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2017 “Quack of the Bat” Ducks Team Awards

Krauss-MVP-Award

It’s officially awards season in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball! Now that the 2017 season has come to a close, the league has begun handing out its post-season awards to celebrate individual and team achievements from this past season. Among the Ducks to have been honored thus far are outfielder Marc Krauss, who has been selected to the league’s Post-Season All-Star Team, and infielder Elmer Reyes, who was named to the Red, White and Blue All-Defensive Team. The Atlantic League will unveil its club awards on Wednesday to round out its awards announcements.

We also decided to get into the spirit of handing out accolades by announcing our annual “Quack of the Bat” Ducks Team Awards. Long Island’s hometown team saw its share of outstanding performances this past year en route to a fifth Liberty Division championship in the past seven seasons and a second consecutive Atlantic League Championship Series appearance. Although the team fell just short of its ultimate goal in bringing home the Atlantic League title, there were plenty of individual achievements to be proud of. Here are our choices for the “Quack of the Bat” Team Awards:

Player of the Year – Marc Krauss
Marc-Krauss-Rounds-Bases

He was voted by the fans as the Delmonte-Smelson Team MVP, and we at “Quack of the Bat” could not have agreed with the selection more. Krauss’ first season with the Ducks was an all-around success, especially at the plate. He led all Ducks players and ranked in the top five of the Atlantic League in runs batted in (84), runs scored (75), walks (83), extra-base hits (53), on-base percentage (.400) and slugging percentage (.508). In addition, the former big leaguer led the team in doubles (30), ranked second in home runs (21) and sat third in games played (126). Krauss’ season was fueled by a tremendous second half that helped the Ducks clinch the Second Half Liberty Division title and a spot in the postseason for the 12th time in the past 14 seasons.

Starting Pitcher of the Year – Matt Larkins
Larkins-Dealing

Long Island saw its share of tremendous starting pitching this season. Two hurlers had their contracts purchased by Major League organizations (Tim Melville, Henderson Alvarez), and both of them eventually returned to the game’s highest level. However, our choice for Starting Pitcher of the Year was Matt Larkins. In his first full season with the Flock, the right-hander impressed across the board. He led the Ducks and ranked second in the league with 139 strikeouts, trailing only the league’s Pitcher of the Year Gaby Hernandez (150). He was also the league leader in shutouts (3) and the team leader in both innings pitched (156.0) and complete games (4). Both totals ranked in the league’s top five. Finally, the Idaho resident posted the league’s fourth-best ERA at 3.69, trailing only John Brownell for the team lead (3.44).  Larkins’ season was highlighted by several historic performances. He took a no-hitter into the ninth inning on June 15 at Somerset, tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout against the Barnstormers on July 5 and struck out a career-high 12 batters in a complete game win over Somerset on August 16.

Relief Pitcher of the Year – Amalio Diaz
Diaz-Dealing

In his third season with the Ducks, Amalio Diaz once again proved to be a dominant force at the back end of the bullpen. The right-hander led all Ducks relief pitchers (minimum 25 games) with a 2.25 earned run average. He was also second among relievers with 66 strikeouts and 56 innings pitched, trailing only Zac Treece. The Venezuela native ranked third on the team in appearances (57) and allowed just 14 earned runs and 22 walks all season. He took over the closer’s role after injuries to David Aardsma and posted 15 saves during the regular season. Diaz began the season with 11 consecutive scoreless appearances and allowed an earned run in just one of his first 26 games and two of his final 13 (playoffs included).

Gold Glove – Marc Krauss
Krauss-at-First

Although Reyes was chosen to the league’s Red, White and Blue All-Defensive Team, we at “Quack of the Bat” are going to recognize Marc Krauss for his defensive efforts this year. The Ohio native split time and first base and both corner outfield spots during 2017. He made just one error in 63 games at first base, posting a .998 fielding percentage. He also played 49 games in the outfield during the regular season and committed just two errors while adding five assists and accruing a .978 fielding percentage. Krauss was splendid with the leather no matter which position he played, and his versatility was a big help for manager Kevin Baez.

“Rookie” of the Year – Giovanny Alfonzo
Alfonzo-at-Third

This award recognizes which Ducks player excelled the most in his first season as a member of the Flock. The unanimous choice for this year’s honor goes to infielder Giovanny Alfonzo. Playing just his third season of professional baseball, he finished the year as the team leader in batting with a .309 average, ranking him sixth in the Atlantic League. After initially being signed as the team’s utility infielder, he took over the starting third base job following Cody Puckett’s injury and ran with it. The 24-year-old surpassed his career-highs in nearly every offensive category, ending the year with four homers, 45 RBI, 39 runs, 112 hits, 17 doubles and 10 stolen bases in 106 games played. Alfonzo then went on to post five RBI in the playoffs, tying Lew Ford for the team lead, and added seven hits.

Breakout Player of the Year – Jake Fisher
Fisher-Pitching

For this honor, we highlight which member of the Ducks opened eyes and surprised the most after joining the team. Though his time with the Ducks was short in 2017, Jake Fisher made a quick impression on the coaching staff and front office. The starting pitcher joined Long Island in September via a trade from the Windy City Thunderbolts of the Frontier League. He made two regular season starts and combined to allow just four runs on 11 hits and three walks in 13 innings of work. The southpaw was then handed the ball in Game Three of the Liberty Division Championship Series at Somerset. In front of an Atlantic League postseason record crowd of 8,131, Fisher fired a complete game, yielding only one run on six hits and two walks while striking out nine. The performance gave the Ducks a 2-1 series lead en route to their second straight Liberty Division championship. He then pitched into the eighth inning of Game Two in the Atlantic League Championship Series against York, and although he took the loss, he struck out six without walking a batter and had given up just three runs over his first seven innings.

Unsung Hero Award – Alex Burg and Rob Rogers
Burg-Rogers

While many players seemed to gravitate towards the spotlight, there were several others this year who did yeoman’s work under-the-radar. Their accomplishments were certainly integral to the team, and thus, we have decided to recognize their efforts with the Unsung Hero Award. The honor this year will be shared by catcher Alex Burg and relief pitcher Rob Rogers.

One of Burg’s biggest contributions this season was how he managed the Ducks’ pitching staff. The catcher developed a strong relationship with his starters and relievers and turned in well-called games on a nightly basis. Not to mention, his 98 games behind the plate this season were 73 more than he had ever caught in a single season previously. Burg then excelled offensively in the playoffs, leading the team with a .348 batting average and two home runs.

Rogers came to the Flock as a spring training invitee and proceeded to become a vital piece in the back end of the bullpen. The right-hander appeared in 58 games this season, the second-most among Ducks pitchers and a career-high. He turned in a 6-1 record with a 3.93 ERA, two saves and 40 strikeouts in 66 and one-third innings. The Islip resident filled various roles throughout the season, from closer to set-up man to long man out of the bullpen, and he was willing to do anything needed all year. Rogers was also terrific in the playoffs, tossing three and one-third scoreless innings over five games and getting some crucial outs along the way.

Community Award – Angelo Songco
Songco-Signing-Autographs

Although everyone on the Ducks roster makes it a point to be active members in the Long Island community, Angelo Songco certainly stood out to our blog staff in 2017. He was a frequent presence at various team functions during the course of the season, assisting with the team’s annual Youth Baseball Camps and Kids Club Day. When he wasn’t in the starting lineup, Songco could often be found at the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Autograph Booth greeting fans and signing autographs. The infielder was also often one of the first players down on the field to sign autographs prior to Sunday home games.

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ALCS Game 1: Ducks vs. Revolution

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The 2017 Liberty Division Champion Long Island Ducks host the York Revolution to begin the Atlantic League Championship Series tonight.

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

6:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

For the second straight year and the fifth time in the last seven seasons, the Long Island Ducks have reached the Atlantic League Championship Series. The Ducks take on the York Revolution in a best-of-five series to determine the 2017 Atlantic League Champion. The Ducks and Revs previously matched up in the ALCS in 2011, with the Revolution taking the crown in four games. During the regular season, the Ducks went 11-9 against York, although the Revolution won six of the 10 second half meetings. Games 1 and 2 will be played at Bethpage Ballpark, with Games 3, 4 (if necessary) and 5 (if necessary) taking place at PeoplesBank Park in York.

LDCS GAME 4 RECAP: 

The Long Island Ducks defeated the Somerset Patriots 4-3 on Saturday night in Game Four of the Liberty Division Championship Series at TD Bank Ballpark. The Ducks won the series three games to one and are the 2017 Liberty Division champions.

This marks the second consecutive season that the Ducks defeated the Patriots to claim the division crown. Long Island rallied from a 2-0 series deficit to defeat Somerset in the 2016 Liberty Division Championship Series. The Ducks have now won the Liberty Division championship five times in the past seven seasons, all with Kevin Baez as the team’s manager, and have earned six division titles in franchise history (2004, ’11, ’12, ’13, ’16, ’17).

After Ducks starter Jake Dunning worked out of a second-and-third, no-out jam in the second inning, the Ducks opened the scoring in the third against Patriots starter Patrick Johnson. Delta Cleary Jr. scored from second base on Anthony Vega’s bunt single and a fielding error. Giovanny Alfonzo followed two batters later with an RBI single to right field, scoring Vega.

Long Island extended their lead to 3-0 in the sixth when Marc Krauss singled to right and Angelo Songco followed with an RBI double to right-center. Somerset got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame when D’Vontrey Richardson doubled and scored from third with two outs on an RBI infield single from Carlos Guzman off Dunning.

It stayed that way until the eighth when the Patriots rallied with two outs to tie the game at three. RBI singles by Guzman and Yovan Gonzalez did the damage. Long Island answered right back though in the ninth to take a 4-3 lead. Vega walked to open the inning, Dan Lyons was hit by a pitch and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. That set the stage for Alfonzo, who drove in Vega with an RBI fielder’s choice grounder to third.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Dunning pitched five and two-thirds innings, yielding one unearned run on seven hits and a walk while striking out three. Johnson lasted five and one-third innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Amalio Diaz (1-0) collected the win after recording the final out of the eighth to keep the game tied and retiring the side in order in the ninth. Dustin Antolin (0-1) took the loss, surrendering the game-winning run in his two-thirds of an inning.

Krauss led the Flock offensively with three hits, while Alfonzo added two RBI.

LDCS GAME 4 HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

RHP Matt Larkins gets the start for the Ducks in the opening game of the Atlantic League Championship Series. The righty went 9-7 with a 3.69 ERA in 27 appearances (26 starts) during the regular season, and led the team with three shutouts. Larkins started game two against the Somerset Patriots in the Liberty Division Championship Series and allowed one run on four hits in 5.2 innings, walking a season-high seven and striking out four in a 4-1 Ducks win. Against the Revolution this season, the California native was 1-2 with a less-than-stellar 8.70 ERA (19 ER/19.2 IP), allowing 34 hits as York batsmen hit .391 against him.

The Revolution counter with right-hander Jay Gause to set the tone in the series. In the regular season, Gause was 10-4 with a 3.67 ERA. In his lone playoff start in Game 1 of the Freedom Division Championship Series against Southern Maryland, he allowed one run on two hits in six innings, getting no decision in a 5-3 Revs victory. The former Astros farmhand made only one start against the Ducks this season, coming on August 30. Gause allowed two runs on three hits in six innings to defeat the Long Island in the outing, striking out five and walking three.

FOLLOW ALONG: 

Fans can follow all the action for tonight’s game, and every Ducks playoff 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 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 complete history of the Ducks in the playoffs, CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – LF
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#26 Angelo Songco – DH
#23 Alex Burg – C
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#11 Anthony Vega – RF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#44 Matt Larkins – RHP

York Revolution
#2   Alonzo Harris – LF
#10 Jared Mitchell – RF
#6   Rubi Silva – 2B
#23 Telvin Nash – 1B
#21 Michael Burgess – DH
#16 Isaias Tejeda – C
#1   Travis Witherspoon – CF
#17 Ryan Dent – SS
#27 Chase Simpson – 3B

#39 Jay Gause – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

TOP 1 | The Revolution take a 1-0 lead on an RBI single from Jared Mitchell.

TOP 3 | York takes a 4-0 lead on a three-run home run from Michael Burgess.

BOT 5 | The Ducks tie the game up at 4-4 thanks to two-run hits from Dan Lyons and Lew Ford.

BOT 6 | Delta Cleary Jr. drives home Alex Burg with a single to give the Ducks a 5-4 lead!

TOP 7 | The Revs mount a two-out rally and take a 6-5 lead over the Ducks.

BOT 7 | The Ducks tie the game at 6-6 thanks to a Lew Ford RBI infield single.

TOP 8 | York rallies for two runs to take an 8-6 lead over the Ducks.

BOT 8 | Giovanny Alfonzo lifts a sacrifice fly to shave a run off the deficit as York still leads, 8-7.

FINAL | Revolution 8, Ducks 7

W: Sides (2-0)
L: Jones (0-1)
SV: Hutchingson (2)

LDCS Game 1: Ducks vs. Patriots

John Brownell (7)

RHP John Brownell leads the charge as the Ducks begin their quest for a fourth Atlantic League Championship tonight against the Somerset Patriots.

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

6:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)

TODAY’S MATCHUP:

For the second year in a row, the Long Island Ducks meet the Somerset Patriots in the best-of-five Liberty Division Championship Series. In 2016, the Ducks and Patriots battled in an epic series where the Long Island erased a two-games-to-none deficit to win 3-2 and advance to the Atlantic League Championship Series. During the 2017 regular season, the Ducks beat the Patriots 11 times in 20 battles, including two waddle-off wins and three extra-inning games.

SUNDAY’S RECAP: 

The Long Island Ducks were defeated by the Sugar Land Skeeters 6-2 on Sunday afternoon at Constellation Field in the final game of the 2017 regular season.

The Skeeters took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Anthony Giansanti’s sacrifice fly to center field off Ducks starter Tyler Levine. A two-out RBI double by Wilfredo Rodriguez in the third extended the advantage to two.

Sugar Land doubled their lead to 4-0 in the seventh on a two-run home run to right by Caleb Ramsey. Long Island closed to within two in the eighth on an RBI double to left by Delta Cleary Jr. and an RBI single to right by Angelo Songco. However, the Skeeters got the runs back in the bottom of the inning on sac flies from Dickie Thon and Ramsey.

Skeeters starter Alberto Rodriguez (1-0) earned the win, tossing six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Levine (3-3) took the loss, yielding two runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings with three strikeouts. Felipe Paulino picked up his 16th save by recording the game’s final four outs.

LDCS PREVIEW:

ON THE MOUND:

Staff ace John Brownell will take the mound in the series opener for the Ducks. In his sixth season with the Ducks, Brownell registered a 10-5 record with a 3.44 ERA in 24 starts, striking out 96 and walking 51 in 146.1 innings pitched. Against Somerset this season, the all-time franchise leader in wins had no record and a 4.59 ERA in three starts, striking out 11, walking six and allowing 18 hits in 17.2 IP as opponents hit .257 against him. In his last start on September 12, Brownell turned in a quality start but got tagged with the loss at Lancaster, allowing three runs on six hits in 6.2 innings.

Somerset counters with new acquisition Mark Hamburger, who made just one outing during the regular season with the Patriots after coming over from the St. Paul Saints of the American Association. Hamburger was grilled by the New Britain Bees for two runs on five hits in seven innings in his first start, getting no decision in a 5-2 Bees triumph. The right-hander had five unspectacular appearances for the Texas Rangers in 2011, and most recently was 13-6 with an also unspectacular 4.13 ERA with the Saints. The Patriots have confirmed that for an additional $2, Hamburger will be served with a side of fries and an ice-cold Pepsi.

FOLLOW ALONG: 

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.

For a complete history of the Ducks in the playoffs, CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#20 Lew Ford – LF
#26 Angelo Songco – DH
#23 Alex Burg – C
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – DF
#11 Anthony Vega – RF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#7   John Brownell – RHP

Somerset Patriots
#15 Justin Trapp – RF
#8   Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
#19 Olmo Rosario – LF
#40 Kyle Roller – DH
#14 David Vidal – 3B
#37 Joe Maloney – 1B
#5   D’Vontrey Richardson – CF
#9   Tyler Bortnick – 2B
#4   Yovan Gonzalez – C

#27 Mark Hamburger – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

TOP 2: John Brownell strikes out the side to keep the game scoreless! 🔥🔥🔥

TOP 3: The Patriots take a 5-0 lead capitalizing on two miscues.

BOT 4: The Ducks take a bite out of Mark Hamburger and cut the deficit to 5-1 Patriots.

TOP 6: Somerset plates another pair of runs as they take a 7-1 advantage in game one.

FINAL: Patriots 7, Ducks 1

W: Hamburger (1-0)
L: Brownell (0-1)

Game 138: Ducks at Skeeters

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The Ducks head to the Lone Star State for the final series of the regular season

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

7:05 p.m. CDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks (36-31; 72-65) fly south to begin a three-game series against the Sugar Land Skeeters (35-32; 65-72) that will close out the regular season. Long Island’s lead over the Bridgeport Bluefish for first place in the second half Liberty Division standings is two games. Sugar Land was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday night. Tonight is the 18th meeting of the year between the Ducks and Skeeters, with Long Island holding a 9-8 advantage.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: 

Thursday’s series finale in Lancaster featured a great start and a tough ending for the Ducks, as they dropped the rubber game of the series 4-3 to the Barnstormers.

Long Island plated three runs in the opening inning against Rommie Lewis, who struggled out of the gate. After Giovanny Alfonzo and Elmer Reyes opened the game with singles, Lewis was able to record a pair of outs. However, Ruben Gotay dunked a two-out RBI single into center field, and Angelo Songco with a two-run single to right. The Ducks nearly added to their lead in the second with runners at the corner and one out, but Lewis pitched out of the jam and was able to settle in after that.

Ducks starter Jake Fisher was superb on the mound once again. He allowed just one run, which came in the second when Sean Halton singled and later scored on a two-out RBI single by Steve Clevenger. Fisher would end up retiring 13 of the final 14 batters he faced in the game from two outs in the third inning through the seventh, collecting three consecutive 1-2-3 innings in the process. He yielded just four hits and a walk in the game while striking out three.

Leading 3-1 in the eighth, Patrick Crider was summoned into the game. He proceeded to allow a double to Josh Bell and an RBI single to Lance Zawadzki that closed the gap to one. Dustin Richardson relieved Crider and retired Darian Sandford on a foul pop and Trayvon Robinson on a groundout. With two outs and Zawadzki at third, Rob Rogers came into the game. After four two-strike foul balls, Garner’s grounder to the left side was thrown low by Dan Lyons and unable to be corralled by Songco. The RBI infield single tied the game at three.

Rogers struck out Halton to avoid any further trouble, and Amalio Diaz then entered the game in the ninth. He recorded two quick outs on a flyout and a groundout but then ran into trouble. Clevenger singled, Bell doubled and Zawadzki was intentionally walked to load the bases for Sandford. The outfielder fell behind 0-2, worked the count to 2-2 and fouled off three two-strike pitches before delivering a game-ending RBI single to center.

HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

Friday’s series opener will feature Matt Marsh on the bump for the Flock. The right-hander will be making his second start with Long Island after pitching three innings against the New Britain Bees on September 3. He gave up two unearned runs on a two-run homer by Craig Maddox, which followed a two-out error in the first inning. That was the only hit Marsh allowed, and he struck out six batters. Overall, the 26-year-old has yielded just one earned run in 13 and one-third innings while striking out 16 batters over nine games with the Ducks. In two appearances against Sugar Land, he has combined to allow two hits over one and one-third innings.

Long Island will get its first look at Patrick Mincey, who makes his second start for the Skeeters. The righty tossed five innings of one-run ball last Friday in game two of a doubleheader against the New Britain Bees, giving up five hits and a walk while striking out three. He took the loss in the 1-0 defeat, allowing only a second inning solo homer to Conor Bierfeldt. The 28-year-old began the season with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association and compiled a 10-8 record with a 3.33 ERA and 81 strikeouts to 21 walks over 21 starts. Mincey previously pitched in the Atlantic League with Bridgeport in 2015, going 1-1 with a 3.56 ERA and 26 saves in 51 relief appearances.

FOLLOW ALONG: 

Fans can follow all the action for tonight’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 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.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – RF
#34 Marc Krauss – LF
#30 Ruben Gotay – 1B
#26 Angelo Songco – DH
#23 Alex Burg – C
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#36 Matt Marsh – RHP

Sugar Land Skeeters
#7   Josh Prince – 2B
#3   Albert Cordero – C
#11 Cole Gillespie – CF
#16 Travis Scott – 1B
#4   Kevin Ahrens – SS
#15 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#33 Caleb Ramsey – LF
#9   Wilfredo Rodriguez – DH
#5   Joe Benson – RF

#23 Patrick Mincey – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

UPDATE (7:27): BOT 1: Skeeters take an early 2-0 lead on an RBI single by Travis Scott and an RBI double by Bryan Pounds.

UPDATE (8:01): BOT 3: A solo homer to right by Scott extends Sugar Land’s lead to 3-0.

UPDATE (8:30): BOT 4: Matt Marsh has struck out seven batters over four innings, but a couple of wild pitches help the Skeeters plate a fourth run.

UPDATE (8:59): BOT 6: A pair of fine defensive plays highlight a 1-2-3 inning out of the bullpen for Zac Treece!

UPDATE (9:21): TOP 7: Four two-out runs have put put the Ducks on the scoreboard and tied the game at four!

UPDATE (9:38): BOT 7: Dustin Richardson strikes out Bryan Pounds looking to strand a pair on base! Still a 4-4 ballgame after seven.

UPDATE (9:54): TOP 8: RBI singles from Alex Burg and Delta Cleary Jr. have given the Ducks a 6-4 lead!

UPDATE (10:02): BOT 8: A scoreless eighth inning for Dennis O’Grady, who works around a leadoff single! 6-4 Flock as we head to the ninth.

UPDATE (10:27): TOP 9: Two-out RBI singles by Burg and Cleary Jr. have extended Long Island’s lead to 8-4!

UPDATE (10:37): FINAL: Tyler Wilson tosses a scoreless ninth inning, and the Ducks defeat the Skeeters 8-4 in the series opener!

Game 132: Ducks vs. Bluefish

Lew Ford (5)

OF/Bench Coach Lew Ford and the Long Island Ducks are out for revenge against the Bridgeport Bluefish tonight.

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

6:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

After a pair of rainouts and a doubleheader split on the road this week, the Long Island Ducks (71-59, 35-25) return home for their final homestand of the 2017 regular season. In the three-game home set, the Bridgeport Bluefish (71-60, 30-31) make their final trip to Bethpage Ballpark. Long Island enters tonight’s game with a magic number of five over Bridgeport to clinch a spot in the 2017 Atlantic League Playoffs, and needs just one win in the series to hold all tiebreakers with their cross-sound rivals. One Ducks victory in the series also clinches the 2017 Ferry Cup, the final edition of the historic rivalry.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: 

The Long Island Ducks were defeated by the Bridgeport Bluefish 6-5 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Bethpage Ballpark.

Bridgeport took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-out, two-run home run to center field by Welington Dotel off Ducks starter Jake Fisher. Long Island answered back to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out, two-run double to right by Elmer Reyes off Bluefish starter Ross Seaton.

Two more runs came home for the Flock in the fifth to give them a 4-2 advantage. Delta Cleary Jr.’s RBI double to left with one out and Angelo Songco’s RBI single to center with two outs highlighted the inning.

The Bluefish closed to within one in the sixth when Angelys Nina hit a two-out RBI single to left. It stayed 4-3 until the top of the eighth when Bridgeport sent eight men to the plate and scored three runs to take a 6-4 lead. A sacrifice fly to right by Nina and RBI singles by Ozney Guillen and Luis Hernandez did the damage.

Long Island tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth, as Marc Krauss launched a two-out solo homer to right-center. However, the Ducks could not pull even.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Fisher pitched six innings of three-run ball in his Ducks debut, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Seaton lasted six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts. Drake Britton (4-1) collected the win after pitching a scoreless seventh inning, yielding two hits and striking out one. James Jones (0-1) took the loss, surrendering two runs on two hits in the eighth. Manny Delcarmen picked up his seventh save despite allowing a run in the ninth.

Reyes led the Flock with two hits and two RBI, while Krauss added two hits an RBI and a run. Both Songco and Alex Burg had two hits as well.

HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

Long Island native Bruce Kern makes his 2017 season debut with the Ducks in tonight’s contest. The righty returns for his third season with the Ducks after beginning the season with the Chinatrust Brothers in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. In 2016 Kern was an Atlantic League All-Star, going 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 18 games (11 starts) with the Ducks. The Yaphank, New York native posted a stellar 61:18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 62.1 innings, in which he allowed just 60 hits.

Bridgeport counters with righty Dominic Severino, who is making his second appearance of the year with the Bluefish. Severino threw four shutout innings, allowing three hits, no walks and recording seven strikeouts in his first game on September 3 against York. Severino hails from Cheshire, Connecticut and attended Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, where he was a two-way player — pitching as well as manning first base. Severino began the season with the Old Orchard Beach Surge in the Empire League, where he went 3-3 with a 4.11 ERA and 3 saves in 15 games (five starts).

FOLLOW ALONG: 

Fans can follow all the action for tonight’s doubleheader, 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 tonight’s twin bill via Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: 

For tonight’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#28 Jordan Hinshaw – RF
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#20 Lew Ford – LF
#34 Marc Krauss – DH
#26 Angelo Songco – 1B
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#23 Alex Burg – C
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#11 Bruce Kern – RHP

Bridgeport Bluefish
#2   Luis Hernandez – SS
#11 Jose Cuevas – 2B
#25 Welington Dotel – CF
#20 Jonathan Galvez – 1B
#35 Andrew Lambo – LF
#32 Gustavo Molina – C
#3   Angelys Nina – 3B
#13 Ozney Guillen – RF
#5   Jose Gil – DH

#36 Dominic Severino – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

TOP 2: Ozney Guillen collects a two-run single to give the Bluefish a 2-0 lead.

TOP 4: The Bluefish strike for another run and have taken a 3-0 lead.

TOP 7: Dustin Richardson pitches strong in his 2017 Ducks debut, but the Bluefish still lead 3-0.

TOP 8: Bridgeport tacks on another run and now holds a 4-0 lead.

FINAL: Bluefish 4, Ducks 0.

W: Severino (1-0)
L: Kern (0-1)

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