Game 79: Ducks vs. Patriots


GAME TIME/LOCATION: 5:05 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, NY)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (6-2, 46-32) look to sweep the Somerset Patriots (5-4, 43-36)  in the finale of a three-game set. The Ducks have not swept the Patriots since August of 2014 at Bethpage Ballpark. Long Island has taken four of the previous five and five of the past seven games versus Somerset. In addition to their hot play against today’s opponent of late, the Ducks have enjoyed a slight power surge recently, hitting 10 home runs in July, ranking third in the league behind Southern Maryland (12) and Lancaster (11).

YESTERDAY’S RESULT:  Behind seven shutout innings from Darin Downs, the Ducks crushed the Patriots 7-0 in the second of a three-game series at Bethpage Ballpark.

Downs allowed two hits through the first four innings, striking out five along the way. When he struck out Mycal Jones in the fourth, he tallied his 100th strikeout of the year, becoming the first Atlantic League pitcher this season to do so. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Ducks gave Downs a 3-0 lead. Delta Cleary Jr. slammed his first home run of the season over the right field wall, and after Mark Minicozzi’s base hit, Ruben Gotay crushed a two-run shot.

In the fifth, Long Island tallied four more runs. Cleary Jr. and Cody Puckett delivered back-to-back singles, while Minicozzi planted a two-run double to left-center field, providing the final margin.

Downs took care of the rest en route to the victory. In total, the lefthander allowed five hits (all singles) in seven innings with seven strikeouts. Nick Struck pitched a scoreless eighth, while Amalio Diaz closed the door in the ninth. Somerset starter Donovan Hand took the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits. In four and one-third innings he struck out three.

Puckett, Cleary Jr., and Minicozzi each had two hits. Cleary Jr., Gotay, and Minicozzi added two RBIs apiece.

ON THE MOUND: 2016 Liberty Division All-Star Bruce Kern toes the rubber for the Ducks. The Yapank, N.Y. native pitched a scoreless inning against the Freedom Division at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster. Kern has won three consecutive starts for Long Island, beating Bridgeport, York, and Southern Maryland. On July 10 against the Blue Crabs, the right-hander struck out seven in six innings, surrendering three runs on eight hits and four walks. Sunday is Kern’s first start against Somerset this season.

Michigan native Bryce Morrow, recently signed by Somerset, makes his fourth appearance and second start for the Patriots. Morrow spent the previous four seasons in the San Diego Padres system, most recently with Double-A San Antonio in the Texas League. The undrafted righty out of Central Michigan University picked up wins over Bridgeport and Southern Maryland, but lost his most recent outing to Lancaster. Morrow struck out five over four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits against the Barnstormers on July 10. His counterpart that night, Terry Doyle, tossed eight shutout innings of one-hit ball.

FOLLOW ALONG:  Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Streaming video and audio will be available online by CLICKING HERE. The game will also be broadcast live on WRHU/88.7-FM Radio Hofstra University and online at 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.

#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#26 Mark Minicozzi – 1B
#15 Ruben Gotay – 2B
#29 Mike Dowd – DH
#21 Mike Blanke – C

#30 Bruce Kern – RHP

#1 Mycal Jones – CF
#91 Aharon Eggleston – DH
#3 Eric Farris – LF
#8 David Vidal – 3B
#24 Bryan LaHair – 1B
#6 Brian Van Kirk – RF
#9 Rob Kral – C
#2 Scott Kelly – 2B
#19 Luis Mateo – SS

#22 Bryce Morrow – RHP

UPDATE (5:25): BOT 1: The Ducks take a 2-0 lead over the Patriots. Lentini scores on a passed ball and Cody Puckett adds a sac fly.

UPDATE (6:09): BOT 3: Long Island scores four runs on Somerset to take a 6-0 lead. Cody Puckett’s three-run home run highlighted the inning.

UPDATE (6:18): TOP 4: David Vidal’s two-run home run cuts the LI lead to four. The Ducks lead the Patriots 6-2.

UPDATE (7:03): END 6: The Ducks lead the Somerset Patriots 6-2. Cody Puckett with a three-run home run and sac fly, totaling 4 RBI.

UPDATE (7:39): TOP 8: Eric Farris’ two-run homer makes it a 6-4 game. The Ducks are still in front of the Patriots.

UPDATE (7:48): BOT 8: Mark Minicozzi sends a bomb out to left field! His fourth home run in nine games gives Long Island a 7-4 lead over Somerset.

UPDATE (8:04): FINAL: The Ducks sweep the Patriots for the first time since August of 2014! Long Island grabs a 7-5 win to improve to 7-2, 46-32!


Posted on July 17, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Another excellent game. I am glad the Ducks won and were able to sweep the Patriots. Going to the games is very entertaining and enjoyable.

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