LDCS Game One: Ducks at Patriots

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 7:05 p.m. at TD Bank Ballpark (Bridgewater, N.J.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks and Somerset Patriots battle in the opening game of the Liberty Division Championship Series. Long Island and Somerset have met twice in the postseason, in 2013 and 2015, with the Ducks winning the former series in five games and the Patriots winning the latter series in five games. The winner of the Liberty Division Championship Series meets either York or Sugar Land in the Atlantic League Championship Series. On Tuesday, the Skeeters took a 1-0 series lead over the Revolution, with a 7-5 victory in the first game of the Freedom Division Championship Series.

HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY: This season represented one of the most balanced, even, and exciting season series between the Ducks and the Patriots. Long Island won the first half Liberty Division Championship with a 40-30 record, while Somerset’s 39-31 record clinched a second half title.

In 20 meetings this season, the Ducks and Patriots split, winning 10 games apiece for the second time in three years. Long Island won seven out of 10 in the second half after dropping seven out of 10 in the first half, and both teams posted 6-4 records on their home turf.

Delta Cleary Jr. led Long Island, hitting at a .356 clip against Somerset, while Fehlandt Lentini, Lew Ford, Mike Dowd, Mike Blanke, and Ruben Gotay each hit over .300 in the season series. Cody Puckett’s three home runs and 18 runs batted in highlighted the team’s production, while Lentini’s speed accumulated eight stolen bases.

Somerset’s biggest producer against the Ducks was David Vidal. The third baseman-catcher blasted six home runs in 17 games, driving in 14 runs. Eric Farris connected on a team-high 22 hits, good for a .286 average, with 15 RBIs. Robert Kral, despite a low overall batting average of .236, hit .360 in eight games for Somerset against Long Island.

ON THE MOUND: Veteran right-hander John Brownell makes his eighth playoff start for Long Island, facing the Patriots for the fourth time in 2016. Brownell is 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA, striking out 16 batters in 19 innings against the Patriots. His most recent tussle with Long Island’s division rival came on August 2 at TD Bank Ballpark. The Ducks were victorious, winning 4-2, but Brownell did not receive the win. The 33-year-old struck out eight over seven innings, allowing one unearned run on five hits. The Nebraska native won four playoff games in five starts between 2012 and 2013, but dropped a pair of decisions to Somerset in last season’s playoffs.

Will Oliver enters Wednesday’s game having won four consecutive starts. Over his past two outings, the California native has tossed 15 innings of one-run ball, striking out 16 batters and walking two. Oliver fanned nine Ducks on August 11, allowing four runs on nine hits en route to a 7-4 win for the Patriots. On September 26, 2015, the righty defeated Long Island in Game Four of the Liberty Division Championship Series, propelling the Patriots to a 4-0 win. He allowed three hits and a walk, striking out two in a complete game shutout.

FOLLOW ALONG: Fans can follow all of the action for tonight’s game live via the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Streaming audio will be available online by CLICKING HERE. 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. For a look at the Long Island’s all-time playoff history, please CLICK HERE.

Ducks
#23 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#15 Ruben Gotay – 2B
#32 Tyler Colvin – 1B
#29 Mike Dowd – C
#27 Anthony Vega – LF

#7   John Brownell – RHP

Patriots
#20 Vinny Zarrillo – CF
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#3   Eric Farris – 2B
#24 Bryan LaHair – 1B
#8   David Vidal – 3B
#31 Kyle Roller – DH
#13 Carlos Guzman – RF
#4   Yovan Gonzalez – C
#2   Scott Kelly – SS

#26 Will Oliver – RHP

UPDATE (7:06): Game One of the Liberty Division Championship Series is underway from TD Bank Ballpark!

UPDATE (7:22): BOT 1: Patriots claim the first run of the game with a two-out RBI double to left-center by David Vidal. 1-0 Somerset.

UPDATE (7:37): TOP 2: Will Oliver’s throwing error allows Cody Puckett to score from third! Ducks tie the game up at one!

UPDATE (8:11): TOP 4: Anthony Vega delivers a two-out RBI single to right, scoring Ruben Gotay! Ducks take the lead, 2-1!

UPDATE (8:21): BOT 4: Excellent work by John Brownell! He induces an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to get out of a bases loaded jam!

UPDATE (8:55): BOT 6: Carlos Guzman’s RBI double to right-center with two outs drives in Kyle Roller. All square at two after six.

UPDATE (9:33): BOT 8: Amalio Diaz gets pinch hitter Brian Van Kirk to ground out, stranding runners at first and third! 2-2 as we head to the ninth!

UPDATE (9:57): BOT 9: Zac Treece with a dominant start to his Ducks career! He strikes out two in a scoreless ninth! We’ll need extras to decide Game One.

UPDATE (10:15): BOT 10: Luis Perdomo pumps his fist after getting Carlos Guzman to ground into an inning ending double play! 2-2 as we go on to the 11th!

UPDATE (10:32): FINAL: Scott Kelly sneaks a solo home run over the wall down the left field line. Somerset takes game one 3-2 in 11 innings.

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Posted on September 21, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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