The Long Island Ducks suffered a frustrating loss Sunday night 3-2 to the York Revolution before 5,516 fans at Bethpage Ballpark.
A clutch two-out double by York catcher Salvador Paniagua in the 8th inning proved to be the game winner for the Revolution. Bo Vaughan earned the win for York to improve to 6-2 on the season while Jeremy Accardo was credited with the loss for Long Island.
The Ducks fell behind 2-0 on a first-inning home run by left fielder Eric Patterson who ripped the ball deep over the fence in right field. It was a rough start for Ducks starter Jared Lansford who had to throw 42 pitches in a 19-minute top of the first inning. After that, Lansford settled down and did not allow another run to cross the plate.
“I started attacking a little more with my fast ball,” Lansford said. “I trusted my fast ball and let them put the ball in play and let my teammates make plays. It worked out.”
Lansford finished with a quality start, going six innings and allowing the two runs on just five hits while striking out four batters.
The Ducks managed to even the score at 2-2 in the bottom half of the 4th inning when they broke through against York starter Scott Gorgen. A one-out double by Adam Bailey got things started, before Brendan Harris took first after being hit by a pitch. Joash Brodin and Jan Vazquez stroked back-to-back RBI-singles with two outs as Long Island evened the score.
It was the first of three hits by Brodin on the night, giving him consecutive games with three hits.
“Ultimately, it comes down to trusting yourself,” Brodin explained. “In this game, there’s so many negative things that happen every day, even when you have a good game. It’s a battle just keeping confident and just trusting what got you here and try not to think.”
York nearly took the lead in the top of the 8th on a single by Ofilio Castro, but Long Island right fielder Fehlandt Lentini made a bullet of a throw from the outfield to nail Travis Garcia at the plate.
“I saw it in my head before it happened,” Lentini said. “I have not been throwing the ball the way I expect to this year and it’s been really frustrating. I took my time and made a good throw.”
Lentini also stole two bases in the game, giving him a league-best 33 steals on the season. He also now has a 19-game hitting streak.
“I like stealing bases and putting my teammates in opportunities to score runs. It helps our team win,” Lentini said. “I hit leadoff so it’s my job to set the table. I’m looking for any opportunity to get home.”
York scored in the top of the 8th despite Lentini’s pinpoint throw when Paniagua doubled to right field with two outs.
The Ducks had two runners on base in both the 8th and 9th innings but failed to get the clutch hit that would have delivered the tying run.
Long Island has now lost eight consecutive games and is 2-8 in the second half of the Atlantic League season, 3 1/2 games out of first place.
“You don’t even think about it,” Brodin said when asked what the team needs to do to end their recent slump. “There’s no need to dwell on it. We’re playing good baseball, we’re in every game. It’s not like we’re being blown out. We’ve got to trust in what we can do.”
The Ducks return to action on Monday morning when they host the Bridgeport Bluefish. The game starts at 11:05 a.m. at Bethpage Ballpark.
Third baseman Brendan Harris has now reached base in 13 straight games for the Ducks.
Josh Lansford came in to pitch for the Ducks in the seventh inning in relief of starter Jared Lansford. The two pitchers are brothers.
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