LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Taking on the Surging Bridgeport Bluefish After Dropping Two of Three to Lancaster. Heading Into Tonight, Ducks Led Bluefish By Mere Half-Game in Second-Half Standings.
Tuesday Night Final:
Second Half - Liberty Division
Long Island Ducks 18-6 *
Bridgeport Bluefish 17-8 1.5 GB
Delayed; but in one of the few games that wasn't rained-out in the local area, the Long Island Ducks hosted the Bridgeport Bluefish in a second-half battle for first place of the Liberty Division. Both teams were 8-2 over their last ten games entering tonight. The Bluefish were only a half game behind Long Island with a 16-7 record. Last year's A.L. Champion is mounting a second-half surge I thought they were capable of back in June; but it was a surge which never materialized for them before the first half ended. Before tonight's final, the 17-7 Ducks were coming off a series in which they dropped two games out of three to the Lancaster Barnstormers.
Long Island's Ruddy Lugo started in search of his fifth win of the season. After six innings pitched, he left the game with the Ducks staked to a 7-3 lead. He allowed the Bluefish seven hits and surrendered four earned runs. He walked four batters and struck out four before giving way to Jeremy Hill for the seventh inning.
Bridgeport jumped on Ruddy Lugo right away. A walk; double; and two singles plated three first inning runs on three hits for the Bluefish.
Long Island got them all back plus one in the second inning. John Rodriguez reclaimed the League lead in RBI by leading-off the inning with his 15th home run of the season and accumulating his 69th RBI of the season. John Rodriguez led the League earlier in the season before being sidelined by a few injuries. He's found his way back to the top, ahead of team mate, J,R. House. Bridgeport's Wes Bankston is third in the League. Kraig Binick then tripled home J.R. House and Matt Esquivel who reached base on consecutive singles. Kinnard Jones got Binick home with a sac-fly for a 4-3 Ducks lead.
Bridgeport tied the game at four apiece with a run off Ruddy Lugo in the fifth inning. But the Ducks picked up three runs in their sixth inning allowing Ruddy Lugo to leave on the winning side of this game. J.R. House led-off with his 17th home run of the year. Kraig Binick reached first on an E3 to load the bases after Matt Esquivel and Matt Padgett both singled. Esquivel scored when Dan Lyons grounded into a double-play. And Kinnard Jones singled home Matt Padgett to make the game 7-4 Ducks.
Jeremy Hill allowed the Bluefish a run in the seventh inning to make it a 7-5 game. In all he pitched two innings allowing only the one run. He gave up one hit and a walk. Three strikeouts highlighted his night.
Bubbie Buzachero pitched the ninth inning and set down all three batters he faced with strikeout to end the game. It was his 14th save of the season. And for Ruddy Logo, he earned his fifth win of the year against two losses.
Tuesday night's win ups the Ducks record to 58-30 over-all on the season; the League's best.