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End of an Era

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

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

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

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

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

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

2013 ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

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

2015 LIBERTY DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

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

2016 LIBERTY DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

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

2017 LIBERTY DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

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

2018 LIBERTY DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

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

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

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

Long Island Ducks: Team of the Decade

Ducks-Three-Titles

The 2019 season represented many things for the Long Island Ducks and the Atlantic League. It was the 20th Anniversary Season for the Flock, one that saw the franchise reach the 8 Millionth Fan milestone off the field and set a franchise record for wins in a single-season on the field. The year also represented a landmark partnership agreed upon between the Atlantic League and Major League Baseball, highlighted by the implementation of the Automatic Ball-Strike System (ABS). For the first time in professional baseball games, balls and strikes would be determined electronically. Additionally, a host of playing rule changes and equipment initiatives were also debuted league-wide.

Another thing 2019 also represented was the end of the decade. The stretch of 10 seasons from 2010 to 2019 ended when the final out was made during the Atlantic League Championship Series, and what a memorable stretch it was for many of the league’s clubs. As periods of time come to a close, it offers fans, staffs and media the opportunity to look back on what has come and gone and determine who or what stood out from all that took place.

In the case of determining the Atlantic League’s Team of the Decade, there is no question the 2019 postseason had a major impact on determining who could hold that title. Three of the four teams in the playoffs were the Ducks, the Sugar Land Skeeters and the York Revolution. Each one had a legitimate case for why they should be the Team of the Decade, and it appeared at the outset of the playoffs that if any of the three won it all, they would be the most likely to hold the honor. Well, when Cody Mincey’s ninth-inning fastball to Juan Silverio was swung on and missed, the Long Island Ducks officially claimed the Atlantic League Championship and unofficially earned the Team of the Decade billing.

First, here’s a breakdown of the entire decade, including which teams won each half, wild card berths (if necessary), division champions and league champions:

2010-Decade-Chart

If just going by how many times a team’s logo shows up on the chart, here is the full count:

Long Island Ducks: 20
York Revolution: 13
Sugar Land Skeeters: 13
Somerset Patriots: 12
Lancaster Barnstormers: 8
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs: 7
Bridgeport Bluefish: 2
High Point Rockers: 1

Now, Let’s look at each of the top three teams and why each one had strong cases for the honor:

LID

Atlantic League Championships: 3 (2012, 2013, 2019)
Division Championships: 7 (2011-13, 2016-19)
Half-Season Championships: 9 (First Half – 2011, 2012, 2016, 2019; Second Half – 2011, 2013, 2017-19)
Playoff Berths: 8 (2011-13, 2015-19)

SLS'

Atlantic League Championships: 2 (2016, 2018)
Division Championships: 4 (2014, 2016, 2018, 2019)
Half-Season Championships: 7 (First Half – 2013, 2018, 2019; Second Half – 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018)
Playoff Berths: 5 (2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019)

YRK

Atlantic League Championships: 3 (2010, 2011, 2017)
Division Championships: 3 (2010, 2011, 2017)
Half-Season Championships: 7 (First Half – 2010, 2014, 2016, Second Half – 2011, 2012, 2017, 2019)
Playoff Berths: 7 (2010-12, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019)

To win a championship, you first need to earn a spot in the Atlantic League playoffs. Though 50% of the league’s clubs earn a spot in the postseason, the task still is a challenge for many teams given the ever-changing rosters and grind that come with a 126 or 140-game slate. In the case of the Ducks, the franchise earned a playoff berth in eight of the 10 seasons played in the decade, a feat no one else has accomplished. The only two misses were in 2010, when the team went 70-68, and 2014, when the team went 73-67. In fact, the Ducks posted an overall regular season winning record in eight of the 10 seasons as well. On two separate occasions (2011 and 2019), the Ducks won both the first and second half of the Atlantic League’s regular season. Sugar Land also accomplished the feat twice (2013 and 2018), as did the Somerset Patriots (2014 and 2015). However, neither of those two reached the Atlantic League Championship Series on both occasions. The Ducks did.

Next, we move to the divisional round of the postseason, another area in which the Ducks saw tremendous success during the decade. They say you can’t spell “Liberty” without “Li”, and Long Island essentially laid claim to the division in the 2010’s. After missing the playoff during the decade’s first year, the Ducks reeled off three consecutive Liberty Division Championships from 2011 to 2013. In each of those three years, the Flock dispatched the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the first round of the postseason, earning a combined nine wins in 12 playoff games between the two. Then, after a playoff miss in 2014 and a five-game series loss to Somerset in 2015, Long Island went on to win four consecutive Division Championships from 2016 to 2019. In doing so, they became the first team in the Atlantic League’s 22-year history to win four straight division titles. The first three of those came in incredibly dramatic series against Somerset while the fourth took place against the expansion High Point Rockers.

During the decade, the Ducks posted a combined 23-11 record during Liberty Division Championship Series play. They won the division in seven of the 10 seasons during the decade, while Sugar Land claimed a division title in just four and York in just three. Despite York holding the smallest number of division titles among the trio, they do have a perfect record when it comes to going on and winning the Atlantic League Championship Series.

Ultimately, success in sports always seems to come down to winning the ultimate prize. In this case, that’s the Atlantic League Championship. In the 10 ALPB titles decided during the decade, the trio of Long Island, Sugar Land and York accounted for eight of them, with Lancaster (2014) and Somerset (2015) accounting for the other two. Of the three teams with multiple titles during the decade, Sugar Land has won twice while Long Island and York have each won three times. On one hand, the Revolution never lost an Atlantic League Championship Series that they played in. On another hand, they appeared in just three of them while Long Island appeared in seven. Sugar Land has won 50% of the four ALCS appearances they have made.

At the end of the day, assuming we give a team one point for a half-season title or wild card spot, two for a division championship and three for a league championship, here is the breakdown among the top three teams:

Long Island Ducks: 33 points (10+14+9)
York Revolution: 22 points (7+6+9)
Sugar Land Skeeters: 21 points (7+8+6)

The debate can go on among the fan bases of all three teams, and others, as to which should claim the highest honor over the past 10 seasons. There are a host of other accomplishments among the teams, between player contracts purchased, players reaching the Major Leagues, attendance milestones, post-season awards, and so on. Teams have also battled quite closely in terms of regular season won-loss records over those 10 seasons as well. However, when looking at the most important on-field success factors, including playoff berths, division championships and ALPB titles, it’s hard to argue against the Long Island Ducks as the Team of the Decade.

2019 Game 119: Ducks vs. Patriots

Frias-Batting-8-31-19Ducks look to complete sweep of the Patriots on Sunday

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

1:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark (Central Islip, N.Y.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks and the Somerset Patriots meet in the final game of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon. The Ducks hold the all-time series and season series lead over the Patriots, posting 193-188 and 11-7 records respectively.  Long Island has the edge for games played at Bethpage Ballpark with a 102-91 record.  In the previous series between the two teams at Bethpage Ballpark, which occurred in mid-August, both teams won two games.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: 

The Ducks defeated the Patriots by a score of 3-0 on Saturday night at Bethpage Ballpark.

In Saturday’s low-scoring affair, the Ducks scored their first two runs in the bottom of the third inning.  Vladimir Frias hit an RBI single that scored Daniel Fields, and several batters later, D’Arby Myers scored on a 4-6-3 double play by Hector Sanchez.  In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Ducks scored one more run on an RBI single by Sanchez.

Brandon Beachy (4-0) took the mound for Long Island on Saturday and picked up his fourth win in four starts.  The Ducks’ right-hander pitched five and two-thirds scoreless innings, only allowing three hits while striking out five.  Anderson DeLeon pitched two and one-third innings of scoreless relief, and Pedro Beato recorded his seventh save of the season.  Tyler Cloyd (0-2) started for Somerset and picked up the loss after tossing six innings and allowing two runs on six hits while recording two strikeouts.

YESTERDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

Darin Downs will take the mound for the Ducks, making his 19th start of the season.  The Ducks’ southpaw possesses a 3-3 record with a team-leading 2.71 ERA and 120 strikeouts across 96 and one-third innings pitched.  Downs has started three times against Somerset thus far.  On June 19, Downs picked up the loss, pitching three innings and allowing two runs on six hits while recording four strikeouts.  On June 29, Downs did not factor into the decision, pitching six innings and allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out eight.  On August 20, Downs did not factor into the decision, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven batters across six innings pitched.  In his last start, which came on August 26 against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Downs did not factor into the decision, pitching six innings and allowing two runs (none were earned) on four hits while striking out 11 batters.

Rick Teasley will start for the Patriots, making his 14th start of the season.  The Patriots’ southpaw possesses a 5-2 record with a 3.75 ERA and 53 strikeouts across 74 and one-third innings pitched.  Teasley has started twice against Long Island thus far.  On July 26, Teasley pitched nine perfect innings before losing in extra innings, and on August 22, Teasley picked up the win after tossing seven innings of one-run baseball.  In his last start, which came on August 27 against the Lancaster Barnstormers, Teasley did not factor into the decision, pitching seven innings and allowing one run on six hits while recording seven strikeouts.

FOLLOW ALONG:

Fans can follow all the action for today’s game, and every Ducks game in 2019, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming HD video and audio via BoxCast will be available on the team’s official Facebook page through Facebook Live, on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel and at LIDucks.com in the Ducks Video Center on the homepage. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a live account of today’s game via the Atlantic League website by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: 

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

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#14 D’Arby Myers – CF
#1   Vladimir Frias – SS
#20 Lew Ford – LF
#2   L.J. Mazzilli – DH
#21 Deibinson Romero – 3B
#30 David Washington – RF
#9   John Apostolo – 2B
#46 Clint Freeman – 1B
#57 Nick Garland – C

#23 Darin Downs – LHP

Somerset Patriots
#8   Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
#5   Teodoro Martinez – LF
#7   Will Kengor – 1B
#53 Edwin Espinal – DH
#34 Michael Ohlman – C
#38 Jimmy Paredes – RF
#22 Michael Crouse – CF
#21 Rey Navarro – 3B
#2   Scott Kelly – 2B

#37 Rick Teasley – LHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

MID 1: Darin Downs retires the Patriots in order to start things off here at Bethpage Ballpark!

MID 2: Another 1-2-3 inning from Downs!
B2: Clint Freeman laces a two-run single to right-center field to give the Ducks the lead!
Long Island ahead 2-0!
T4: The Patriots score their first run of the game on an RBI single.
Ducks lead 2-1.
B4: WASHINGTON IS BACK!
David Washington launches his first home run, a two-run shot to left, since returning from the DL!
Nick Garland also added sacrifice fly later in the inning!
Ducks lead 5-1!
T5: Somerset drives in two with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single.
Long Island leads 5-3.
T7: The Patriots add another, this time scoring on an RBI single.
Ducks lead 5-4.
B7: Deibinson Romero rockets a two-run home run to left field as he extends the Ducks lead to 7-4!
FINAL: Cody Mincey completes the six-out save, his first save of the season!
Ducks win 7-4!

2019 Game 117: Ducks vs. Patriots

Sanchez-Batting-8-29-19Ducks look to win the first game of the series against Somerset at home

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

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

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks and the Somerset Patriots meet in the first game of their three-game series on Friday night. The Ducks hold the all-time series and season series lead over the Patriots, posting 191-188 and 9-7 records respectively.  Long Island has the edge for games played at Bethpage Ballpark with a 100-91 record.  In the previous series between the two teams at Bethpage Ballpark, which occurred in mid-August, both teams won two games.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: 

The Ducks were defeated by the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in ten innings by a score of 2-1 on Thursday night at Bethpage Ballpark.

The game remained scoreless until the top of the seventh inning when Charlie Valerio hit a solo home run, his 11th of the season, that gave the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead.  However, Long Island would tie the game in the bottom of the ninth inning thanks to an RBI single by Hector Sanchez that scored D’Arby Myers, who was the pinch-runner for Lew Ford.  In the top of the tenth inning, the Blue Crabs would score the go-ahead run when Rubi Silva scored on a wild pitch by Ducks closer Pedro Beato.  In the bottom of the tenth inning, Daniel Fields, who was the pinch-runner for Deibinson Romero, attempted to score on a ground ball by Ramon Cabrera, but was tagged out at home.  With two outs and a runner on first base, Clint Freeman hit a groundout to end the game.

Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision.  Joe Iorio was the Ducks’ starter, allowing one run on six hits while striking out seven batters across seven strong innings.  Beato (3-3) picked up the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the tenth inning.  Daryl Thompson started for Southern Maryland, tossing eight and two-thirds innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out three.  Mat Latos (4-4) picked up the win despite earning a blown save after allowing the RBI single in the ninth inning.  Latos was able to pitch a 1-2-3 tenth inning to preserve the win for the Blue Crabs.

ON THE MOUND:

Vin Mazzaro will start for Long Island on Friday night, making his seventh start (36th appearance) of the season.  The right-hander possesses a 7-4 record with a 4.46 ERA and 54 strikeouts across 68 and two-thirds innings pitched.  Mazzaro has made three relief appearances and one start against Somerset thus far.  In his three relief appearances (June 12, June 18, June 20, and June 28), Mazzaro pitched four scoreless innings, allowing four hits while striking out three batters.  In his only start against the Patriots, which came on August 19, Mazzaro picked up the win, allowing five runs on 11 hits while striking out four batters across five innings pitched.  In his last start, which came on August 25 against the New Britain Bees, Mazzaro picked up the win, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs on five hits while recording three strikeouts.

Zack Dodson will take the mound for Somerset, making his fourth start of the season.  The southpaw possesses a 1-1 record with a 3.26 ERA and 10 strikeouts across 19 and one-third innings pitched.  Dodson has made one start against Long Island thus far.  On August 20 at Bethpage Ballpark, Dodson did not factor into the decision, tossing seven and one-third innings and allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out only one batter.  In his last start, which came on August 25 against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Dodson picked up the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out three batters across six innings pitched.

FOLLOW ALONG:

Fans can follow all the action for today’s game, and every Ducks game in 2019, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming HD video and audio via BoxCast will be available on the team’s official Facebook page through Facebook Live, on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel and at LIDucks.com in the Ducks Video Center on the homepage. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a live account of today’s game via the Atlantic League website by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: 

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

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#14 D’Arby Myers – RF
#15 Rey Fuentes – CF
#2   L.J. Mazzilli – LF
#37 Hector Sanchez – DH
#21 Deibinson Romero – 3B
#30 David Washington – 1B
#1   Vladimir Frias – SS
#38 Ramon Cabrera – C
#9   John Apostolo – 2B

#34 Vin Mazzaro – RHP

Somerset Patriots
#8   Alfredo Rodriguez – SS
#5   Teodoro Martinez – LF
#7   Will Kengor – 3B
#53 Edwin Espinal – 1B
#38 Jimmy Paredes – DH
#25 Craig Massey – 2B
#22 Michael Crouse – CF
#4   Yovan Gonzalez – C
#2   Scott Kelly – LF

#32 Zack Dodson – LHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

B3: PATOS POWER!
After the Patriots strike first with three runs in the top of the inning, Long Island bounces back with five runs of their own!
An RBI double for L.J. Mazzilli, a two-run single from Hector Sanchez and a two-run blast by Deibinson Romero!
Patos lead 5-3!
B4: Los Patos pick up another run as heads up base running allows Vladimir Frias to score from second on a fielding error!
Los Patos lead 6-3!
B5: VIVA LOS PATOS!
Deibinson Romero lines an RBI double to left to extend the Long Island advantage to 7-3!
T7: A leadoff home run and an RBI ground out plate two runs for Somerset.
Los Patos lead 7-5.
B7: Back-to-back two-out doubles from Romero and David Washington give Long Island some insurance!
Los Patos in front 8-5!

2019 Game 109: Ducks vs. Patriots

Sherman-Pitching-8-21-19.jpgDucks look to rebound from their defeat to the Patriots on Wednesday

GAME TIME/LOCATION:

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

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP:

The Long Island Ducks and the Somerset Patriots play the final game of their four-game series at Bethpage Ballpark on Thursday night.  Long Island possesses a 9-6 season lead on Somerset, including a 4-2 lead for games played at Bethpage Ballpark.  In the all-time series, the Ducks lead 191-187 overall, which includes 100-90 lead at Bethpage Ballpark.  The Ducks carry a one and one-half game lead on the High Point Rockers in the second half standings and look to extend that lead with a win on Thursday night at home.

YESTERDAY’S GAME RECAP:

In a rain-delayed contest, the Long Island Ducks were defeated by the Somerset Patriots by a score of 10-3 on Wednesday night at Bethpage Ballpark.

Prior to the rain delay, the Patriots scored one run on a bases loaded walk by Gabriel Bracamonte.  After the top of the first inning, the rain began to fall and the tarp was placed on the field.  The delay lasted exactly one hour.

After play was resumed, Somerset scored another run on a second bases loaded walk, this time by Craig Massey.  The Ducks responded in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by L.J. Mazzilli, but Long Island failed to score anymore runs that inning.  In the top of the fifth inning, Somerset extended their lead to three runs on an RBI triple by Massey and a solo home run by Teodoro Martinez, his fourth of the season.

In the bottom of the sixth, there were signs of life shown by the Ducks when Hector Sanchez hit an RBI single, but Somerset would answer with a sacrifice fly by Massey, making the score 5-2 in favor of the Patriots.  In the eighth inning, Will Kengor scored on an error committed by Ducks shortstop Vladimir Frias, Bracamonte hit a two-run single, and Massey hit a two-run double to extend the Patriots’ lead to 10-2.  In the bottom of the eighth, Lew Ford hit an RBI single that made the score 10-3, but that would be all for Long Island on Wednesday.

Seth Simmons (6-8) started for the Ducks and picked up the loss in the process.  The Ducks’ right-hander pitched five innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits while walking six and striking out four.  Ducks infielder John Apostolo pitched the ninth inning and did not allow a single baserunner.

Tyler Cloyd was Somerset’s starting pitcher on Wednesday and did not factor into the decision.  The right-hander pitched four innings and allowed one run on two hits while recording four strikeouts.  James Pugliese (4-1) picked up the win for the Patriots, pitching two innings of one-run relief.

YESTERDAY’S HIGLIGHTS:

ON THE MOUND:

Brian Matusz will start for Long Island, making his fourth start of the season.  The southpaw possesses a 0-1 record with a 3.86 ERA and nine strikeouts across 14 innings pitched thus far.  Matusz has not yet faced the Patriots in his career.  In his last start, which came on August 16 against the High Point Rockers, Matusz picked up the loss, pitching four innings and allowing three runs on three hits while recording three strikeouts.

Rick Teasley will take the mound for Somerset, making his 12th start of the season.  The southpaw possesses a 4-2 record with a 4.48 ERA and 43 strikeouts across 60 and one-third innings pitched thus far.  Teasley has made one start against the Ducks this season.  On July 26 in Somerset, Teasley pitched nine perfect innings, although the Ducks won the game 1-0 in extra innings.  In his last start, which came on August 17 against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Teasley picked up the loss, tossing four innings and allowing eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits while striking out three batters.

FOLLOW ALONG: 

Fans can follow all the action for today’s game, and every Ducks game in 2019, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming HD video and audio via BoxCast will be available on the team’s official Facebook page through Facebook Live, on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel and at LIDucks.com in the Ducks Video Center on the homepage. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a live account of today’s game via the Atlantic League website by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: 

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

STARTING LINEUPS:

Long Island Ducks
#14 D’Arby Myers – LF
#15 Rey Fuentes – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#2   L.J. Mazzilli – 2B
#21 Deibinson Romero – 3B
#1   Vladimir Frias – SS
#29 Daniel Fields – RF
#38 Ramon Cabrera – C
#9   John Apostolo – 1B

#28 Brian Matusz – LHP

Somerset Patriots
#7   Will Kengor – 3B
#1   Justin Pacchioli – RF
#53 Edwin Espinal – 1B
#34 Michael Ohlman – C
#22 Michael Crouse – CF
#38 Jimmy Paredes – DH
#21 Rey Navarro – 2B
#5   Teodoro Martinez – LF
#8   Alfredo Rodriguez – SS

#37 Rick Teasley – LHP


LIVE GAME UPDATES:

T1: The Patriots jump out in front early with a two-out solo home run.
Ducks trail 1-0.
T3: Somerset adds two more runs with an RBI double and a run-scoring single.
Ducks trail 3-0.
T5: Two more runs in for the Patriots thanks to a two-run double.
Long Island trails 5-0.
T6: The Patriots tack on two more runs with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single.
Ducks trail 7-0.
T8: Clint Freeman gets out of a first-and-second, no-out jam.
B8: The Flock get on the board thanks to a Deibinson Romero two-run double!
Ducks trail 7-2.
B8: Long Island gets one more run thanks to a Ramon Cabrera RBI single!
Ducks trail 7-3.
FINAL (8): Somerset 7 – Long Island 3
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