Game 70: Ducks vs. Skeeters
GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, NY)
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Fresh off of their playoff-clinching win Saturday night, the Long Island Ducks (39-30) wrap up the first half with the finale of a three-game series against the Sugar Land Skeeters (35-34). The Ducks clinched the 2016 First Half Liberty Division championship, their fifth first half title in franchise history. Ironically, the last time the Ducks clinched the first half title, on July 1, 2012, they beat the Skeeters.
YESTERDAY’S RESULT: Starting pitcher John Brownell made Ducks history, collecting his franchise-best 41st career victory in a 6-1 win over Sugar Land.
Brownell pitched extremely well, striking out six over eight and one-third innings. He allowed his only run in the top of the fourth inning on Ricky Hague’s RBI double. The Ducks quickly took the lead in the bottom of the inning, striking on a two-run home run off the bat of Dan Lyons.
The 2-1 Long Island lead held through the next two innings until the seventh. Ruben Gotay scored on a Skeeters error, extending the lead to 3-1. In the eighth the Ducks broke the game open with three runs. Lyons and Mike Dowd each collected RBI singles, while Cody Puckett scored on a throwing error, giving the Ducks a 6-1 lead.
With one out in the ninth, Todd Coffey entered the game in place of Brownell. The righty snagged the final two outs, securing the victory and a place in the 2016 Atlantic League playoffs.
Dowd had three hits for the Ducks, while Lyons added two hits and two runs.
ON THE MOUND: Darin Downs, the Atlantic League’s strikeout leader, takes the hill for the Ducks in the final game of the first half. The lefty recently tossed seven innings of three-hit ball, allowing one run with 10 strikeouts against York on June 28. The former Chicago Cubs draft selection leads the league with 83 strikeouts, averaging close to ten strikeouts per nine innings. Sunday marks the first time this season that Downs will face the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Brett Marshall, a former New York Yankee, gets the start for Sugar Land. Marshall was signed on June 23rd after being released by the Tampa Bay Rays. Marshall has made one appearance, on June 30 against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, tossing one and one-third innings allowing one hit, one run, and two walks. The 26-year-old right-hander made three appearances for the Bronx Bombers in 2013, pitching 12 innings.
FOLLOW ALONG: Streaming video and audio will be available online via the Ducks’ official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. The game will also be broadcast live on WRHU/88.7-FM Radio Hofstra University and online at wrhu.org for fans in Nassau County. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a pitch-by-pitch account of tonight’s game via Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.
DUCKS GAME NOTES: For tonight’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE.
#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – DH
#15 Ruben Gotay – 1B
#21 Mike Blanke – C
#17 Matt Wessinger – 3B
#33 Anthony Gatto – LF
#11 Carlos Hughes – 2B
#23 Darin Downs – LHP
#7 Josh Prince – 2B
#2 Ricky Hague – LF
#29 Jeremy Barfield – RF
#24 Delwyn Young – 1B
#10 Kent Matthes – DH
#4 Beamer Weems – SS
#5 Wilfredo Rodriguez – C
#6 Patrick Palmeiro – 3B
#14 Ben Guez – CF
#23 Brett Marshall – RHP
UPDATE (7:13): BOT 2: Carlos Hughes drives in a run with a double to center field. Anthony Gatto scores and LI takes a 1-0 lead over the Skeeters.
UPDATE (7:36): BOT 3: Anthony Gatto drives in his first professional run with a bases-loaded walk! The Ducks take a 2-0 lead over the Skeeters.
UPDATE (8:00): BOT 4: Dan Lyons doubles in Fehlandt Lentini, Cody Puckett singles in Lyons, and the Ducks take a 4-0 lead over Sugar Land.
UPDATE (8:29): TOP 6: Sugar Land gets on the board as Ricky Hague scores from third on a wild pitch. Long Island still holds a 4-1 lead in Central Islip.
UPDATE (8:4): BOT 6: Cody Puckett’s RBI double jolts the Ducks ahead of the Skeeters 5-1. Darin Downs with five strikeouts.
UPDATE (8:54): TOP 7: Patrick Palmeiro’s sacrifice fly brings in another Sugar Land run, but the Ducks lead 5-2.
UPDATE (9:37): FINAL: The Ducks sweep the Skeeters with a 5-2 win in the finale! Long Island ends the first half 40-30!