Blog Archives

20th Anniversary Team Voting – Second Base

Harrison-Navarrete-Valdespin

19 seasons of Long Island Ducks baseball have come and gone. Players from all around the world and of all varieties of baseball experience have worn the Ducks uniform since the first pitch on April 28, 2000. In that time, they have played in front of nearly 8 million fans in Central Islip, and millions more around the rest of the country. Those players and coaches have also earned three Atlantic League Championships, seven Division Championships, 13 half-season Division Championships and over 1,300 victories. As the Ducks 20th Anniversary Season, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, approaches, it is time to determine which members of the Flock have stood above the rest.

Two weeks have come and gone, and fans have had their say on who should represent the catcher and first baseman positions on the 20th Anniversary Team. With hundreds of ballots being cast each week, those voting have shown that it hasn’t been easy determining a clear cut winner at each position. Now, we move on to the first of our two middle infielder positions with the second basemen. This week’s candidates feature a trio of different experiences with the Flock. One spent eight seasons with the club, another donned a Ducks uniform for three years and the third has only played one year on Long Island. However, all three certainly have made strong cases for their spot among this exclusive group. Here are the nominees:


Adonis Harrison
Adonis-Harrison-20th-Voting

The first three seasons of Ducks baseball saw Adonis Harrison man second base primarily. In those three seasons, the California native made a big impact in helping the franchise get off to a strong start. The 2000 season saw him play 87 games with Long Island and register 97 hits, totaling a .307 batting average and a .379 on-base percentage by season’s end. After helping the Ducks to an 82-58 record that still stands as the best regular season in team history, he followed that up by increasing his playing time in 2001 to 110 games. Harrison posted a 100-hit season and played a superb second base as well. Following his final year with the Ducks in 2002, the former Seattle Mariners draft pick had totaled 271 games with the Flock, a .286 batting average, 102 RBIs, 156 runs scored, 36 doubles and 55 stolen bases. Harrison would play four more seasons of professional baseball before retiring, including time in the Angels and Rockies organizations.


Ray Navarrete
Ray-Navarrete-20th-Voting

Our second nominee’s resume certainly speaks for itself. Ray Navarrete, who played multiple positions throughout his Ducks career but spent the most time at second base, enjoyed an eight-year stint on Long Island. In that time, he earned five Atlantic League All-Star Game selections and a host of other accolades. He became the first player in franchise history to be named Atlantic League Player of the Year in 2009. He set the league record for doubles in a single season with 50 in 2012. Navarrete slugged 25 or more home runs, totaled 90 or more RBIs, and scored 100 or more runs in three seasons apiece. By the end of his time with the Ducks, he had set franchise records in hits (963), home runs (137), RBIs (548), runs scored (599), doubles (245) and games played (863), though that last one has since been surpassed by Dan Lyons. Navarrete’s career ended with him being carried on the shoulders of his teammates after winning the second of back-to-back Atlantic League championships, after he went the six previous seasons without a title despite reaching the playoffs in five of them. He then was bestowed with the greatest honor any player can receive from a team, as he had his #16 jersey retired in a pre-game ceremony, fittingly on the 16th of August in 2015.


Jordany Valdespin
Jordany-Valdespin-20th-Voting

Our final candidate has just one season of experience with the Ducks, but the amount of honores accrued in that single campaign certainly make him worthy for this spot. Jordany Valdespin joined the Ducks in 2018 following a four-year MLB career, two of which were spent nearby in Flushing with the Mets. He came out of the gates swinging a hot bat, launching the team’s first home run of the year and earning Atlantic League Player of the Month honors for April/May after leading the league in hits (45), runs (29), total bases (73), extra-base hits (17), and at bats (131). Valdespin represented the Ducks at the Atlantic League All-Star Game, played on Long Island, and proved to be a consistent offensive force throughout the 126-game regular season. The Dominican Republic native ended the year with league-best totals in hits (154), runs scored (94), and triples (7) while ranking second in batting average (.3377), just .0007 behind the league leader. After helping lead the Ducks to a third consecutive Liberty Division Championship, Valdespin became the third player in team history to be named the Atlantic League Player of the Year. He also was chosen as the first Ducks player ever to win Baseball America’s Independent Leagues Player of the Year award.


Three candidates with three outstanding cases, but only one can garner the second base spot on the 20th Anniversary Team. Cast your vote from now through Thursday, December 27th by clicking the button allow. Fans can vote as many time as they would like, but you can only choose one candidate. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!

20th-Anniversary-Team-Voting-Button-Second-Base

Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our three nominees for the shortstop position.

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Offseason Updates from Around the Globe

Although baseball season has come to a close here in the United States, there is still plenty of news and action on the diamond around the world. Several Ducks alumni have been featured and spotlighted in various other leagues throughout the Far East and the Caribbean. Regular seasons have recently wrapped up over in Korea and Taiwan, while winter leagues are getting underway in countries such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Let’s catch up on what some former Ducks players have been up to in recent weeks:

KERN WINS THE CROWN
Kern-Lamigo

Long Island native Bruce Kern spent the 2018 season in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, marking his second full season and third year overall in Taiwan. The right-handed pitcher turned in outstanding numbers with the Flock in 2015 and 2016, combining to go 13-7 with a 3.02 ERA in 58 appearances (24 starts). In 170 innings of work, he struck out 163 batters and walked just 49. That performance earned him the opportunity to pitch in Taiwan with Brothers Baseball Club. He struggled initially in two starts at the end of 2016 and then battled injury in 2017 to go 8-5 with a 5.16 ERA. He returned to Long Island late last year but was limited to just one and two-thirds innings due to arm troubles.

Looking to bounce back in a big way during the 2018 season, Kern was signed by the Lamigo Monkeys, a club that has been home to several Ducks alumni in recent years. The Yaphank native did not disappoint, making 25 starts during the regular season and putting together a dazzling 13-3 record, ranking second in the league in wins, with a 3.28 ERA, good for third in the league. In 156.1 innings of work, a career-high, he struck out 110 batters. Kern’s efforts helped lead Lamigo all the way to the CPBL title, earning a 4-2 series victory over the Uni-President Lions. The championship marked Lamigo’s second title in a row and fourth in the past five years.

He also played some stellar defense:

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#athlete

A post shared by Bruce Kern (@kern_bruce) on

Kern pitched Game One of the Taiwan Series against the Uni-President Lions, with his team leading 1-0 from the get-go after they won both halves of the regular season. Lamigo earned a 15-6 victory in a high-scoring series opener, with Kern tossing the first four innings of the game, yielding three earned runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts. The Lions were able to even up the series, thanks in part to two scoreless innings in Game Two by former New Britain Bees pitcher Andy Van Hekken. One of Kern’s teammates was former Sugar Land Skeeters pitcher Michael Nix, who threw six scoreless innings in Game Two but could not get the win. Lamigo would go on to win the series with victories in Games Four and Five, with Nix giving up just two runs (one earned) in five and two-thirds innings, picking up the win. Van Hekken contributed to the Lions’ loss, surrendering four runs in one-third of an inning out of the bullpen.

Here was Bruce addressing the fans after Lamigo’s win:

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#克恩三世 ✌🏻 Taiwan

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Congratulations to Bruce and the rest of the Lamigo Monkeys! Included in the group was former Duck Darin Downs, who made 10 starts with the club earlier in the season but struggled, going 4-3 with a 7.08 ERA. However…


DOWNS AND STRUCK CLAIM MEXICAN TITLE
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Downs would come away with a title of his own after he signed south of the border with Sultanes de Monterrey in the Mexican League. The southpaw joined the team during the second half of their season and turned in a 3.42 ERA along with one save in 12 appearances (five starts). He pitched 26.1 innings, striking out 28 batters while walking seven. He was reunited on the team with another former Ducks pitcher in right-hander Nick Struck. The two hurlers were teammates together with the Flock in 2015 and 2016 and now had the opportunity to pitch together once again in Mexico. Struck posted a phenomenal season in 2018, making 41 appearances out of the bullpen for Monterrey. The righty compiled a miniscule 1.50 ERA, striking out 45 batters in 42 innings, walking just 14 and conceding only seven earned runs.

Despite a strong first half of the season, Monterrey would lose the first half championship to Leones de Yucatan in a thrilling seven-game series. However, Monterrey came back with a 4-2 series victory in the second half championship over Guerreros de Oaxaca. After dropping the series opener, the pair of Downs and Struck helped even the series in Game Two. Downs pitched two and one-third innings of one-run ball in relief, while Struck tossed back-to-back scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings. Struck threw another scoreless inning in the eighth of Game Three along with an inning and two-thirds of scoreless baseball in Game Four to put Monterrey up 3-1 in the series. The pair dazzled again in Game Five, with Downs pitching two and two-thirds hitless and scoreless innings before Struck threw two more innings of shutout ball, but Monterrey would drop the game in 10 innings. The series ended one game later with a walk-off victory at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey.


VALDESPIN TAKES MOUND IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
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After an MVP season and a Liberty Division Championship in his first year with the Flock, Jordany Valdespin is not taking any time to sit back and catch his breath. The infielder is right back on the baseball diamond in his native country of the Dominican Republic, playing with Toros del Este in the Caribbean Winter Leagues. His bat remains hot, as Valdespin has posted a .333 batting average through 19 games. After leading the Atlantic League in hits (154) and runs scored (94) during the 2018 regular season, he is doing the same in winter ball, collecting 25 hits and 15 runs thus far to go along with a homer, eight RBIs, eight stolen bases and a .405 on-base percentage.

However, one of his more bizarre moments came early on in the winter season. In the team’s fourth game, they played an epic 19-inning contest against Tigres del Licey that saw Licey come away with a 7-5 victory. The game, which lasted eight hours and seven minutes, saw neither team score from the eighth inning through the 18th inning. Valdespin started the game in right field and went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double, an RBI and two walks. However, after his club had used 12 pitchers without being able to secure the win, Valdespin took the mound for the start of the 15th inning. Having pitched just one before in his professional career, allowing a run in two-thirds of an inning with Triple-A Toledo in 2016, no one knew what to expect.

All the right-hander would do was toss four scoreless innings out of the bullpen to keep the ballgame tied. He surrendered four hits and two walks while hitting a batter in that span but struck out three and failed to concede the go-ahead run. Unfortunately, his offense was unable to get him a victory, and Ruben Sosa allowed two runs in the 19th inning to give Licey the win. 2018 Ducks teammate Fernando Abad also pitched in the game for Toros del Este, throwing one and two-thirds perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts. Former Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia started the game for Toros and pitched three innings of two-run ball. Current Met Dominic Smith is also on the team and was 0-for-8 with a walk in the game.


MIKE LOREE RE-UPS IN TAIWAN
Loree-Fubon

Heading back over to the far east, we also wanted to give a quick shout-out to former Duck starting pitcher Mike Loree. The righty, who was selected by fans to the 15th Anniversary Ducks team in 2014, has become a staple while pitching in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. He just signed another contract with the Fubon Guardians for the 2019 season, which will be his seventh in the CPBL.

After his Triple Crown year of 2011 with the Ducks, in which he led the Atlantic League in wins (14), ERA (1.98) and strikeouts (131), Loree departed Long Island for Taiwan during the 2012 season. He has since pitched two seasons with the Lamigo Monkeys, two with the EDA Rhinos and two with Fubon. In his six seasons combined, he has accrued a 72-41 record, a 3.26 ERA, 797 strikeouts and just 189 walks over 970.2 innings of work. He has made 154 appearances (150 starts) in that span, winning a championship in 2016 with the Rhinos and 2012 with Lamigo. His only break from the CPBL was in 2014 when he spent the season with KT Wiz of the Korean Baseball Organization.

This past season, Loree helped Fubon to the semifinals of the postseason before they were defeated. During the regular season, he led the Chinese Professional Baseball League in strikeouts with 157. His 3.47 ERA was good for fourth in the league, while his 10 wins ranked fifth. Loree was 10-8 overall in 26 starts and walked only 16 batters in 161 innings of work according to the league site. That stat might be the most impressive of all.

Congratulations to all of those who claimed championships during the 2018 season, and best of luck to those currently playing winter baseball around the world!

2018 “Quack of the Bat” Ducks Team Awards

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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
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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!

ALCS Game Five: Ducks vs. Skeeters

The 2018 Atlantic League Championship will be decided tonight

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

5:05 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)

TODAY’S MATCHUP:

The Ducks have reached the Atlantic League Championship Series for the third straight season, and for the second time in those three years, they will play the Sugar Land Skeeters. The Ducks jumped out to a big lead and held it last night, winning 6-3. Long Island won the 2018 regular season series against the Skeeters by a margin of 10-8, winning five of nine games at home and in Texas. The Ducks won seven of nine second-half games against Sugar Land, including a 4-2 series win to close out the 2018 season. Long Island is coming off a five-game LDCS victory over the Somerset Patriots, while the Skeeters took game five of the FDCS against the Lancaster Barnstormers.

GAME FOUR RECAP:

Two runs in each of the first three innings were all the Ducks needed to force a decisive game five in the Atlantic League Championship Series.

Sugar Land grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out RBI double to right field by Matt Chavez off Ducks starter Dennis O’Grady. Long Island responded right away in the bottom of the inning, as Jordany Valdespin and Daniel Fields scored on wild pitches by Skeeters starter Dallas Beeler.

The Ducks extended their lead to 4-1 in the second with three consecutive two-out hits, including a two-run double to right by Valdespin. Two more runs in the third on a two-out, two-run single to center by Cody Puckett widened Long Island’s advantage to five.

The Skeeters closed to within 6-2 in the seventh on Alvaro Rondon’s RBI single to left. Another run in the ninth on back-to-back two-out doubles by Albert Cordero and Denis Phipps made it a 6-3 ballgame, but pinch-hitter Javier Betancourt then struck out to end the ballgame.

O’Grady earned the win, tossing seven innings of two-run ball, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out four. Beeler suffered the loss, surrendering six runs on seven hits and a walk over two and one-third innings with five strikeouts. Carlos Pimentel and Fernando Abad pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to secure the win.

GAME FOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

In a matchup identical to game one, Jake Fisher will close out the postseason for the Ducks. The 2018 Atlantic League All-Star was 8-7 this season with a 3.91 ERA winning three of his last four starts. In the first game of the series, the lefty allowed just two runs through six and two-thirds innings, giving up just four hits in a no-decision. The Oklahoma native has been great against the Skeeters this season, owning a 3-1 record and 0.67 ERA in four regular-season starts (22 innings) against Sugar Land.

James Russell will man the rubber for the Skeeters in the decisive Game Five. The seven-year major league veteran was 8-4 with a 2.36 ERA after joining Sugar Land in late May, making 20 appearances (18 starts). The southpaw made two appearances against the Flock in the regular season, throwing five scoreless innings and giving up three hits through two appearances (one start). In Game One of the series, the Texan gave up a first-inning three-run home run, but did not give up a run for the next five innings despite allowing nine runs and walking four. Russell has played with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies, making 394 MLB appearances to the tune of a 4.09 ERA from 2010 to 2015.

FOLLOW ALONG: 

Fans can follow all the action for today’s game, and every Ducks game in 2018, 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 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 the Ducks complete playoff history, please CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#15 Jordany Valdespin – 2B
#28 Daniel Fields – CF
#20 Lew Ford – LF
#38 Ramon Cabrera – DH
#30 David Washington – 1B
#27 Dioner Navarro – C
#5   Miles Williams – RF
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#13 Jake Fisher – LHP

Sugar Land Skeeters
#27 Barrett Barnes – LF
#21 Anthony Giansanti – CF
#33 Derek Norris – C
#19 Juan Silverio – SS
#16 Matt Chavez – 1B
#3   Albert Cordero – 3B
#10 Tony Thomas – RF
#29 Denis Phipps – DH
#20 Javier Betancourt – 2B

#34 James Russell – LHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

TOP 2: A two-out home run by Denis Phipps gives the Skeeters a 1-0 lead.

TOP 3: An Albert Cordero RBI single gives the Skeeters a 2-0 lead.

BOT 5: Dan Lyons gets the Ducks on the board with a solo homer to left! Ducks trail 3-1.

TOP 6: Skeeters put up another, extending their lead to 4-1.

FINAL: The Ducks are unable to comeback, and the Skeeters win the 2018 Atlantic League Championship by a score of 4-1.

Game 126: Ducks at Skeeters

Valdespin-Connects-Road

The Second Half Liberty Division champion Ducks close out the 2018 regular season
(Photo courtesy of Joe Doll)

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

2:05 p.m. CDT/3:05 p.m. EDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)

TODAY’S MATCHUP:

The Ducks wrap up the 2018 regular season on Sunday afternoon as they go for a series victory over the Sugar Land Skeeters in Texas. Long Island has won three of the first five games in the series and now has a 9-8 lead in the season series over Sugar Land. The Ducks clinched the Second Half Liberty Division title on Saturday night with their win and Somerset’s loss to the York Revolution. The Skeeters have already clinched a postseason berth by winning by the First and Second Half titles in the Freedom Division.

SATURDAY’S RECAP:

In a wild game at Constellation Field, the Ducks earned their third win of the series and punched their ticket to the playoffs with a 5-3 victory in 11 innings over the Skeeters.

After falling behind early, the Ducks took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the second inning and another in the third off Skeeters starter Michael Mariot. A sac fly to center field by Rubi Silva brought home David Washington, who was hit by a pitch. Miles Williams followed with an RBI double that scored Ramon Cabrera, who had singled. The third run came on Cabrera’s RBI single to center in the third that followed a double by Taylor Ard and a walk by Washington.

Sugar Land closed to within one in the sixth inning. After Ducks starter Brett Marshall tossed five innings of one-run (unearned) ball to start his night, he conceded two walks and a double with one out in the sixth. He was then lifted in favor of Jose Cuas, who allowed a bases loaded walk to Alvaro Rondon. However, he induced an inning-ending double play to keep the Ducks in front. Francisco Rodriguez entered in the ninth to try and close it out after scoreless innings from Taylor Grover and Fernando Abad. However, Rondon’s grounder was fielded slowly by Jordany Valdespin, and Rondon beat it out for an infield single. With two outs, Derek Norris grounded a single through the right side that scored Rondon from third after he advanced on a groundout and stolen base to tie the game at three.

It stayed 3-3 until the 11th inning when Williams reached on a one-out infield single off lefty Casey Harman. Then, with two outs, Valdespin singled up the middle and the ball was misplayed by Anthony Giansanti, allowing Williams to score all the way from first base with the go-ahead run. Daniel Fields then provided some insurance with an RBI single to right field. Ashur Tolliver came into the ballgame in the bottom of the inning and struck out the side in order, catching Rondon looking at strike three for the final out of the ballgame. It was Tolliver’s second save of the year.

ON THE MOUND:

Lorenzo Barcelo will start the series finale for the Ducks. The right-hander turned in his best start of the season in the series opener on Tuesday night, giving up just two runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks over six innings while striking out nine batters. He took a no-decision in the Ducks 5-4 win. With the performance, Barcelo is now 2-1 with a 4.33 ERA in 11 games (four starts) this season. He will likely pitch 2-3 innings in Sunday’s regular season finale, with the likes of Hector Silvestre and Chris Pike to follow.

Sugar Land will give the ball to Lucas Irvine in the final game of the series, seeking a split of the six-game set. The right-hander opposed Barcelo in the series opener and pitched five innings of two-run ball, yielding two hits, solo homers by Miles Williams and David Washington. He walked none and struck out four in the ballgame. Overall, the former Somerset Patriot is now 1-0 with a 2.10 ERA in five starts with the Skeeters.

FOLLOW ALONG: 

Fans can follow all the action for today’s game, and every Ducks game in 2018, 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 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.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#23 Rubi Silva – LF
#24 Robert Garcia – RF
#35 Taylor Ard – DH
#30 David Washington – 1B
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#9   Anthony Vega – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#31 Wagner Gomez – C
#29 Steve Longo – 2B

#34 Lorenzo Barcelo – RHP

Sugar Land Skeeters
#27 Barrett Barnes – LF
#21 Anthony Giansanti – CF
#33 Derek Norris – 1B
#19 Juan Silverio – DH
#3   Albert Cordero – C
#10 Tony Thomas – 2B
#9   Luke Dykstra – RF
#20 Javier Betancourt – 3B
#7   Alvaro Rondon – SS

#23 Lucas Irvine – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

BOT 1: Skeeters take a 1-0 lead on a two-out RBI single to left field by Juan Silverio.

TOP 4: After a Skeeter run in the third, the Ducks erupt for three runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead! A sac fly from Rubi Silva and RBI singles from Anthony Vega and Dan Lyons account for the runs!

TOP 6: Sugar Land ties the game in the fifth on a walk, a single and an error, all with two outs. However, the Ducks reclaim the lead in the sixth on a double by Cody Puckett and another RBI single by Vega! 4-3 Flock

TOP 7: Another three-spot for the Flock increases their lead to 7-3! Rubi Silva drills a two-run homer to right-center, and David Washington connects for an RBI single to right!

TOP 8: Second hit of the day for Robert Garcia, who connects for an RBI single to left! Ducks extend the lead to five!

END 8: Hector Silvestre has tossed five strong innings of relief for the Flock, allowing just one unearned run on three hits and a walk while striking out two!

FINAL: Sugar Land plates two in the ninth but cannot complete the comeback. Ducks take the series finale over the @SL_Skeeters 8-5! We’ll see you at Bethpage Ballpark on Tuesday night for PLAYOFF BASEBALL!

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