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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!!

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Game #109: Ducks at Patriots

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The sun shines prior to game two of the day and three of the series in New Jersey

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

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

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks (23-15; 59-49) look to sweep a day/night doubleheader and earn a series victory over the Somerset Patriots (18-19; 60-47) in game two of the twin bill. This game will be slated for nine innings, after Long Island took the opener 7-3 in seven. The Ducks have won the first six games of their road trip and 12 consecutive games overall, tying the franchise record set from July 5-20 of 2006. Long Island also leads the season series between the two teams 10-8, with both sides splitting the eight meetings thus far in New Jersey. This will be the final series between the two teams during the 2017 regular season.

GAME ONE RECAP: 

Another great start and some power from the Flock helped the Ducks take the matinee of the doubleheader by a 7-3 margin.

Long Island fell behind 1-0 in the first inning when Alfredo Rodriguez singled and eventually moved to third on a hit by pitch and a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Olmo Rosario attempted to steal second base. When Audie Afenir threw towards second, Rodriguez broke for the plate. Ducks starter Matt Larkins intercepted the throw, causing Rodriguez to stop, but when Larkins lost the handle on the ball, Rodriguez broke home to score on the error.

The Ducks took over from there though and grabbed their first lead in the third inning against reliever A.J. Achter (2-1), who had taken over after starter Patrick Johnson pitched just one inning. Delta Cleary Jr. began a three-hit day with a single and stole second base. Angelo Songco then delivered a one-out RBI single to tie the game at one. Two batters later, after Songco stole his first base of the year, Elmer Reyes smoked a double down the left field line to put the Flock in front.

In the fifth inning, Long Island would extend their 2-1 lead. Cleary Jr. singled to open the inning, and both Marc Krauss and Songco followed with walks. Connor Root settled down to strike out a pair of hitters, and he worked the count to 3-2 on Giovanny Alfonzo. The Ducks’ third baseman then drilled an opposite-field grand slam over the right field wall, Long Island’s first grand slam of the season, putting the Ducks ahead 6-1.

Carlos Guzman brought the Patriots to within three in the sixth when he lifted a two-run homer to right. However, Reyes pushed the lead back to four at 7-3 in the seventh when he led off the frame with a deep solo homer to left-center.

Larkins (7-6) turned in his second complete game of the road trip, as he pitched all seven innings for the Ducks. He allowed just five hits, four of which were singles, and one walk along the way. In addition, he set a career-high with 12 strikeouts, surpassing his previous high of 10 done on July 5 against Lancaster. After throwing a season-high 114 pitches on Thursday in Southern Maryland, Larkins threw 118 pitches on the afternoon, 79 of which were strikes.

HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

John Brownell will take the mound for the Ducks in Wednesday’s nightcap. The Ducks’ veteran comes in with an 8-3 record on the year and a 3.38 ERA in 18 starts. His last outing came back on August 3 in the final game before the start of Long Island’s current win streak. The right-hander allowed 10 hits and five runs (four earned) over five innings against Bridgeport while striking out two in an 8-2 defeat. Tonight will be Brownell’s third start of the year against the Patriots and 17th of his career. He has no record and a 3.75 ERA in two starts this season against them and a 2-2 record with a 4.09 ERA in 16 career starts vs. Somerset.

Efrain Nieves will counter for the Patriots on Wednesday evening. The southpaw has compiled a 2-2 record with a 3.50 ERA in 10 games (seven starts) this season. He most recently took the mound last Thursday at Lancaster and earned the win. The 27-year-old pitched six innings of one-run ball in the 9-3 victory, giving up just three hits and two walks while striking out four. Nieves has allowed two runs or less in four straight outings and three runs or less in six straight. Tonight will be his second start of the year against the Ducks. His first came on July 14 at Bethpage Ballpark, and he yielded a run on three hits and four walks over four innings with two strikeouts, taking a no-decision.

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

#7   John Brownell – RHP

Somerset Patriots
#8   Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
#15 Justin Trapp – LF
#1   Justin Pacchioli – CF
#40 Kyle Roller – DH
#19 Olmo Rosario – 3B
#13 Carlos Guzman – RF
#4   Yovan Gonzalez – C
#21 Adam Donachie – 1B
#2   Scott Kelly – 2B

#22 Efrain Nieves – LHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

 

UPDATE (7:14): TOP 1: Lew Ford connects for an opposite-field solo home run! His eighth longball of the year gives the Ducks a 1-0 lead!

UPDATE (7:23): BOT 1: John Brownell works around a leadoff double and turns in a scoreless inning to begin his night!

UPDATE (8:32): END 5: Brownell retires the side in order for the third straight inning! He’s set down 11 in a row and has six strikeouts!

UPDATE (8:45): TOP 6: Alex Burg shoots an opposite-field single to right, scoring Ruben Gotay! Ducks extend their lead to 2-0!

UPDATE (9:01): BOT 6: Somerset puts a four-spot on the scoreboard and takes the lead for the first time tonight at 4-2.

UPDATE (9:16): TOP 7: Marc Krauss cuts Somerset’s lead to one with a two-out RBI double to the right-center field gap! 4-3 ballgame.

UPDATE (9:31): BOT 7: Patriots get their two-run advantage back on a two-out RBI single by Justin Trapp following a walk and a hit by pitch. 5-3 game.

UPDATE (9:42): TOP 8: Burg crushes a two-run home run over the center field wall! His 10th longball of the season ties the ballgame at five!

UPDATE (9:52): BOT 8: Carlos Guzman connects for a two-run home run to put the Patriots back on top 7-5.

UPDATE (10:03): FINAL: Ducks drop game two of the twin bill 7-5 to Somerset. Time to start a new winning streak on Thursday night in the road trip finale.

Game #108: Ducks at Patriots

alvarez throwingThe Ducks look to build off of Henderson Alvarez’s strong start last night

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

11:05 a.m. at TD Bank Ballpark (Bridgewater, N.J.)

TODAY’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks (22-15; 58-49) kick off a long day of baseball with the opener of a day/night doubleheader against the Somerset Patriots (18-18; 60-46). Game one will be seven innings, while game two slated for nine. Long Island has won the first five games of their road trip and has now won 11 consecutive games overall. The Ducks also lead the season series between the two teams 9-8, though Somerset has won four of the seven meetings thus far in New Jersey. This will be the final series between the two teams during the 2017 regular season.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: 

In another dramatic pitcher’s duel between the division rivals, the Ducks held on for a 3-2 win to take Tuesday’s series opener at TD Bank Ballpark.

Henderson Alvarez (2-1) and David Kubiak (5-10) started the game for the Ducks and Patriots, respectively, and both pitched well in five innings. Kubiak’s only blemishes came in the first and fifth innings. The righty hit Quintin Berry to lead off the game and then walked Delta Cleary Jr. He bounced back with a flyout that was turned into a double play, but after getting ahead 0-2 on Marc Krauss, the Ducks’ left field launched a two-run home run to right field, his 16th of the year. In the fifth, Berry doubled with one out and then took off for third on a two-out stolen base attempt. The former big leaguer slid in safely, and when Adam Donachie’s throw went into left field, Berry scampered home for Long Island’s third run.

Alvarez surrendered just one run in his five innings of work, and it came in the second inning. Like Kubiak in the first, the righty allowed a walk and a hit by pitch to the first two batters of the inning. Mark Minicozzi grounded into a fielder’s choice, moving Kyle Roller to third, and Carlos Guzman followed with a sacrifice fly to left.

The Ducks and Patriots both got outstanding work from their bullpens. Patrick Crider and Keith Hessler each pitched a scoreless sixth. Rob Rogers and Dustin Antolin each worked around a baserunner for a scoreless seventh. Dennis O’Grady and Duane Below did the same in the eighth, yielding a leadoff single each. Justin Wright surrendered two walks in the ninth but did not allow a run.

That set the stage for the bottom of the ninth, when Amalio Diaz entered the game for the Ducks. After striking out Christian Marrero, he allowed a solo homer to Mark Minicozzi that trimmed Long Island’s lead to one. Diaz bounced back to strike out Guzman for the second out and got ahead 1-2 on Adam Donachie. However, he walked Donachie to put the tying run on base. After getting ahead 1-2 on Aharon Eggleston, the Patriots veteran then walked to represent the winning run at first. Alfredo Rodriguez came to the plate with a chance to win it and got ahead 3-1. He engaged in a nine-pitch at-bat before launching a deep drive to the left field wall. However, Krauss made a fabulous running catch and held on after smacking into the wall for the final out.

HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

Wednesday’s matinee will feature Matt Larkins on the mound for the Flock. The right-hander comes in with a 6-6 record on the season and a 3.87 ERA that’s good for ninth in the Atlantic League. He dazzled in his most recent outing, tossing his second complete game shutout of the season as the Ducks topped the Blue Crabs 1-0 in last Thursday’s road trip opener. The second-year Duck allowed just four hits and two walks in nine innings while striking out four, and he threw a season-high 114 pitches, 71 of which were strikes. Only one Southern Maryland runner, Jose Lozada in the sixth inning, reached third base in the game. Today will be Larkins’ fifth start of the year against Somerset, and he has compiled a 1-1 record with a 3.53 ERA thus far. In his two starts at TD Bank Ballpark, Larkins has surrendered just two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks in 12 and one-third innings of work, taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning on June 15.

The Patriots will counter with newcomer Patrick Johnson, who signed with the club on Tuesday. The righty comes to the Atlantic League for the first time after making one start on August 9 with the Miami Marlins’ Gulf Coast League affiliate. He gave up a run on one hit and one walk in one-third of an inning during the outing. Johnson was 8-7 with a 3.37 ERA in 31 games (21 starts) with the Marlins’ Double-A Affiliate in Jacksonville last year, and he spent the first three seasons of his career in the Colorado Rockies organization. The 29-year-old also has independent baseball experience, pitching with the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association in 2014 and 2015. In the latter of those two, he went 15-1 with a 2.08 ERA and three complete games in 20 starts.

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
#11 Anthony Vega – RF
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#26 Angelo Songco – DH
#19 Derrick Pyles – LF
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#24 Audie Afenir – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#44 Matt Larkins – RHP

Somerset Patriots
#8   Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
#15 Justin Trapp – 2B
#14 Christian Marrero – RF
#19 Olmo Rosario – 3B
#13 Carlos Guzman – DH
#32 Mark Minicozzi – 1B
#7    Greg Golson – CF
#91 Aharon Eggleston – LF
#21 Adam Donachie – C

#34   Patrick Johnson – RHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

UPDATE (11:44): BOT 1: Somerset scratches out the game’s first run on a fielding error that allows Alfredo Rodriguez to score.

UPDATE (12:15): TOP 3: An RBI single by Angelo Songco and a two-out RBI double by Elmer Reyes have put the Ducks on top 2-1!

UPDATE (12:43): BOT 4: Matt Larkins escapes a first-and-second, no-out jam, inducing a double play and striking out Greg Golson! Still 2-1 Long Island

UPDATE (12:59): TOP 5: Giovanny Alfonzo comes up clutch! He drills an 3-2, two-out pitch the opposite way for a grand slam! Ducks now lead 6-1!

UPDATE (1:34): BOT 6: Carlos Guzman lifts a two-run home run over the wall in right, cutting Long Island’s lead to 6-3.

UPDATE (1:46): TOP 7: Reyes launches his fourth home run of the season! The solo blast extends the Ducks’ advantage to 7-3!

UPDATE (1:54): FINAL: Larkins turns in his second complete game of the road trip & strikes out a career-high 12 batters! Ducks take game one 7-3! The Ducks have also now tied a franchise-record with their 12th consecutive victory, equaling their 12-game win streak July 5-20, 2006.

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