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2017 “Quack of the Bat” Ducks Team Awards

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 4: Ducks at Patriots

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Long Island’s offense has racked up 10 runs and 23 hits over the past two games

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

7:05 p.m. at TD Bank Ballpark (Bridgewater, N.J.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks take on the Somerset Patriots in Game Four of the Liberty Division Championship Series. They now hold a two games to one lead in the best-of-five series following a 6-1 win in Game Three on Friday night. The regular season series between Long Island and Somerset was remarkably competitive, with the Ducks claiming 11 victories and the Patriots nine. This marks the third straight year that the two rivals have met in the opening round of the playoffs, with each team having won one playoff series. It’s also the fourth time in five years they are facing in the postseason going back to the 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series, which the Ducks won in five games.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: 

An incredible performance by Ducks starter Jake Fisher in the first postseason start of his professional career helped the Ducks to a 6-1 victory in Game Three and a 2-1 lead in the Liberty Division Championship Series.

The southpaw was terrific throughout, mixing up his pitches and location to keep the Patriots off-balance and showcasing a terrific breaking ball. In his nine innings, Fisher allowed just six hits and two walks while striking out nine batters, his most in a Ducks uniform and two shy of his season-high. The 27-year-old threw a total of 115 pitches in the outing, 83 of which were strikes (72.2%). Fisher actually came within one out of becoming the first Duck to ever toss a complete game shutout in the postseason, but he allowed a single to Kyle Roller and an RBI double by David Vidal off the glove of Lew Ford to miss the opportunity.

Long Island’s offense gave their starting pitcher some early comfort, as they plated three runs in the first inning against Patriots starter William Oliver. The Ducks opened the game with four consecutive singles, including a chopper by Ford over the head of Vidal and an RBI single to left-center by Marc Krauss. Angelo Songco drove in the third run of the inning with a fielder’s choice grounder to first base.

Oliver settled in to keep the Ducks off the scoreboard over the next four innings, but Long Island was able to firmly put the game out of reach in the sixth. Alex Burg, who collected his third consecutive multi-hit game in the postseason, doubled to left to begin the inning. Following a sacrifice bunt and a flyout to shallow right, Dan Lyons came through with a two-out RBI single through the left side. Giovanny Alfonzo followed with an RBI double off the wall in left-center that stretched the lead to 5-0.

Anthony Vega rounded out the scoring for the Flock in the eighth with a two-out solo home run over the wall in right off reliever Kyler Newby. Long Island finished the night with 14 hits in the game, as eight of their nine batters registering at least one hit and five turning in multi-hit performances. Krauss led the way with three hits, while Alfonzo, Ford, Burg and Elmer Reyes each added two.

GAME THREE HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

For the second night in a row, the Ducks will send a Jake to the mound. Jake Dunning will start for the Flock in Game Four of the LDCS, as he makes his first postseason start in a Ducks uniform. The right-hander made 14 appearances (seven starts) with the Ducks in 2017, compiling a 2-3 record with a 3.64 ERA and 43 strikeouts to 14 walks in 49 and one-third innings. He tossed six scoreless innings against the Bridgeport Bluefish on September 10 and began his final outing of the year with six innings of one-run ball on September 16 in Sugar Land. However, he was tagged for three runs in the seventh that caused him to take the loss in a 5-3 defeat. Dunning worked out of a bases loaded, no-out jam in the second to allow just one run on a groundout. In the seventh though, he surrendered back-to-back singles and a two-run triple by Joe Benson. The bullpen then conceded two more runs. Tonight will be the former big leaguer’s first-ever outing against the Patriots.

Somerset will send Patrick Johnson to the mound, in need of a win to keep their season alive. The right-hander made seven appearances (five starts) with the Patriots and posted a 2-2 record with a 4.76 ERA and 28 strikeouts to eight walks in 22 and two-thirds innings. His ERA is a bit inflated from his second outing, where he allowed nine runs (eight earned) on seven hits in one and two-thirds innings to the York Revolution. However, since then, 29-year-old has given up only four runs over 20 innings across five games (1.80 ERA). In his last start, he allowed a run on four hits over five innings while striking out five in a 9-2 win at Bridgeport in the regular season finale. Johnson has faced the Ducks just once, coming in his first outing with Somerset. He threw a scoreless inning as the starter in game one of a doubleheader on August 16 but gave up two walks and hit a batter in the frame.

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

#45 Jake Dunning – RHP

Somerset Patriots
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#8   Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
#19 Olmo Rosario – RF
#40 Kyle Roller – DH
#14 David Vidal – 3B
#5   D’Vontrey Richardson – CF
#13 Carlos Guzman – 1B
#4   Yovan Gonzalez – C
#15 Justin Trapp – 2B

#34 Patrick Johnson – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

UPDATE (7:21): END 1: Both pitchers work a scoreless first inning to begin Game Four.

UPDATE (7:42): BOT 2: Jake Dunning escapes a second-and-third, no-out jam to keep Somerset off the scoreboard! A 5-4-3 double play ends the inning!

UPDATE (7:57): TOP 3: A bunt single coupled with a fielding error scores Delta Cleary Jr., and Giovanny Alfonzo delivers an RBI single! Ducks take a 2-0 lead!

UPDATE (8:07): BOT 3: Dunning escapes again! After allowing a pair of two-out singles, he strikes out Kyle Roller for the second time tonight!

UPDATE (8:46): END 5: Five scoreless innings thus far from Jake Dunning to protect Long Island’s 2-0 lead! He has struck out three.

UPDATE (9:00): TOP 6: Angelo Songco laces an RBI double to right-center, scoring Marc Krauss to extend the lead to 3-0!

UPDATE (9:17): BOT 6: Somerset gets on the scoreboard thanks to a two-out infield single from Carlos Guzman. Ducks lead is now 3-1.

UPDATE (10:11): BOT 8: Somerset rallies for a pair of two-out runs to tie up the ballgame. 3-3 as we head to the ninth.

UPDATE (10:40): BALLGAME OVER! Ducks score in the top of the ninth and win it 4-3! They take the series 3-1 and are the 2017 Liberty Division champions!!

Game 140: Ducks at Skeeters

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The Ducks wrap up the 2017 regular season on Sunday afternoon in Texas

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

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

TODAY’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks (37-32; 73-66) close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon with the rubber game of their three-game series against the Sugar Land Skeeters (36-33; 66-73). Long Island clinched the Second Half Liberty Division title and a postseason berth on Saturday night thanks to a 5-2 loss by the Bridgeport Bluefish against the Somerset Patriots. Sugar Land was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday night. Today is the 20th and final meeting of the year between the Ducks and Skeeters, with Long Island holding a 10-9 advantage.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: 

The Ducks dropped the middle game of their three-game series to the Sugar Land Skeeters by a 5-3 margin but clinched a playoff berth in the process thanks to Bridgeport’s loss to Somerset.

The Second Half Liberty Division champions earned their seventh second half division title in team history and first since 2013, as well as their 12th half-season title overall. This marks their third consecutive trip to the playoffs and 12th in team history, all coming in the past 14 seasons. Long Island will be seeking its sixth Division Championship and fourth Atlantic League title in franchise history.

In Saturday’s game, the Ducks opened the scoring in the first inning. Giovanny Alfonzo singled to open the game and eventually scored when Marc Krauss hit a grounder to first. Travis Scott’s throw was dropped by Kevin Ahrens at second base to ensure Alfonzo would score on the play. Sugar Land answered in the second to tie the game at one, as they loaded the bases with nobody out against Jake Dunning. However, all they could muster was a groundout to first by Wilfredo Rodriguez that scored Scott.

Both starter locked in a pitcher’s duel from that point on. Mitch Talbot tossed six innings of one-run ball for the Skeeters, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out eight. Dunning (2-3) gave up just one run over his first six innings while striking out five. He came back out for the seventh though and ran into trouble.

Following back-to-back one-out singles by Anthony Giansanti and Rodriguez, Joe Benson lined a two-run triple down the right field line to give the Skeeters the lead. A passed ball on a pitch by Rob Rogers allowed Benson to score Sugar Land’s fourth run, and a two-out RBI double by Cole Gillespie made it a 5-1 game. Dunning was charged with three runs in the inning, while Dustin Richardson, who came in for a fourth consecutive game and walked Caleb Ramsey, was charged with the other.

Long Island nearly rallied back in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Jordan Hinshaw drew a leadoff walk against Scott Maine, and Angelo Songco launched a two-run home run two batters later to close the gap to 5-3. However, Felipe Paulino came in and struck out pinch-hitter Audie Afenir and Delta Cleary Jr. to end the game.

POSTGAME INTERVIEWS:

ON THE MOUND:

Tyler Levine will take the mound for the Ducks in the series finale. The right-hander is looking to bounce back from his most difficult start of the year back on September 1 against New Britain. He allowed four home runs in the outing and surrendered 11 runs on 11 hits in four innings to take the loss. 10 of the 11 runs came on the homers. Overall, Levine is 3-2 with a 6.05 ERA in 22 games (seven starts). Today will be his fifth appearance of the season but first start against the Skeeters. He has a 1-0 record and a 5.06 ERA against Sugar Land, allowing five runs (three earned) on 10 hits in five and one-third innings.

Long Island will get its first look at Alberto Rodriguez, who makes the start in the season finale for the Skeeters. The right-hander has a 2.70 ERA through two starts with the Skeeters but has picked up a no-decision in both. He went five innings in his most recent outing on September 10 in New Britain, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts in a 7-3 win for the Skeeters. The Cuba native began the year with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association and went 5-7 with a 3.39 ERA and 95 strikeouts to 51 walks in 21 games (13 starts). He spent two previous seasons (2014-15) with rookie-level Idaho Falls in the Kansas City Royals organization.

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.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 2B
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#26 Angelo Songco – 1B
#34 Marc Krauss – DH
#30 Ruben Gotay – 3B
#19 Derrick Pyles – RF
#24 Audie Afenir – C
#28 Jordan Hinshaw – LF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#18 Tyler Levine – RHP

Sugar Land Skeeters
#7   Josh Prince – 2B
#33 Caleb Ramsey – 1B
#11 Cole Gillespie – CF
#15 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#21 Anthony Giansanti – DH
#9   Wilfredo Rodriguez – C
#5   Joe Benson – RF
#18 Dickie Thon – LF
#12 Carlos Hughes – SS

#27 Alberto Rodriguez – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

UPDATE (2:26): BOT 1: Skeeters get a run on a sac fly by Anthony Giansanti, but Tyler Levine record three straight outs after allowing three singles.

UPDATE (2:44): BOT 2: Levine strikes out the side in the second, getting Benson and Hughes swinging and Prince looking!

UPDATE (3:03): BOT 3: A two-out RBI double by Wilfredo Rodriguez extends the Skeeters’ lead to 2-0.

UPDATE (3:41): BOT 5: Back-to-back scoreless innings for Levine, who has allowed just two runs over five. Skeeters still hold a 2-0 lead.

UPDATE (3:58): BOT 6: Patrick Crider comes into the game and retires Sugar Land 1-2-3 in the sixth!

UPDATE (4:28): BOT 7: A two-run home run to right field by Caleb Ramsey doubles Sugar Land’s lead to 4-0.

UPDATE (4:45): TOP 8: Ducks have closed to within two on an RBI double by Delta Cleary Jr. & an RBI single by Angelo Songco! Two on and two out in the frame.

UPDATE (5:03): BOT 8: Sac flies from Dickie Thon and Caleb Ramsey restore the four-run advantage for Sugar Land at 6-2.

UPDATE (5:11): FINAL: Skeeters hang on for the 6-2 victory. We’ll see you at Bethpage Ballpark on Wednesday night for Game One of the playoffs!

Game 139: Ducks at Skeeters

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Jake Dunning takes the mound for Long Island on Saturday (Photo courtesy Joe Doll)

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

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

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks (37-31; 73-65) play the middle game of their three-game series against the Sugar Land Skeeters (35-33; 65-73), the penultimate game of the regular season. Long Island’s lead over the Bridgeport Bluefish for first place in the second half Liberty Division standings still stands at two games. Sugar Land was officially eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday night. Tonight is the 19th meeting of the year between the Ducks and Skeeters, with Long Island holding a 10-8 advantage.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: 

It was a tale of two games at Constellation Field on Friday night, as the Ducks overcame a 4-0 deficit after six innings for an 8-4 victory in the series opener.

Sugar Land controlled the first two-thirds of the ballgame behind starter Patrick Mincey. The right-hander limited the Ducks to just four singles and a walk over six innings and struck out three batters. Meanwhile, Sugar Land jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the first four innings against Ducks starter Matt Marsh. Travis Scott’s RBI single and Bryan Pounds’ RBI double opened the scoring in the first inning. Scott added a solo homer to right in the third, and Caleb Ramsey came home on a wild pitch in the fourth to extend the lead to four.

The Skeeters went to their bullpen in the seventh, calling upon southpaw Scott Maine. Ruben Gotay and Angelo Songco singled with one out, and Delta Cleary Jr. picked up a two-out single. Julio DePaula was brought into the game, but Dan Lyons beat out a weak grounder for an infield single that put the Ducks on the scoreboard. Giovanny Alfonzo followed with a two-run single to center, and Elmer Reyes delivered an RBI single to left-center that tied the game at four.

After Dustin Richardson (2-4) worked out of a first-and-second, one-out jam in the seventh, Andrew Johnston (2-5) came into the game for Sugar Land in the eighth. Following a leadoff single and a one-out intentional walk, Alex Burg hit a grounder up the middle that caromed off second base to score Marc Krauss with the go-ahead run. Cleary Jr. followed with a dribbler to third that couldn’t be handled by Pounds, scoring pinch-runner Jordan Hinshaw to stretch the lead to 6-4.

Chris Treibt took over in the ninth inning and promptly allowed a walk to Lew Ford and a double to Krauss. He would strike out the next two hitters before giving way to Manny Corpas. The move didn’t work, as Burg beat out a slow roller to third that plated Long Island’s seventh run. Cleary Jr. followed with an RBI single to right-center that rounded out the scoring for the Flock.

Tyler Wilson came on to record the final three outs of the game in the ninth. His effort capped a night in which the Ducks’ bullpen combined to pitch four scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two.

HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

Saturday night’s starter will be Jake Dunning for the Ducks. The right-hander comes in with a record of 2-2 with a 3.37 ERA in 13 games (six starts). He was terrific in his most recent outing, tossing six scoreless innings last Sunday against the Bluefish. He gave up just four hits and three walks while striking out five batters but took a no-decision when Bridgeport rallied late. Tonight will be Dunning’s second start and third appearance of the season against Sugar Land but first time pitching at Constellation Field. He is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA against the Skeeters, with the lone start coming on August 23 at Bethpage Ballpark. The former big leaguer gave up six runs (four earned) on nine hits in six innings during that outing.

Meanwhile, former Duck Mitch Talbot will get the start for the Skeeters. The right-hander has a 9-3 record and a 3.11 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) for Sugar Land this season. He won his most recent start last Saturday on the road against New Britain, pitching six innings of one-run ball and allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out eight. The former big leaguer has won each of his past three starts, combining to give up only two runs in 20 innings on nine hits and four walks with 18 strikeouts. Talbot has started twice against the Ducks and is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA, yielding four runs in 11 innings. He allowed three runs in five innings on June 26 in Sugar Land and pitched six innings of one-run ball at Bethpage Ballpark on August 24.

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

#45 Jake Dunning – RHP

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

#24 Mitch Talbot – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

UPDATE (6:24): TOP 1: Ducks take an early 1-0 lead on a fielder’s choice by Marc Krauss coupled with a fielding error that scores Giovanny Alfonzo!

UPDATE (6:49): BOT 2: Skeeters plate a run following a pair of bloop singles on an RBI groundout from Wilfredo Rodriguez. We’re all tied at one.

UPDATE (7:22): BOT 4: Dan Lyons starts an inning-ending 6-3 double play to retire the Skeeters. Still a 1-1 game after four.

UPDATE (7:56): BOT 6: Pitcher’s duel continuing between Jake Dunning and Mitch Talbot. Six innings complete, with the score all even at one.

UPDATE (8:20): Skeeters score four in the seventh to take a 5-1 lead.

UPDATE (8:57): FINAL: Angelo Songco hits his 24th homer of the year in the ninth, but the Ducks drop the game to the Skeeters 5-3.

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