Game 140: Ducks at Skeeters
The Ducks wrap up the 2017 regular season on Sunday afternoon in Texas
2:05 p.m. CDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)
The Long Island Ducks (37-32; 73-66) close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon with the rubber game of their three-game series against the Sugar Land Skeeters (36-33; 66-73). Long Island clinched the Second Half Liberty Division title and a postseason berth on Saturday night thanks to a 5-2 loss by the Bridgeport Bluefish against the Somerset Patriots. Sugar Land was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday night. Today is the 20th and final meeting of the year between the Ducks and Skeeters, with Long Island holding a 10-9 advantage.
The Ducks dropped the middle game of their three-game series to the Sugar Land Skeeters by a 5-3 margin but clinched a playoff berth in the process thanks to Bridgeport’s loss to Somerset.
The Second Half Liberty Division champions earned their seventh second half division title in team history and first since 2013, as well as their 12th half-season title overall. This marks their third consecutive trip to the playoffs and 12th in team history, all coming in the past 14 seasons. Long Island will be seeking its sixth Division Championship and fourth Atlantic League title in franchise history.
In Saturday’s game, the Ducks opened the scoring in the first inning. Giovanny Alfonzo singled to open the game and eventually scored when Marc Krauss hit a grounder to first. Travis Scott’s throw was dropped by Kevin Ahrens at second base to ensure Alfonzo would score on the play. Sugar Land answered in the second to tie the game at one, as they loaded the bases with nobody out against Jake Dunning. However, all they could muster was a groundout to first by Wilfredo Rodriguez that scored Scott.
Both starter locked in a pitcher’s duel from that point on. Mitch Talbot tossed six innings of one-run ball for the Skeeters, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out eight. Dunning (2-3) gave up just one run over his first six innings while striking out five. He came back out for the seventh though and ran into trouble.
Following back-to-back one-out singles by Anthony Giansanti and Rodriguez, Joe Benson lined a two-run triple down the right field line to give the Skeeters the lead. A passed ball on a pitch by Rob Rogers allowed Benson to score Sugar Land’s fourth run, and a two-out RBI double by Cole Gillespie made it a 5-1 game. Dunning was charged with three runs in the inning, while Dustin Richardson, who came in for a fourth consecutive game and walked Caleb Ramsey, was charged with the other.
Long Island nearly rallied back in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Jordan Hinshaw drew a leadoff walk against Scott Maine, and Angelo Songco launched a two-run home run two batters later to close the gap to 5-3. However, Felipe Paulino came in and struck out pinch-hitter Audie Afenir and Delta Cleary Jr. to end the game.
ON THE MOUND:
Tyler Levine will take the mound for the Ducks in the series finale. The right-hander is looking to bounce back from his most difficult start of the year back on September 1 against New Britain. He allowed four home runs in the outing and surrendered 11 runs on 11 hits in four innings to take the loss. 10 of the 11 runs came on the homers. Overall, Levine is 3-2 with a 6.05 ERA in 22 games (seven starts). Today will be his fifth appearance of the season but first start against the Skeeters. He has a 1-0 record and a 5.06 ERA against Sugar Land, allowing five runs (three earned) on 10 hits in five and one-third innings.
Long Island will get its first look at Alberto Rodriguez, who makes the start in the season finale for the Skeeters. The right-hander has a 2.70 ERA through two starts with the Skeeters but has picked up a no-decision in both. He went five innings in his most recent outing on September 10 in New Britain, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts in a 7-3 win for the Skeeters. The Cuba native began the year with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association and went 5-7 with a 3.39 ERA and 95 strikeouts to 51 walks in 21 games (13 starts). He spent two previous seasons (2014-15) with rookie-level Idaho Falls in the Kansas City Royals organization.
Fans can follow all the action for today’s game, and every Ducks game in 2017, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Streaming HD video and audio via BoxCast will be available on the team’s official Facebook page through Facebook Live, on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel and at LIDucks.com in the Video Center. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a pitch-by-pitch account of today’s game via Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.
DUCKS GAME NOTES:
For today’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE.
Long Island Ducks
#6 Giovanny Alfonzo – 2B
#5 Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#26 Angelo Songco – 1B
#34 Marc Krauss – DH
#30 Ruben Gotay – 3B
#19 Derrick Pyles – RF
#24 Audie Afenir – C
#28 Jordan Hinshaw – LF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#18 Tyler Levine – RHP
Sugar Land Skeeters
#7 Josh Prince – 2B
#33 Caleb Ramsey – 1B
#11 Cole Gillespie – CF
#15 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#21 Anthony Giansanti – DH
#9 Wilfredo Rodriguez – C
#5 Joe Benson – RF
#18 Dickie Thon – LF
#12 Carlos Hughes – SS
#27 Alberto Rodriguez – RHP
LIVE GAME UPDATES:
UPDATE (2:26): BOT 1: Skeeters get a run on a sac fly by Anthony Giansanti, but Tyler Levine record three straight outs after allowing three singles.
UPDATE (2:44): BOT 2: Levine strikes out the side in the second, getting Benson and Hughes swinging and Prince looking!
UPDATE (3:03): BOT 3: A two-out RBI double by Wilfredo Rodriguez extends the Skeeters’ lead to 2-0.
UPDATE (3:41): BOT 5: Back-to-back scoreless innings for Levine, who has allowed just two runs over five. Skeeters still hold a 2-0 lead.
UPDATE (3:58): BOT 6: Patrick Crider comes into the game and retires Sugar Land 1-2-3 in the sixth!
UPDATE (4:28): BOT 7: A two-run home run to right field by Caleb Ramsey doubles Sugar Land’s lead to 4-0.
UPDATE (4:45): TOP 8: Ducks have closed to within two on an RBI double by Delta Cleary Jr. & an RBI single by Angelo Songco! Two on and two out in the frame.
UPDATE (5:03): BOT 8: Sac flies from Dickie Thon and Caleb Ramsey restore the four-run advantage for Sugar Land at 6-2.
UPDATE (5:11): FINAL: Skeeters hang on for the 6-2 victory. We’ll see you at Bethpage Ballpark on Wednesday night for Game One of the playoffs!
Posted on September 17, 2017, in Game Previews and tagged 2017, Alberto Rodriguez, Atlantic League, giovanny alfonzo, Jake Dunning, Liberty Division, Long Island Ducks, Marc Krauss, Mitch Talbot, Playoffs, Second Half Champions, Sugar Land Skeeters, tyler levine. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.