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End of an Era

After 20 years of incredible games and high-intensity drama, one of the Atlantic League’s fiercest rivalries is coming to an end. Last week, it was announced that the Somerset Patriots would become the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees beginning with the 2021 season. The change was one of several made in the Yankees organization, with Trenton (AA), Charleston (A) and Staten Island (A-) losing their affiliations. Tampa will transition from High-A to Low-A status, and Hudson Valley, previously of the now-defunct New York-Penn League, will become the Yankees’ new High-A affiliate.

Somerset’s departure means the loss of the Atlantic League’s last remaining founding franchise. While they played their first season on the road as construction was being completed on their home ballpark, the Patriots were one of six teams that began play in the league’s inaugural season in 1998. The others included the Newburgh Black Diamonds (Lehigh Valley, 1999-2001; Pennsylvania Road Warriors, 2002-04), Nashua Pride (moved to Can-Am League in 2006), Atlantic City Surf (moved to Can-Am League in 2007), Newark Bears (moved to Can-Am League in 2011) and Bridgeport Bluefish (ceased operations after 2017 season). Now, the Long Island Ducks, who began play in 2000, are the longest-running active Atlantic League franchise.

In addition, the change also marks the end of one of the top rivalries in ALPB history. While the Ducks always maintained their cross-sound feud with the Bridgeport Bluefish, highlighted by the annual battle for the Ferry Cup since 2009, the Ducks and Patriots grew to become true foes over the past decade. Each season featured closely-contested matchups that often included extra-inning marathons, walk-off thrillers, and edge-of-your-seat drama.

In 20 years of regular season matchups, the Ducks held a 194-188 advantage over the Patriots, having played more games against the Pats than any other team. However, prior to 2019 (a year in which the Ducks won a championship and Somerset missed the playoffs), the margin was just one game (182-181 in favor of the Ducks). Long Island held a 103-91 advantage in Central Islip, while Somerset had a 97-91 edge in New Jersey. From 2014-2018, the teams split their season series three times, with the Ducks earning an 11-9 series win in the other two.

Like any good rivalry though, it is the playoff meetings that truly make it special. Prior to 2013, Long Island had never faced Somerset in the postseason, and the two were in opposite divisions. The Patriots didn’t become a Liberty Division opponent until 2014. However, over the past seven years, the Ducks and Patriots did battle in five different postseason series, including four consecutive Liberty Division Championship Series matchups from 2015-18.

Four of those five playoff series needed all five games to determine a winner, with the other needing four games. One saw the Ducks come back from 2-0 down to win. Another saw the Patriots rally from a 2-1 deficit to win. Two others saw Long Island go ahead 2-0 before Somerset answered back to even it, only to see Long Island ultimately clinch the series on the road. Let’s look back at those epic playoff matchups:

2013 ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

The first-ever postseason meeting between the teams would decide the 2013 ALPB title. Long Island used some late drama to claim the first two games at home, as Josh Barfield’s eighth-inning three-run homer won Game One, and a three-run sixth-inning gave the Ducks a Game Two victory. Cory Aldridge’s three-homer Game Three kept the series going, and a 16-inning nail biter in Game Four forced a decisive Game Five. Ray Navarrete’s three-run homer in the fourth inning of Game Five, his final career game, put the Ducks on top for good. John Brownell pitched into the ninth inning to cap a Championship Series MVP performance, and the Ducks took the finale 6-4 to complete back-to-back championship runs.

2015 LIBERTY DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

This series would also begin on Long Island, but it was the Patriots who struck first blood, claiming a 5-3 win in Game One. The Ducks evened the series with a 5-4 win in Game Two, highlighted by Sean Burroughs’ eighth-inning RBI single. Long Island was riding high after their 9-4 triumph in Game Three, but Somerset’s pitching shut out the Ducks from that point on. Will Oliver’s complete game in Game Four evened the series, and Roy Merritt, who the Patriots acquired for a player to be named later from Sugar Land on August 31, also went the distance in Game Five to claim the series. Following the series, Merritt’s rights were returned to Sugar Land.

2016 LIBERTY DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Long Island and Somerset again faced each other in the first round, though this series began in New Jersey. Scott Kelly’s walk-off homer in the 11th inning of Game One and a 14-strikeout night by Nik Turley gave the Patriots a 2-0 series lead. However, Long Island became a different team when they returned home. Nick Struck threw seven innings of one-run ball to win Game Three for the Flock, and Anthony Vega’s two-run homer in Game Four was all Long Island needed to even the series. The Ducks plated four runs in the first inning of Game Five and held that lead to complete the comeback from 0-2 down in the series and clinch the Liberty Division crown.

2017 LIBERTY DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

Somerset broke out the bats on Long Island to begin their third consecutive first-round matchup with the Ducks. A 7-1 victory in Game One put the Patriots in a good position, but the Ducks countered in Game Two behind Alex Burg’s three-hit night and a strong performance from the bullpen. Jake Fisher turned in one of the all-time great playoff performances before a sellout crowd at Somerset in Game Three. His complete game, nine-strikeout night gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead in the series. The next night, after seeing Somerset rally for two runs in the eighth to tie the game, the Ducks took the lead back in the ninth courtesy of a Giovanny Alfonzo RBI fielder’s choice to win the game, 4-3, and the series, 3-1.

2018 LIBERTY DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

The 2018 playoffs began in quite surprising fashion. Instead of the usual nail biters, the Ducks routed the Patriots in Games One and Two on Long Island, combining to outscore their rivals 20-3. However, anyone expecting a sweep would be disappointed. Somerset overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to take Game Three and used three homers to claim a 5-3 win in Game Four. Another decisive Game Five was needed. Fernando Abad pitched three perfect innings of relief for the Ducks, and Francisco Rodriguez worked around a leadoff double in the ninth to force extra innings. Ramon Cabrera’s 10th-inning two-out RBI single broke a 2-2 tie, and Matt Larkins nailed down the save in the bottom half of the frame to clinch the division title.

In the end, the Ducks went 14-10 against the Patriots in their 24 postseason meetings, including a dominant 9-2 on Long Island (compared to 5-8 in New Jersey). Long Island went from no playoff meetings with Somerset for 13 years to now having faced Somerset more than any other team in the postseason.

Much remains to be seen regarding the landscape in Minor League Baseball prior to the start of the 2021 season. Despite losing Somerset, the Atlantic League has thus far added one franchise in Gastonia, North Carolina. There have been media reports and speculation regarding multiple markets that could bring new teams into the Atlantic League in 2021 and beyond. One thing is clear though: The Ducks will be looking for a new rival. Who will it be, and will it ever live up to the excitement of Ducks-Patriots? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

2019 ALCS Game Five: Ducks at Skeeters

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Ducks and Skeeters play winner-take-all Game Five for Championship

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

7:35 p.m. EDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

It all comes down to this, as the Long Island Ducks face the Sugar Land Skeeters in the decisive Game Five of the Atlantic League Championship Series. The series is tied at two games apiece, with each team going 1-1 in their home ballpark. Long Island is now 42-41 all-time in postseason play, including 15-25 on the road, and the team is 14-18 in Atlantic League Championship Series play, including 4-11 on the road. The Ducks hold an 82-74 lead in the all-time regular season against Sugar Land but is 33-45 at Constellation Field. In the postseason, the Skeeters hold an 8-4 lead, including a 5-1 advantage in Sugar Land.

GAME FOUR RECAP: 

An extra inning thriller saw the Ducks come away with a 3-2 victory in 10 innings over the Skeeters on Saturday night in Game Four.

Sugar Land jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a pair of singles from Rico Noel and Wynton Bernard, along with a two-run triple down the left field line by Denis Phipps. However, Ducks starter Brandon Beachy would settle in after that and record five consecutive scoreless innings. He worked around a pair of one-out singles in the fourth and a leadoff walk in the sixth.

The Ducks closed to within 2-1 in the second inning on singles from Deibinson RomeroVladimir Frias, and D’Arby Myers off Skeeters starter Chase De Jong. Long Island was unable to grab the tying run until the top of the sixth. L.J. Mazzilli doubled to lead off the inning, and David Washington eventually smacked an RBI single to right field on the ninth pitch of his two-out at bat to tie the game at two.

Both sides would threaten to break the deadlock from the seventh through the ninth, but neither side could do so. In the 10th inning, Mazzilli singled to left and stole second base with one out. Hector Sanchez hit a grounder back to reliever Josh Martin, who elected to throw to third base but threw wildly, allowing both runners to be safe. Romero followed with a sacrifice fly to left-center, scoring Mazzilli with the go-ahead run. Cody Mincey then worked a perfect 10th inning, striking out two, to earn his fourth save of the playoffs.

Joe Iorio (1-0) earned the win with three scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one walk while striking out three. Martin (0-1) took the loss after conceding the winning run on a hit in two-thirds of an inning. Beachy tossed six innings of two-run ball, striking out seven for the Flock, while De Jong lasted five and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts for the Skeeters.

GAME FOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

Both teams will go back to their Game One starter for Game Five on Sunday night. Right-hander Vin Mazzaro will make his third start of the 2019 postseason. He is 2-0 thus far with a 1.93 ERA, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and six walks over 14 innings with 15 strikeouts. The former big leaguer started Game One against Sugar Land and earned the win with six innings of three-run ball, yielding three hits and two walks while striking out five batters. During the regular season, Mazzaro went 11-4 with a 3.61 ERA in 39 appearances (10 starts) with the Ducks. As a starter, he was 8-0 with a 2.15 ERA. He made six appearances, all in relief, against the Skeeters, going 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA.

Sugar Land will send Mike Hauschild back to the hill in the decider. The righty has made two playoff starts as well thus far and is 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA, conceding 11 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits and seven walks over 13.2 innings with 13 strikeouts. In Game One on Long Island, the former Major Leaguer was tagged for seven runs (including five in the first inning) on 11 hits and two walks over seven innings with six strikeouts. Hauschild went 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA in nine starts during the regular season for Sugar Land. However, he never faced the Ducks prior to the postseason.

FOLLOW ALONG:

Fans can follow all the action for tonight’s game, and every Ducks game in 2019, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live 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 Ducks Video Center on the homepage. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a live account of tonight’s game via the Atlantic League website by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: 

For tonight’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE. For a look at the Ducks playoff history, CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#1   Vladimir Frias – SS
#2   Steve Lombardozzi – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#11 L.J. Mazzilli – LF
#37 Hector Sanchez – C
#21 Deibinson Romero – 3B
#30 David Washington – 1B

#14 D’Arby Myers – RF
#29 Daniel Fields – CF

#34 Vin Mazzaro – RHP

Sugar Land Skeeters
#11 Rico Noel – CF
#28 Wynton Bernard – LF
#21 Anthony Giansanti – 2B
#29 Denis Phipps – DH
#3   Albert Cordero – 1B
#17 Zach Borenstein – RF
#25 Jason Martinson – SS
#12 Cody Stanley – C
#6   Javier Betancourt – 3B

#10 Mike Hauschild – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

TOP 1: A bases loaded walk by Hector Sanchez has the Ducks out in front 1-0 in Game Five!

BOT 2: A leadoff solo home run to left field by Denis Phipps has tied the game up at one.

TOP 3: Back in front! Deibinson Romero lines a two-run single to left field, giving the Ducks a 3-1 lead!

TOP 5: An RBI single to left field by Hector Sanchez and a sacrifice fly to left by Deibinson Romero have increased the Ducks lead to 5-1!

BOT 7: Skeeters scratch across a run on a sac fly to center by Cody Stanley. Ducks 5, Skeeters 2

TOP 8: Daniel Fields lifts a sacrifice fly to left, scoring David Washington 6-2 Long Island!

BOT 8: Sugar Land closes to within 6-4 on an RBI fielder’s choice from Albert Cordero and a wild pitch.

TOP 9: A two-out, two-strike, two-run home run to left-center field by Deibinson Romero gives the Ducks an 8-4 lead! Romero has drive in five runs tonight!

FINAL: THE DUCKS ARE THE 2019 ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!!! THEY DEFEAT THE SKEETERS 8-4 IN GAME FIVE AND WIN THE SERIES 3-2! GO CRAZY LONG ISLAND!

2019 ALCS Game Four: Ducks at Skeeters

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Long Island tries to keep season alive while Sugar Land vies for championship

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

6:05 p.m. EDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Ducks battle the Skeeters in Game Four of the 2019 Atlantic League Championship Series on Saturday night. Sugar Land leads the best-of-five series two games to one. Long Island is now 41-41 all-time in postseason play, including 14-25 on the road, and the team is 13-18 in Atlantic League Championship Series play, including 3-11 on the road. The Ducks hold an 82-74 lead in the all-time regular season against Sugar Land but is 33-45 at Constellation Field. In the postseason, the Skeeters hold an 8-3 lead, including a 5-0 advantage in Sugar Land.

GAME THREE RECAP: 

A big fourth inning led the Sugar Land Skeeters to a 7-5 win over the Long Island Ducks in Game Three of the series on Friday night.

After throwing three perfect innings to begin the ballgame, things fell apart for Ducks starter Seth Simmons in the fourth. Sugar Land loaded the bases on two four-pitch walks and a bunt single to begin the inning. Denis Phipps followed with a two-run single up the middle to put the Skeeters on top 2-0. Zach Borenstein and Jason Martinson later collected RBI singles, and a sac fly to center by Cody Stanley rounded out the scoring. A wild pitch in the fifth by Anderson DeLeon, who took over for Simmons after he left with an injury, scored Wynton Bernard to make it a 6-0 game.

Long Island began a comeback attempt in the seventh inning against Skeeters starter Troy Scribner. Following a single by Hector Sanchez and a double by David Washington, the Ducks plated a pair of runs on a sac fly to left by Vladimir Frias and an RBI single to right by D’Arby Myers. One inning later, the Ducks put two on against Ricardo Gomez on a double by Lew Ford and a single by L.J. Mazzilli. Ford would score on a passed bal, and the Duck would then load the bases on walks to Sanchez and Deibinson Romero. Washington then drew a bases loaded walk to score Mazzilli, making it a 6-4 ballgame. However, Frias popped out to center, and Sanchez was thrown out at the plate trying to score, ending the rally.

Sugar Land grabbed an insurance run in the eighth when Borenstein walked and later scored on a wild pitch by Rob Rogers. The Ducks rallied again in the ninth against Felipe Paulino. A double by Rey Fuentes and an RBI single by Steve Lombardozzi trimmed the Skeeters lead to 7-5. Mazzilli then singled with two outs to put the tying runs on base. However, Sanchez struck out to end the game.

GAME THREE HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

With their season on the line, the Ducks will hand the ball to Brandon Beachy in Game Four. The right-hander pitched very well in nine games (seven starts) this season, posting a 6-0 record and a 2.85 ERA, striking out 38 and walking 20 in 41 innings with the Flock. He last pitched on September 20th against the High Point Rockers, earning the win in a 3-2 victory. The former big leaguer tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and three walks while striking out six batters. Beachy faced the Skeeters just once this season, earning the win on September 7th in game one of a doubleheader. The 33-year-old also threw six innings that day, giving up four runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk while striking out five in a 6-4 win. Tonight will be his first postseason start with the Flock.

Sugar Land will counter with Chase De Jong as they seek their second consecutive Atlantic League championship. The right-hander made 12 starts for the Skeeters and went 4-4 with a 5.56 ERA, striking out 53 and walking 14 over 66.1 innings. He most recently pitched in Game Four of the Freedom Division Championship Series, taking a no-decision in the Skeeteres 5-4 clinching win. De Jong threw six innings of three-run ball, allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out seven batters. He gave up two home runs in the game, both to Telvin Nash. De Jong never faced the Ducks during the regular season. He has three seasons of Major League experience from 2017 to 2019 with the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins.

FOLLOW ALONG:

Fans can follow all the action for tonight’s game, and every Ducks game in 2019, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live 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 Ducks Video Center on the homepage. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a live account of tonight’s game via the Atlantic League website by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: 

For tonight’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE. For a look at the Ducks playoff history, CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#15 Rey Fuentes- CF
#2   Steve Lombardozzi – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#11 L.J. Mazzilli – LF
#37 Hector Sanchez – C
#21 Deibinson Romero – 3B
#30 David Washington – 1B
#1   Vladimir Frias – SS
#14 D’Arby Myers – RF

#47 Brandon Beachy – RHP

Sugar Land Skeeters
#11 Rico Noel – CF
#28 Wynton Bernard – LF
#21 Anthony Giansanti – 2B
#29 Denis Phipps – DH
#3   Albert Cordero – 1B
#17 Zach Borenstein – RF
#25 Jason Martinson – SS
#12 Cody Stanley – C
#6   Javier Betancourt – 3B

#20 Chase De Jong – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

BOT 1: A two-run triple down the left field line by Denis Phipps gives the Skeeters an early 2-0 lead.

TOP 2: Ducks put their first run of the day on the scoreboard courtesy of a two-out RBI single by D’Arby Myers! 2-1 Skeeters

END 3: Back-to-back 1-2-3 innings for Brandon Beachy, who has now retired eight in a row!

TOP 6: TIE GAME! A two-out RBI single through the right side by David Washington, on the ninth pitch of the at bat, ties the ballgame up at two apiece!

END 6: Brandon Beachy strikes out the side in the sixth, stranding Denis Phipps at third base! Seven K’s on the night for the former big leaguer!

END 7: Hector Sanchez with a PERFECT strike to second to catch Rico Noel stealing! Scoreless inning of relief from Joe Iorio!

END 8: Joe Iorio gets Denis Phipps to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play! Onto the ninth inning we go, tied at two.

END 9: Joe Iorio with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two looking! Bonus baseball coming up in Sugar Land, with the Ducks and Skeeters tied at two.

TOP 10: DUCKS HAVE THE LEAD! A sac fly to left-center field by Deibinson Romero scores L.J. Mazzilli! Ducks go in front 3-2!

FINAL: Cody Mincey works a perfect 10th inning to earn his fourth save of the playoffs! Ducks win Game Four 3-2 in 10 innings to force a winner-take-all Game Five on Sunday night!

2019 ALCS Game Three: Ducks at Skeeters

Ducks-at-Skeeters-10-4-19
Ducks look to retake lead in ALCS as series moves to Sugar Land

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

7:35 p.m. at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Ducks and Skeeters butt heads in game three of the 2019 ALCS on Friday night as the series shifts to Texas with the two teams tied at one game apiece. Currently sitting with a 41-40 all-time playoff record, the Ducks, however, have a losing record on the road of 14-24. Long Island does, though, hold a slight 5-4 advantage at Constellation Field in 2019, to go along with their overall edge in the season series of 13-6. This is a rematch of the 2018 ALCS in which the Skeeters defeated the Ducks in five games. The Ducks are coming off a sweep of the High Point Rockers in the Liberty Division Championship Series. After winning the LDCS, Long Island is the first team in Atlantic League history to reach the ALCS in four consecutive seasons. In the regular season the Flock won both the first and second halves of the season and also set the franchise record for wins in a season, finishing with 86 wins. This is the third time that Long Island and Sugar Land have met in the playoffs, with the Skeeters winning both the 2016 and 2018 championships.

GAME TWO RECAP: 

The Long Island Ducks fell to the Sugar Land Skeeters 7-0 on Wednesday night in game two of the Atlantic League Championship Series, evening the series at one.

The game was all Sugar Land from the start, as the Skeeters drove in three runs off Ducks starter Darin Downs in the top of the first inning. The frame was highlighted by an RBI double by Wynton Bernard and a two-run home run off the bat of Albert Cordero. Two more runs came in to score in the second inning on a throwing error. RBI singles from Zach Borenstein and Javier Betancourt, in the third and sixth innings respectively, rounded out the scoring.

Skeeters starting pitcher, and former Duck, Carlos Pimentel (2-0) picked up the win for Sugar Land, pitching seven shutout innings, scattering five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Downs (1-1) was tagged with the loss for Long Island, lasting three innings and allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits and a walk, while striking out five.

Deibinson Romero led the Flock offensively, producing two hits.

ON THE MOUND:

Seth Simmons takes the hill for Long Island tonight, making his second postseason start of 2019. In 26 appearances (25 starts) during the regular season, split between the Ducks and the High Point Rockers, he posted an 8-8 record with a 3.86 ERA and 119 strikeouts over 140 innings of work. His last start was in game three of the LDCS on September 27 at Bethpage Ballpark, where he threw seven one-run innings, allowing just two hits and two walks, while striking out nine. This season Simmons faced the Skeeters five times, twice with High Point and three times with Long Island. The righty amassed a 2-2 record against Sugar Land in 2019, with a 5.87 ERA and 22 strikeouts over 23 innings.

Troy Scribner gets the nod in game three for the Skeeters tonight, making his second postseason start this year. In 2019 the righty made 22 starts, compiling a 6-7 record with a 3.68 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 122.1 innings pitched. His last start was in the FDCS against York, tossing seven innings, surrendering one run on five hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. Scribner made three starts in the regular season against Long Island, putting together a 0-1 record with a 5.79 ERA and six strikeouts over 14 innings.

FOLLOW ALONG:

Fans can follow all the action for tonight’s game, and every Ducks game in 2019, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live 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 Ducks Video Center on the homepage. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a live account of tonight’s game via the Atlantic League website by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: 

For tonight’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE. For a look at the Ducks playoff history, CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#15 Rey Fuentes- CF
#2   Steve Lombardozzi – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#11 L.J. Mazzilli – LF
#37 Hector Sanchez – C
#21 Deibinson Romero – 3B
#30 David Washington – 1B
#1   Vladimir Frias – SS
#14 D’Arby Myers – RF

#31 Seth Simmons – RHP

Sugar Land Skeeters
#11 Rico Noel – CF
#28 Wynton Bernard – LF
#21 Anthony Giansanti – 2B
#29 Denis Phipps – DH
#3   Albert Cordero – 1B
#17 Zach Borenstein – RF
#25 Jason Martinson – SS
#12 Cody Stanley – C
#6   Javier Betancourt – 3B

#34 Troy Scribner – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

END 1: Both sides are retired in order in their half of the first inning.

END 3: Another 1-2-3 inning for Seth Simmons, who strikes out two more and now has four K’s on the night! No score after three innings.

BOT 4: Sugar Land plates five runs on four hits and two walks to take a 5-0 lead.

BOT 5: A wild pitch plates Wynton Bernard, increasing Sugar Land’s lead to 6-0.

TOP 7: Ducks are on the scoreboard! A sac fly to left from Vladimir Frias and an RBI single by D’Arby Myers have trimmed Long Island’s deficit to 6-2.

TOP 8: Ducks inch closer! Lew Ford scores on a passed ball, and David Washington draws a bases loaded walk! Long Island’s within two at 6-4.

BOT 8: A wild pitch scores Zach Borenstein, pushing the Skeeters lead back up to three at 7-4.

FINAL: An RBI single by Steve Lombardozzi closes the gap to two, but the Ducks strand the tying runs on bases. Sugar Land takes Game Three 7-5. Game Four will be Saturday night at 5:05 CDT/6:05 EDT.

2019 ALCS Game Two: Ducks vs. Skeeters

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Long Island plays final game at Bethpage Ballpark in 2019

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

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

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks and Sugar Land Skeeters meet in the second game of the 2019 Atlantic League Championship Series on Wednesday night at Bethpage Ballpark. This is a rematch of the 2018 ALCS in which the Skeeters defeated the Ducks in five games. The Ducks are coming off a sweep of the High Point Rockers in the Liberty Division Championship Series. After winning the LDCS, Long Island is the first team in Atlantic League history to reach the ALCS in four consecutive seasons. In the regular season the Flock won both the first and second halves of the season and also set the franchise record for wins in a season, finishing with 86 wins. The Ducks have posted a 41-39 all-time playoff record overall and a 27-15 record in the postseason at Bethpage Ballpark. Long Island claimed the season series with Sugar Land, taking 13 of 19 games. The Ducks also led 8-2 in games played on Long Island in 2019. This is the third time that Long Island and Sugar Land have met in the playoffs, with the Skeeters winning both the 2016 and 2018 championships.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: 

Long Island defeated the Sugar Land Skeeters 7-5 Tuesday night in game one of the Atlantic League Championship Series.

The Ducks got off to a fast start, putting up five runs in the top of the first thanks to an RBI single from Lew Ford and back-to-back home runs by Deibinson Romero and David Washington, a three-run blast and a solo shot respectively.

A wild pitch and an RBI single by Zack Borenstein got the Skeeters on the board in the third. Another run for Sugar Land brought the score to 5-3 when Cody Stanley hit an RBI groundout in the top of the fourth. However, in the bottom of the inning the Ducks added two more runs to their lead after Washington hit his second home run of the evening, hitting a solo home run 440 feet to center field, and a Steve Lombardozzi sacrifice fly to center.

The Skeeters scored twice in the eighth on a throwing error and a solo home run, but that was all they could muster.

Ducks starter Vin Mazzaro (2-0) picked up the victory for Long Island, lasting six innings, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Mike Hauschild (0-2) was tagged with the loss for Sugar Land after tossing seven innings, yielding seven runs on 11 hits and two walks, while striking out six. Cody Mincey converted his third save of the postseason for the Ducks, throwing a perfect ninth inning.

YESTERDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

Darin Downs takes the mound for Long Island tonight, making his second start of the 2019 postseason. This season the lefty put up a 3-3 record with a 2.53 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 109.2 innings. His last start was in game one of the LDCS at High Point, where he pitched six and one-third innings, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out seven. This is the fourth time Downs has matched up with Sugar Land, against whom he has gathered a 1-0 record with a 2.12 ERA and 22 strikeouts over 17 innings of work.

Former Duck Carlos Pimentel makes his second start of the 2019 postseason for the Skeeters tonight. In the regular season the righty posted a 6-4 record with a 3.92 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 78 innings pitched. His last start was game two of the FDCS against York, lasting five innings, surrendering one run on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts. In three starts against his former team, Pimentel is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched.

FOLLOW ALONG:

Fans can follow all the action for tonight’s game, and every Ducks game in 2019, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live 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 Ducks Video Center on the homepage. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a live account of tonight’s game via the Atlantic League website by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: 

For tonight’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE. For a look at the Ducks playoff history, CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#15 Rey Fuentes- CF
#2   Steve Lombardozzi – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#11 L.J. Mazzilli – LF
#21 Deibinson Romero – 3B
#30 David Washington – 1B
#38 Ramon Cabrera – C
#1   Vladimir Frias – SS
#29 Daniel Fields – RF

#23 Darin Downs – LHP

Sugar Land Skeeters
#11 Rico Noel – CF
#28 Wynton Bernard – LF
#21 Anthony Giansanti – 2B
#29 Denis Phipps – DH
#3   Albert Cordero – C
#25 Jason Martinson – SS
#17 Zach Borenstein – RF
#7   Blair Beck – 1B
#6   Javier Betancourt – 3B

#18 Carlos Pimentel – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

TOP 1: An RBI double by Wynton Bernard and a two-run home run from Albert Cordero have the Skeeters out in front 3-0 early.

TOP 2: Two runs come home on a two-out throwing error. 5-0 Skeeters.
TOP 3: Zach Borenstein’s RBI single to right makes it 6-0.
TOP 6: Javier Betancourt adds an RBI single to left field, making it a 7-0 game.
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