Category Archives: Feature Articles

Former Ducks Backstop Back in the Big Leagues

J.R. House Reds Coach

J.R. House came to the Ducks in 2011 with five seasons of Major League experience. At 31 years of age, his ultimate goal was pretty simple: Get back to an MLB organization and have one final shot at returning to “The Show”. While he was unable to fulfill that task during his playing career, the mission has officially been achieved…as a coach.

The Cincinnati Reds announced on Monday that House has been hired as the team’s Third Base/Catching Coach for the 2019 season. He joins the likes of many other former Ducks who are now on MLB coaching staffs such as Kimera Bartee (Pittsburgh Pirates), George Lombard (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Jamie Pogue (St. Louis Cardinals). He also joins a staff highlighted by new manager David Bell, a 12-year Major League veteran as a player and former manager/coach for four seasons in the Reds organization (2009-12). Bell spent four seasons coaching in the St. Louis Cardinals organization (2014-17) as well before joining the San Francisco Giants following the 2017 season to become their Vice President of Player Development. When he was hired by the Reds on October 21st of this year, one of his first calls was to House.

“It all happened really fast,” House recalled via telephone this week, “David got the job as the new manager of the Reds, and then he called me to do an interview. We went through the process, and I think it worked out really well.”

The call was a bit of a surprise, as the two did not have much of a relationship beforehand. According to House, the two had shaken hands a couple of times previously but had not indulged in much dialogue aside from that. Though they’ve played against one another at the big league level, they had not been teammates or worked on the same coaching staff. However, House, who has served as a manager or coach in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization since retiring after the 2011 season, pointed out the tight-knit community that is the professional baseball world.

“I think baseball’s a small world,” he noted. “We kind of know how each other works, what we observe and each other’s reputation. With as much technology and communication as there is in the game today, it’s really hard to fool people anymore.”

House1

The former catcher joins the Reds after spending the 2018 season as the Field and Catching Coordinator for the Diamondbacks. According to House, the role allowed him to beef up his experience overseeing the prospects throughout the organization, gaining an analytical view of catching and filtrating that through the system, and making sure clubs were providing a good atmosphere for their prospects to flourish in. The experience was everything he could have hoped for after focusing predominantly on managing teams from rookie-level to Double-A prior to that.

“I’m just so thankful for the environment that I was able to work in,” House asserted. “Every day it was just so enjoyable to be able to go work within a tremendous culture and a place that allows you to bring your own individual strongpoints and personality to the job while at the same time keeping the camaraderie of what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Since moving on from his playing days, House has devoted his life to helping those who have followed in his footsteps. As a coach, his objective has not been to win championships or receive more accolades. He’s accomplished both of those, claiming the 2014 Northwest League Championship as manager of the Hillsboro Hops and being named California League Manager of the Year in 2015 with the Visalia Rawhide. However, House hangs his hat on watching the players he has coached improve their game and advance higher up in the organization.

“When you’re a coach,” he stated, “your number one goal should be impacting players and helping them reach their peak performance, whatever that is. If you’re in it just to get to the big leagues or to try and make as much money as you can, you’re going to fizzle out. Those that have passion and love to coach and help human beings reach their max potential are the ones that usually flourish in this game and stay around for a long time.”

He continued to say, “I like to be able to impact players as much as I can and be around them because I just really enjoy those relationships. At the same time, you want to compete at the highest level there is. It’s enjoyable to try and be part of that and be part of a group that can come together and do some magical things. It makes work a lot of fun.”

House3

House developed his affinity for coaching and improving players from a moment during his brief Ducks career in 2011. One month into the season, he was batting just .258 and had an on-base percentage only slightly higher at .298. Frustrated at the dish and away from his family, which was living in Florida at the time (they have since moved to Scottsdale, Arizona), he was in need of some guidance.

“Our hitting coach was Jay Loviglio,” he recalled, “who was a good friend of mine and was actually my first manager in professional baseball when I was with the Pirates. He had a sit down, sort of “come-to-Jesus” moment with me as far as my swing and approach to the game. It really helped turn around that season; we called it the ‘metamorphosis.’”

The talk certainly seemed to work, as House would go on to hit .304 in June and .337 in July. He never looked back, en route to one of the best offensive seasons by a catcher in Ducks history. The season ended with House batting .305 while totaling 19 home runs, 81 RBIs, 73 runs and 128 hits. A lot of that, according to the Charleston, W.Va. native, can be attributed to his work with Loviglio.

“Those are the types of moments that we as coaches strive to have with players,” House said. “When you see the impact that you can make just by advice or a type of approach to a mechanical flaw, you just see how wonderful your job is. You really live for those moments and try to see the development process go in an upwards direction.”

House4

After focusing on work with prospects and younger players over the past seven years, House will now be on a Major League coaching staff for the first time. Though the Reds roster does feature many youngsters, it also boasts Major League veterans such as Joey Votto, Billy Hamilton and Homer Bailey. Knowing the veteran leadership that exists in Cincinnati, House will be relying partly on some of the techniques he observed from Ducks manager Kevin Baez during his time on Long Island.

“The biggest thing I think was his communication with the players and the trust that he had with us,” he recalled. “We had a lot of guys on the roster that had played in the big leagues that knew what they were doing and the expectations of the season. To see Kevin not try to micro-manage and actually be a little hands-off, allows us to play, have freedom, and enjoy it was really impressive on his part. Sometimes, we as coaches can get a little controlling and overbearing at times because you care so much and want players to learn right.”

While it remains to be seen just how much the Reds, who finished last in the National League’s Central Division in 2018 with a 67-95 record, can turn things around, the new coaching staff appears to be step one of the process. Fast success on the field will certainly be a challenging goal to achieve, but there are plenty of other obstacles that House is looking forward to overcoming first.

“Just learning everyone,” he commented regarding what his tallest task might be. “From the strengths and weaknesses of everyone’s skillset to just learning the names of the staff and players, the challenge is just going to be the learning curve and trying to get through that and rolling as fast as possible.”

House2

In a world where the emphasis is often placed on team success, House’s approach to coaching has always been focused on individual success. His desire to improve a player’s game and seeing that play out on the field continues to be the fuel that keeps him going. While one day’s goal is to improve one man’s game today, the next day’s task is doing the same for another player. With enough time and dedication from House and the rest of the Reds, the result could end up being a parade down Vine Street in Cincinnati.

Advertisements

2019 Schedule Features Many Mouthwatering Matchups

20th-Anniversary-Field-Behind

It’s been a busy past couple of weeks at Bethpage Ballpark! With the Atlantic League awards season now wrapped up, the focus has shifted primarily towards the 2019 season. In recent days, the league’s schedule has been announced for next season, featuring the addition of the High Point Rockers to the eight-team circuit. The North Carolina-based club, which will replace the Road Warriors in the Liberty Division. The league-operated Road Warriors bridged the one-year gap between the end of the Bridgeport Bluefish lease and the completion of construction of the new High Point ballpark, which is slated to open on May 2, 2019. With a schedule now in place, the Ducks also debuted the team’s official logo for the 20th Anniversary Season (pictured above), which will be celebrated in 2019. The logo will be featured on promotional items, merchandise and marketing platforms leading up to and throughout next year.

With the addition of the Rockers to the league, the schedule returns to a 140-game regular season after being trimmed to 126 in 2018. The Ducks will play 70 home games at Bethpage Ballpark along with 70 road games, and the first and second half will be separated by the Atlantic League All-Star Game, which will be played at PeoplesBank Park in York, Pa. on July 10th. The schedule is not completely balanced though, as the Ducks do not play each team 20 times nor have an even home/road or first/second half split with each opponent. This chart helps break down their matchups against league opponents:

OPPONENT

OVERALL GAMES

HOME GAMES

ROAD GAMES

FIRST HALF

SECOND HALF

High Point Rockers

19

9 10 10

9

Lancaster Barnstormers

21

10 11 11

10

New Britain Bees

21

11 10 11

10

Somerset Patriots

19

10

9

9

10

So. Maryland Blue Crabs

21

10

11

10

11

Sugar Land Skeeters

19

10

9

10

9

York Revolution

20

10

10

9

11

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable games/series on the schedule for the 2019 season:

OPENERS

Two games that are always circled on the calendar of every baseball fan are Opening Day and the Home Opener for their favorite team. Sometimes, they end up being on the same date. However, for the Ducks, it has almost always proven to be on separate dates. 2019 will mark the ninth consecutive season in which Long Island begins the season on the road, as they will open against the York Revolution in Pennsylvania. The Ducks and Revs will play a three-game series to kick off the season, with the opener taking place on Friday, April 26th at PeoplesBank Park. The Ducks last opened the season in York on April 24, 2015, coming away with a 5-2 victory. Meanwhile, the Ducks will return home following a week-long trip in Pa. for the Home Opener, which will take place on Friday, May 3rd. Coincidentally, that game will also be against the Revolution, who will be in town for a three-game weekend series. The last time the Ducks played their Home Opener against York was in 2014, when the Flock fell 6-1 on May 2nd.

CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH

After a thrilling Atlantic League Championship Series in 2018 that saw the Ducks and Skeeters need a decisive Game Five to determine a league champion, Ducks fans will surely be wondering when the two sides will collide again. Long Island will face Sugar Land, looking to exact a measure of revenge after this past season’s tough series loss, in Texas from May 10th-12th. Constellation Field was the site of that memorable Game One between the sides that took 13 innings and a total of four hours, 57 minutes. The Ducks will host the Skeeters for the first time in 2019 on Memorial Day Weekend, May 24th-26th, which will mark Sugar Land’s first visit since celebrating the 2018 championship at Bethpage Ballpark.

CAROLINA CLASH

As we detailed earlier, the High Point Rockers will be making their debut in the Atlantic League this season. There is always excitement around a new club when it enters the league, and this should be no different. The team will be playing their home games in a brand new, state-of-the-art ballpark and for a fan base that has shown tremendous support in anticipation of the team’s arrival. The Ducks are slated to get their first look at the Rockers and BB&T Point Ballpark when they make the trek to High Point, N.C. for a three-game set May 21st-23rd. Meanwhile, the Rockers will make their first visit to Long Island for a three-game weekend series June 7th-9th.

DIVISIONAL BATTLE

2018 saw the Ducks and Patriots both clinch postseason berths and meet in the Liberty Division Championship Series for a fourth consecutive year. In what has become an annual installment between the two teams, fans around the Atlantic League often expect the two sides to be in close division races down to the wire during each half. Last year, the two teams played all of their meetings in each half early, with clubs wrapping up their nine first half games against one another by May 27th and their second half meetings by August 8th. That prevented the teams from playing some tense, dramatic games late in the halves. This year will be a different story. Long Island and Somerset will meet nine times in the first half, all during the month of June. During the 20-day span between June 11th and 30th, Long Island will host Somerset for three games and visit the Patriots twice, including a three-game set at TD Bank Ballpark June 28th-30th after which there are just seven games left in the half. These matchups could very well decide the first half Liberty Division champion. Should the Ducks be battling another team for the first half title, June will still be an important month. Of Long Island’s 28 games in June, 23 are against Liberty Division opponents. The Ducks and Patriots will also face off in two important series against Somerset late in the second half, hosting Somerset for four games August 19th-22nd and three more games August 30th-September 1st.

FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION

The Ducks and the Fourth of July have almost become synonymous with one another on Long Island. Fans have frequently been able to enjoy celebrating the holiday at Bethpage Ballpark in recent years, with the team often having home games on and around the holiday. However, 2018 represented a rare instance when that was not the case, as the team played a three-game set in New Britain July 3rd-5th. That marked just the second time since 2011 the Ducks did not have a home game on July 4th, with 2016 being the other as the team played in Lancaster. However, Long Island hosted home games July 1st-3rd. This year, the Ducks will be back home for a seven-game homestand during the first seven days of July. Long Island will host a four-game series against the Skeeters July 1st-4th to begin the month before welcoming in the Blue Crabs for a three-game set to wrap up the first half. While fireworks dates have yet to be announced, fans can expect to enjoy the best fireworks show on Long Island July 4th! Stay tuned for the announcement of additional fireworks shows, as well as the full promotional schedule.

HOME FINISH

It has not been often that the Ducks have finished the regular season at home in recent years. During each of the past two seasons, the Ducks have ended their year in Texas against the Skeeters, needing road wins to clinch a playoff berth in each season. In fact, you must go all the way back to 2014 to find the last time the Ducks ended their regular season at home. That year, Long Island ended their season with a six-game homestand, including three against the Barnstormers and three against the Blue Crabs. Now, five years later, the Ducks will end the 2019 season with three home games. The Rockers will come to town for the series the weekend of September 20th-22nd. Though the Ducks hope to have a postseason spot clinched prior to that point, it is typically a bit more comfortable for a team to be playing in its home ballpark for games with added importance.

Which games are you most looking forward to in 2019? Let us know in the comments section of this post!

2018 “Quack of the Bat” Ducks Team Awards

Victory-High-Fives-9-19-18

What a year 2018 has been for the Long Island Ducks! From a record-setting 27-run performance in the Home Opener to Bethpage Ballpark hosting the Atlantic League All-Star Game for a third time ever, to a 13th postseason berth in team history and a third consecutive Liberty Division Championship, there were an unbelievable amount of memories created this past season. While the year did not have the storybook ending of an Atlantic League Championship as everyone had hoped, there was a lot to be proud of, both on and off the field, in 2018. The organization detailed many of those in its 2018 Season in Review, which can be read by CLICKING HERE.

With the league set to begin handing out its Post-Season Awards during the upcoming week, we also wanted to get in the spirit by unveiling our latest edition of the “Quack of the Bat” Ducks Team Awards. There were many players who had outstanding seasons on the field and were big contributors off it as well in 2018. From key returners to new faces, there were several members of the Flock that surely had seasons to remember in the black and orange. Here are our choices for the “Quack of the Bat” Team Awards:

Player of the Year – Jordany Valdespin
Valdespin-Blog

The unanimous selection for the 2018 Ducks Player of the Year was infielder Jordany Valdespin. He was voted by fans as the Delmonte-Smelson Team MVP and will surely be in the running for Atlantic League Player of the Year as well. The former Major Leaguer finished just .0007 points behind Somerset’s Craig Massey for the league batting title but played in 26 more games than him. Valdespin did lead the Atlantic League in hits (154), runs (94) and triples (7) while ranking second in total bases (222) and on-base percentage (.399), third in stolen base percentage (.857) and fifth in slugging percentage (.487). He did not slow down in the playoffs either, posting a .366 batting average while tying for the league-lead in runs (9) and hits (15). Valdespin was selected to play in the All-Star Game at Bethpage Ballpark in July and posted the league’s longest on-base streak of the 2018 season (32 games, June 4-July 14).

Starting Pitcher of the Year – Jake Fisher
Fisher-Blog

The starting rotation saw its fair share of names come and go due to injuries, personal reasons and performance. The one constant though was Jake Fisher, and that is one of the reasons why this honor goes to him. Fisher’s eight wins on the year ranked second on the team to only John Brownell (9), and his 3.92 ERA was good for eighth in the Atlantic League. He totaled the fourth-most strikeouts (107) and fourth-most innings pitched (133.1) in the league this year while walking just 25 batters in his 21 games started. Fisher was especially dominant against the teams he would go on to face in the postseason, going 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA in two regular season starts against the Somerset Patriots and 3-1 with a 0.67 ERA in four regular season starts vs. the Sugar Land Skeeters. The southpaw stayed dominant in the postseason, going 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts, allowing three runs or less in all three, and striking out 13 batters in 18.2 innings. Though he took the loss in the decisive Game Five of the Atlantic League Championship Series, there is no denying Fisher’s first full season with the Flock was a successful one.

Relief Pitcher of the Year – Francisco Rodriguez
KRod-Blog

It is not often you see a player with 16 years of Major League experience, six MLB All-Star Game selections and a World Series championship pitching in the Atlantic League. However, Francisco Rodriguez brought his accolades to Long Island in April of 2018, as he sought an opportunity to get back to the big leagues. While that did not happen this season, “K-Rod” stuck with the Ducks all season long and turned in an impressive season out of the bullpen. The right-hander recorded the second-most saves in the Atlantic League this year with 27, second only to Sugar Land’s Felipe Paulino (33). His 44 appearances ranked third among Ducks in 2018, trailing only Dennis O’Grady (52) and Ashur Tolliver (49), and he compiled a 2-1 record with a 2.76 ERA and 42 strikeouts over 42.1 innings of work. Opponents batted just .196 this season against the pitcher with the fourth-most saves in MLB history. Rodriguez’s year was capped off by working around a leadoff double in the ninth inning of Game Five in the Liberty Division Championship Series at Somerset to force extra innings, a game the Ducks would go on to win 3-2 to claim their third consecutive Division Championship.

Gold Glove – Daniel Fields
Fields-Blog

Several Ducks players showcased strong defensive skills during the course of the season. However, we at “Quack of the Bat” are not sure any dazzled quite as often as outfielder Daniel Fields. The first-year Duck played 90 games in the outfield during the 2018 season and committed just three errors all season, good for a .986 fielding percentage. Additionally, his nine assists ranked fourth in the Atlantic League among outfielders, trailing only the Road Warriors Jorge Fernandez-Diaz (16), Lancaster’s Darian Sandford (11) and Sugar Land’s Anthony Giansanti (10). Fields showed outstanding range and a terrific break on the baseball, especially in center field after taking over in that spot every day following the departure of Emilio Bonifacio. While shoulder troubles limited the amount of games Fields could play defensively, he was unquestionably one of the top outfielders when he could take the field.

“Rookie” of the Year – Taylor Ard
Ard-Blog

This award recognizes a Ducks player that great excelled in his first season as a member of the Flock. Taylor Ard was certainly one of the Ducks top acquisitions during the 2018 campaign. Joining the team at the end of May, Long Island was looking for a boost in the lineup. Ard was able to provide that, launching 16 home runs and driving in 61 runs over 95 games played. He recorded a .271 batting average, 98 hits and 20 doubles as well, giving the Flock a big bat in the middle of the order. The 28-year-old then brought his impressive bat to the postseason, as he posted a .409 batting average during the Liberty Division Championship Series, collecting nine hits, two RBIs, four runs and four doubles to lead the Ducks past the Patriots. While he ultimately had to depart prior to the Atlantic League Championship Series for the birth of his child, Ard made a strong impression on the Ducks while with Long Island and was instrumental in their second half/postseason success.

Breakout Player of the Year – Bennett Parry
Parry-Blog

For this honor, we highlight which member of the Ducks opened eyes and impressed the most after joining the team. This year, the honor goes to pitcher Bennett Parry. The left-hander began the season as the sixth starter in Long Island’s rotation, and he got off to a somewhat shaky start by yielding four runs over five innings at Somerset in his first outing of the year. However, from that point on, Parry was stellar. The 27-year-old allowed three runs or less in 12 of his 13 starts from that point on and gave up one run or less in eight of those starts. He was also the true definition of a strikeout artist. Despite not boasting a high-velocity fastball, Parry struck out 116 batters in 85 innings of work with the Flock. To give you some perspective, that total still ranked second-most in the Atlantic League for 2018, despite the fact that Parry made only 14 starts and departed on August 2nd after his contract was purchased by the Chinatrust Brothers in Taiwan. Parry struck out 10 or more batters on six different occasions, including a franchise record-tying 14 on the road in Sugar Land May 30th. Parry was selected to start the Atlantic League All-Star Game for the Liberty Division, and he tossed a 1-2-3 first inning. He finished his inaugural season with the Ducks at 6-1 with a 2.85 ERA.

Community Award – Anthony Vega
Vega-Fan-Blog

Although everyone on the Ducks roster makes it a point to be active members in the Long Island community, Anthony Vega was selected for this honor by our blog staff. The Patchogue native returned to the Flock following the completion of his collegiate studies at the University of Arizona and made an immediate impact on young ballplayers in the area. Vega was consistently involved with events at the ballpark, including both sessions of the Ducks Kids Clinics, presented by Stop & Shop, and the Ducks Kids Club Day. He also frequently volunteered to sign autographs at the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Autograph Booth prior to Ducks home games and stayed on the field near the dugout after many games to sign for young fans as well. Many youngsters commented during the course of the year how friendly and outgoing Vega was during their interaction with the 27-year-old.

Comeback Player of the Year – Lew Ford
Ford-Blog

New for 2018, we are debuting an award that highlights the player who rebounded best during the year, whether from a tough season the year prior or a difficult start to the current season. For this year’s selection, our blog staff has chosen outfielder and hitting coach Lew Ford. 2017 was a disappointing year for the six-year MLB veteran, as injuries limited him to just 76 games, a .269 batting average and 31 RBIs. Entering the season at the age of 41, his ability to stay healthy and be a big contributor to the lineup were certainly questions that needed to be answered. Boy did he answer them! In the year he turned 42, Ford played in 123 games for the Ducks, finishing second in the Atlantic League to only Lancaster’s Blake Gailen who appeared in all 126. Not only was he a consistent fixture in the lineup, but he also performed admirably. The ninth-year Duck led the league in doubles (33), ranked third in RBIs (73), fourth in extra-base hits (44) and at bats (468) and fifth in hits (137). His batting average increased to .293, and he swatted 10 home runs, scored 68 times and even legged out a triple for the first time since 2015. Ford’s success continued into the playoffs, as he tied Valdespin for the league lead with 15 hits and registered a .349 batting average with a homer, seven RBIs, four runs and four doubles in 10 games.

Stay tuned all offseason on “Quack of the Bat” for many other updates from Long Island’s hometown team. We’ll have some feature articles on members of the Flock, news updates, interactive posts and much more as we gear up for the 20th Anniversary Season of Ducks baseball on Long Island!

2018 Divisional Playoff Preview – Ducks vs. Patriots

2018-Divisional-Playoffs-Preview-StoryFourth consecutive season that Long Island battles Somerset for Liberty Division crown

(Central Islip, N.Y., Sept. 18, 2018) – The Atlantic League playoffs are about to begin, and for the fourth consecutive season and 13th time in franchise history, the Long Island Ducks will be playing postseason baseball. The Ducks, who clinched a playoff berth as the Second Half Liberty Division champions this past Saturday, will face the First Half Liberty Division champion Somerset Patriots in the best-of-five Liberty Division Championship Series. The winner of the series will move on to the Atlantic League Championship Series, where they will meet the winner of the Freedom Division Championship Series that pits the first and second half champion Sugar Land Skeeters against the wild card winning Lancaster Barnstormers.

SERIES SCHEDULE

Game One Wed., September 19 Patriots at Ducks 6:35 p.m. Bethpage Ballpark
Game Two Thurs., September 20 Patriots at Ducks 6:35 p.m. Bethpage Ballpark
Game Three Fri., September 21 Ducks at Patriots 7:05 p.m. TD Bank Ballpark
Game Four* Sat., September 22 Ducks at Patriots 7:05 p.m. TD Bank Ballpark
Game Five* Sun., September 23 Ducks at Patriots 5:05 p.m. TD Bank Ballpark
*If Necessary        

 

HEAD-TO-HEAD HISTORY

2018 marks the fifth time the Ducks and Patriots will face off in the postseason. Their first-ever meeting came in the 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series when Somerset was still a member of the Freedom Division. Long Island won the first two games at home before going on to win the series in five games, claiming their third Atlantic League championship and second in a row. The sides faced again in the 2015 Liberty Division Championship Series, with the teams splitting the first two games on Long Island before the Patriots overcame a 2-1 series deficit for a 3-2 series victory. In 2016, the two teams met in the Liberty Division Championship Series once again, with the Patriots hosting the first two games at TD Bank Ballpark. Somerset claimed both, but Long Island rallied back with three consecutive wins at home, outscoring Somerset 14-2 to win the Liberty Division championship. Last season, the Ducks claimed the Liberty Division crown for the second straight year after rallying back from a game one loss at home to win the next three games, the latter two of which were in Somerset. The Ducks have an 11-8 advantage in the all-time playoff series with the Patriots. They have won seven of nine meetings at Bethpage Ballpark, while the Patriots have taken six of 10 matchups at TD Bank Ballpark.
During the regular season, the Ducks and Patriots have met a total of 363 times since the Ducks entered the Atlantic League in 2000. The Ducks hold a 182-181 lead in the tightly-contested series, and they have a 96-88 edge on Long Island while the Patriots maintain an 93-86 advantage in New Jersey. The 2018 series was split at nine games apiece, with the Ducks winning the final six games between the two teams. Long Island went 4-5 in Central Islip and won five of the nine games played in Bridgewater. The two teams played nine games against each other in each half, with the Patriots going 6-3 in the first half, and the Ducks taking six of the nine games in the second half. This series will be the first meeting between the teams since the Ducks swept the Patriots at TD Bank Ballpark August 6-8.

ROSTERS

Below are the active Divisional Playoff rosters for the Long Island Ducks and Somerset Patriots (players listed alphabetically by position):

LONG ISLAND DUCKS SOMERSET PATRIOTS
PITCHERS PITCHERS
Fernando Abad (LHP) Dustin Antolin (RHP)
Lorenzo Barcelo (RHP) Mike Antonini (LHP)
Jose Cuas (RHP) Duane Below (LHP)
Jake Fisher (LHP) Chase Huchingson (LHP)
Taylor Grover (RHP) Ryan Kelly (RHP)
Matt Larkins (RHP) Logan Kensing (RHP)
Brett Marshall (RHP) David Kubiak (RHP)
Dennis O’Grady (RHP) Vince Molesky (RHP)
Logan Ondrusek (RHP) Dustin Molleken (RHP)
Carlos Pimentel (RHP) Stephen Perakslis (RHP)
Francisco Rodriguez (RHP) Rick Teasley (LHP)
Hector Silvestre (LHP) Ryan Webb (RHP)
Ashur Tolliver (LHP) Zech Zinicola (RHP)
CATCHERS CATCHERS
Ramon Cabrera Yovan Gonzalez
Dioner Navarro John Nester
INFIELDERS INFIELDERS
Taylor Ard Nate Coronado
Dan Lyons Mike Fransoso
Cody Puckett Craig Massey
Jordany Valdespin Alfredo Rodriguez
David Washington Jose Sermo
Justin Trapp
OUTFIELDERS OUTFIELDERS
Daniel Fields Jayce Boyd
Lew Ford Endy Chavez
Robert Garcia Ramon Flores
Rubi Silva Justin Pacchioli
Miles Williams
COACHES COACHES
Kevin Baez – Manager Brett Jodie – Manager
John Brownell – Pitching Coach Glen Barker – Hitting/Third Base Coach
Lew Ford – Hitting Coach Jon Hunton – Pitching Coach
Bud Harrelson – Coach Fox Beyer – First Base Coach
Alfonso Reda – Bullpen Coach

PITCHING MATCHUPS

The following are the probable pitching matchups for the Liberty Division Championship Series (statistics provided are 2018 records and ERA in Atlantic League play):

GAME ONE
Patriots: RHP Vince Molesky (7-2, 2.65 ERA) vs. Ducks: RHP Matt Larkins (7-5, 4.55 ERA)

GAME TWO

Patriots: RHP Stephen Perakslis (2-1, 3.35 ERA) vs. Ducks: LHP Jake Fisher (8-7, 3.91 ERA)

GAME THREE
Ducks: RHP Brett Marshall (6-9, 4.56 ERA) vs. Patriots: RHP David Kubiak (8-3, 3.40 ERA) or LHP Rick Teasley (4-5, 3.60 ERA)

GAME FOUR

Ducks: RHP Lorenzo Barcelo (2-1, 4.20 ERA) vs. Patriots: LHP Rick Teasley (4-5, 3.60 ERA) or RHP David Kubiak (8-3, 3.40 ERA)

GAME FIVE
Ducks: RHP Dennis O’Grady (6-4, 3.81 ERA) vs. Patriots: TBA

FOLLOW ALONG

Those unable to make it out to the ballpark can follow all the action on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming HD video and audio will be available via BoxCast on the Ducks’ official Facebook page, YouTube channel and at LIDucks.com. Fans can follow a pitch-by-pitch account of today’s game via Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.

TICKET LINKS

Tickets to all Ducks home postseason games are available by visiting the Bethpage Ballpark box office, calling (631) 940-TIXX or CLICKING HERE.

Those wishing to attend Games Three, Four and Five at TD Bank Ballpark can purchase tickets by calling (908) 252-0700 or visiting www.somersetpatriots.com.

INTERVIEW: Bennett Parry’s Contract Purchased by Chinatrust Brothers

Parry-Chinatrust-Brothers

Heading into the 2018 season, the Long Island rotation was full of talent. From eight-year MLB veteran Jair Jurrjens to key Atlantic League returners such as John Brownell, Matt Larkins and Jake Fisher, the Ducks were going to rely heavily on their continued success this season. One of the biggest unknowns was newcomer Bennett Parry, who would be Long Island’s sixth starter at the outset of the season, his first year in the Atlantic League.

The southpaw quickly became the Ducks most reliable starter. After an up-and-down first outing of the season, Parry quickly became one of the top pitchers in the Atlantic League. He routinely posted impressive strikeout totals, striking out 10 or more batters on six occassions over his 14 starts with Long Island. Included in that was a franchise record-tying 14 punchouts on May 30 in Sugar Land. The 26-year-old was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game at Bethpage Ballpark and was chosen as the Liberty Division’s starting pitcher by manager Kevin Baez. Parry compiled a 6-1 record with a 2.85 ERA and an Atlantic League-best 116 strikeouts.

With great performances come great opportunities, and that is what Parry now has. The left-hander’s contract has been purchased by the Chinatrust Brothers of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. He will now head around the world to begin this new adventure as he continues to pursue his dream of playing Major League Baseball.

We sat down with Parry before his departure to discuss the new opportunity that awaits him as well as his time on Long Island this season:

%d bloggers like this: