Top Moments of 2016 – #7
The 2016 calendar year is coming to a close, and what a year it has been for Long Island’s hometown team! So many milestones were reached both on and off the field during the year, and many incredible memories were made throughout. From newcomers to the Flock collecting clutch hits to team alumni signing $48 million contracts in Major League Baseball, it has been a whirlwind of excitement around the Ducks this past year. Although the season did not end with the ultimate prize, a fourth Atlantic League championship, there were still a plethora of great moments that highlighted the campaign.
The number seven is very prominent for many reasons. The Ducks welcomed their 7 millionth fan through the gates during the course of the 2016 season, more fans than any other team in league history. The Ducks also just completed their 17th season of play on Long Island. What comes after 2016? That would be 2017! Therefore, we decided to choose the Top Seven moments from 2016 to highlight over the next week here on the blog.
We’ll begin our lead up to the Top Moment of 2016 with #7 on our list:
#7 – Colvin’s Grand Finish – July 21, 2016
The Ducks, fresh off of clinching the First Half Liberty Division title, got off to another strong start in the second half of the season. On July 21, they would face the cross-sound rival Bridgeport Bluefish in the rubber game of a three-game series after suffering a hard-fought 3-2 defeat the previous night. Long Island sent their ace to the mound in John Brownell, but he ran into some early trouble, allowing a pair of solo homers in the second inning. The Ducks immediately stormed back though, as Mike Blanke’s two-run single in the bottom of the inning evened the score. Single runs in the third and fifth put the Flock in front, 4-2.
However, the lead was not safe. Bridgeport tied the game in the eighth against Brownell when Adron Chambers singled home Anthony Giansanti. Todd Coffey came on to protect the one-run lead in the ninth but allowed a single and a double to open the frame. Then, with one out, a pitch from the former big leaguer ricocheted away from the plate, and Jonathan Galvez scored the tying run on a passed ball. Coffey escaped further trouble, giving Long Island a chance for a waddle-off victory.
Another former Major Leaguer came on to pitch in the form of Bluefish closer Jose Veras. Anthony Vega singled to open the inning but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Fehlandt Lentini and Delta Cleary Jr. followed with singles though, putting runners at the corners with one out. Cody Puckett grounded out for the first out of the inning, and after Mark Minicozzi drew a walk, Tyler Colvin stepped up to the plate.
Colvin, who had spent over a month on the disabled list with a hip injury and had just returned to the lineup two games prior, was the hero. His first pitch grand slam caused the crowd of nearly 5,000 Ducks fans to erupt at Bethpage Ballpark, while his teammates poured out of the dugout to mob the designated hitter in jubilation. After losing a two-run advantage in the final two innings, Long Island had answered right back to win the game in dramatic fashion and take the series from their rivals. Not to mention, the victory improved Long Island’s record in 2016 to 49-33, equaling their high water mark for the season, and guaranteed the Ducks at least a share of the Ferry Cup with their 10th win of the year over Bridgeport.
Following the game, Colvin told reporters, “It was a pretty big situation, but you’ve got to know that the pressure is on the pitcher. With two outs there, I was looking for something down. Fortunately enough, it went over the fence.”
Brownell added, “It’s great to see a guy come back off of the disabled list and be productive for the team. It was a great piece of hitting, and I’m glad we were able to put it together there in the ninth.”
Posted on December 15, 2016, in Feature Articles and tagged 2016, 7, Bethpage Ballpark, Bridgeport Bluefish, Grand Slam, John Brownell, Jose Veras, Long Island Ducks, Top Moments, Tyler Colvin, Waddle-Off, Walk-Off. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.