged a two-out rally. Lentini came through with his second double of the game which brought home Jan Vazquez and Dan Lyons and made the score 3-1 Ducks.
After Redman’s home run in the top of the fifth, the Ducks added three more runs in the bottom half of the inning to put the game away. Lew Ford started the inning off with a leadoff double and was driven home by Brendan Harris’ single. Joash Brodin then laced an opposite-field RBI double down the right field line to score Harris and give Long Island a 5-2 lead. A wild pitch by Bluefish starter Hunter Jones scored Brodin and provided the Ducks with their final run.
The Ducks are a confident team heading into the July 4th weekend. “We won a series tonight,” Brownell added. “We’ve played a little bit better the last couple of nights so we’ll carry that on and get off to a good start in the second half.”
The Ducks return to action on July 4th at Bethpage Ballpark when they host the Camden Riversharks at 7:05 p.m. There will be a fireworks show by Pryotechnico immediately following the game.
In addition, the team will be wearing special camouflage jerseys which will be auctioned off during the game. Fans can place their bids by visiting the auction tables located on the concourse outside of the Waddle In Shop. The pitching match-up for that game will feature Right-hander Bobby Blevins taking on Camden righty Pedro Liriano.
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