From the desk of: WADDLING AROUND BROOKLYN
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Big John "STUD" Rodriguez Goes Boom as the Webbed Nine Roar Back in Biggest Comeback of the Season.
Long Island just sent the rest of the League a message of sorts. They will not be denied.
The Ducks came back...; all the way back, from a 7-0 deficit to take an 8-7 lead in the seventh inning against the Barnstormers and then won it 13-10 in even more dramatic fashion than already provided. In winning their fifth game in a row, and in defeating the Lancaster Barnstormers who were leading the Freedom Division before Saturday's game, in the first two games of this weekend series, the Long Island Ducks must have the rest of the League wondering, what will it take to slow this team down?
With their starting pitching getting depleted by untimely contract purchases, this is what the Ducks will have to do from time to time in order to compensate for their staff losses. Joselo Diaz wasn't exactly Cy Young out in Lancaster in game two; giving up seven runs to Lancaster over the first two innings of the game. But the offense rose to the occasion to bail him out and take him off the loss column.
Valerio De Los Santos made a huge fielding gaffe when he didn't cover first base on a ground ball to Matt Padgett in the bottom of the seventh. He almost got bailed out but Javier Colina couldn't turn a softly hit ball into a double play in time for the second out. It was part of a bottom half inning in which the Ducks allowed the Barnstormers to tie the game again at 10-10 with three runs.
A booming home run in the top of the eighth by John Rodriguez gave the Ducks another lead, this time 11-10. It was his third hit of the night; his 16th home run of the season; and his three RBI gave him 72; tops in the League.
Then, in the top of the ninth inning, Big John STUD uncorked his second home run of the game and 17th overall; a two run blast hit deep into the Lancaster night; to give the Ducks more insurance on their way to a 13-10 final. In all, John Rodriguez was 4 for 5 on the night; 2 home runs; 5 RBI; a double; and 4 runs scored. He upped his League leading RBI total yet again to 74 on the season.
Matt Padget went 3 for 3, with two RBI as well. Ray Navarrete was 3 for 5, with three runs scored. Bubbie Buzachero pitched the ninth inning earning his 16th save. Valerio De Los Santos earned the win in relief. To Joselo Diaz, a welcome no decision..., I'm sure.
As mentioned, that's now five wins in a row for the Ducks and are winners of eight out of their last ten. They improved their record to 22-7 in the second half and remain 3.5 games in first place ahead of the Bridgeport Bluefish. They increased their season record to 62-30 overall. They'll go for the sweep Sunday in Lancaster.