Coming off a well earned day of rest after an 8-day road trip, the Long Island Ducks returned home for their 7-game home stand which will be played in six days as a double header vs the New Britain Bees is slated for this Saturday.
The home stand kicked off against the Bridgeport Bluefish who are last in all of the ALPB. Although the Somerset Patriots are the Ducks biggest rival, it’s this series that is arguably the biggest for the Ducks so far this season as they aim to take the first half.
In a game that proved to be the pitching duel of the season so far, Ducks pitcher Mark Blackmar faced off against Bluefish pitcher Mike Antonini. Action was slow up until the bottom of the sixth when the Ducks had two runners on, but a groundout by first baseman Sean Burroughs put an end to what could have been a run filled inning.
As the game quickly moved into the seventh with no runs scored, the worst play of the game happened. While running into foul territory after a pop up, third baseman Cody Puckett tweaked his hamstring but finished the inning. It wasn’t until the following inning when he ran out an infield hit that he was replaced by Anthony Vega. Puckett is listed as day-to-day.
Both starting pitchers went seven innings and kept their team in the game. The offense from either side was no where to be found until the top of the eighth inning when a single, walk, and an error loaded the bases for the Bluefish. With a full count, third baseman Josh Vitters landed the first RBI of the game with a bases loaded walk from Ducks reliever Eury De La Rosa. Luis Domoromo was next up and knocked in three more runs on a double to right. The inning ended as Domoromo attempted to move on to third but was tagged out in a pickle between second and third base.
“Sometimes you have to tip your hat” said Ducks manager Kevin Baez after the loss. “Antonini pitched well for them. De La Rosa has been outstanding for us but tonight was a tough one for him.”
The Ducks managed to pick up one run in the 8th with a home run from captain Lew Ford. The home run obviously made Ford the most productive Duck of the night but it was also his only hit.
“We just couldn’t get anything going offensively” explained Ford. “Sometimes you come home from a big road trip and you’re not ready for that first game and we needed the wake up call and hopefully we got it and can bounce back tomorrow.”
Puckett was the only one with two hits but that was all she wrote as the Ducks lost to the Bluefish by a score of 5-1. De La Rosa suffered the loss as Bluefish reliever Joseph Kuzia notched his first win of the season.
Baez closed his post game interview with a very straight forward comment.
“We lost the game because we didn’t get any timely hitting, but it’s one game and we’ll just have to come out tomorrow and get those runs.”
Prior to the National Anthem, a moment of silence was performed in recognition of John Roth. As a member of the “Faithful Flock”, John lost his battle with rectal cancer this past week. Thoughts and prayers are extended to his family and friends. John is survived by his wonderful wife Kathy who, with the “Faithful Flock” attended the game. John always wore a pink Ducks jersey to the games and in remembrance, the “Faithful Flock” all wore pink Ducks jerseys and pink Ducks tee shirts.