From the desk of: WEBBED SPIKES
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Sweep Series; Up Division Lead to 3.5 Games. Now Waiting For Sharks To Enter The Pond.
Starting Pitcher MIKE LOREE Adds To Already Impressive Numbers.
In sun splashed Bethpage Park, the Atlantic League's top hurler breezed by the Road Warriors today with the top down. Ducks' starting pitcher Mike Loree picked up where he left off in his last start which was a three hit, nine strikeout win over Lancaster that upped his record to 6-1.
Today, he followed up that performance with another equally strong outing.
Mike Loree posted seven rather dominant innings in allowing the Road Warriors a scant 3 hits on the day, while striking out another nine batters, against only one walk. He now leads the Atlantic League with seven wins versus only one loss. His League leading ERA dropped from 2.12 to 1.82 after today's game.
He upped his League high 48 strikeouts to 57 with his second straight 9-K performance. In his last two appearances against the Road Warriors, he struck out 19 batters. Ten of those came in his last outing against them four starts ago. Over those last four starts, he has 30 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched.
The Ducks gave Loree a 1-0 lead in the first inning off a Ray Navarrete double and a single by Matt Padgett to drive Ray home. In the second, Long Island picked up two more. Kraig Binick was hit by a pitch. Dan Lyons drove him home with an RBI triple to right. Then Kennard Jones singled to knock in Lyons for a 3-1 Ducks lead.
In the home fourth, Kennard Jones hit his own triple to right. Ray Navarrete; who was 3 for 5 for the game; drove Jones home with a single.
Two more runs in the seventh inning and this game was a wrap. An RBI single by Freddie Thon and a Dan Lyons' RBI single capped off Long Islands' Father's Day win and series sweep over the Road Warriors.
Jeremy Hill and Bob Zimmermann pitched a scoreless inning each in relief of Mike Loree to finish the game.
For the Ducks', this was their division leading twenty-ninth win versus fifteen losses. The South Maryland Blue Crabs lost another game to the Somerset Patriots today by a score of 11-6 which drops them 3.5 games behind the Ducks now. Bridgeport, whom I thought would leapfrog over the Crabs remain six games back of Long Island; hovering around .500 with a 23-21 record.
Now winners of their last three games, the Ducks host a series against the Liberty Division's last place club; Camden River Sharks starting Monday evening.