Friday, October 05, 2012

Long Island Ducks: Ninth Inning Rally Wins Game Two

From the desk of:   THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Series Tied 1-1
I - Lancaster 5; Long Island 1
II - Long Island 9; Lancaster 4

LONG ISLAND DUCKS:  The Webbed Nine Storm Back In Ninth Inning To Seize Game Two.  Series Shifts Back To The Pond For Game Three.

With no pun intended, Game Two in Lancaster was a genuine barn buster.  The home team was  three outs away from taking a two games to none lead over Long Island.  But the Ducks transformed the ninth inning of Thursday night's game into a twister and blew the doors to Clipper Magazine Stadium wide open on their way back to The Pond for Friday night's Game Three.
Game Two's pitching match-up featured Matt May for the Ducks, against John Halama for Lancaster. Both pitchers struggled and battled, and battled and struggled.  That not bad grammar... that's how each starter mirrored the other.  Matt May pitched 5.2 innings.  He allowed seven hits and four earned runs.  While May struck out five batters, he helped Lancaster along by issuing five walks.  Two Barnstormers took him deep.  Matt May left the game on the losing side of a 4-3 affair.  John Halama was only one run better.  He lasted 5.1 innings.  Halama allowed six hits and three earned runs.  But he too struggled with control and also walked five batters before exiting on the positive side of the game.
It was actually the Ducks who jumped out to an early lead with an RBI single by Brandon Sing in the first.  But Lancaster roughed up Matt May in the fourth.  With two outs and one on, Ryan Harvey  connected on his third home run of the playoffs.  The next batter, Travis Denker, then connected on his third home run of the playoffs as well to give the Barnstormers a 3-1 lead.
Long Island got a run back in the fifth.  Matt Esquivel scored when Dan Lyons grounded into a fielder's choice.  In the top of the sixth, the Ducks tied the game at three.  Dan Lyons' RBI single sent Bryant Nelson home from third base for the Ducks third run.  But in the bottom of the frame, Lancaster went ahead again by a 4-3 score.
The battle of the bullpens began.  Through the eighth inning, Long Island employed three pitchers.  Chris Hayes and Eric Niesen helped Matt May complete the sixth inning.  Jared Lansford took care of the seventh and eighth innings, pitching scoreless ball.  He allowed no hits, no runs, issued no walks, and struck out two.  Lancaster called upon four relievers to get them through the eighth.
With no changes in the score, into the ninth inning they went.  Lancaster's fifth reliever of the evening, Tim Hamulack, was charged with facing the Ducks.  After consecutive singles to open the inning by Joash Brodin and Ray Navarrete, Brandon Sing delivered yet another clutch hit in these playoffs.  His RBI single tied the game at four.  The Ducks had the bases loaded when Dan Lyons stepped in.  He proceeded to collect his third hit of the game, a double, which cleared the bases, and gave the Ducks a 7-4 lead.  Mitch Canham and Kraig Binick each kicked in RBI singles for good  measure.
With a 9-4 lead, Leo Rosales was charged with pitching the bottom of the ninth in relief of Jared Lansford.  Leo ended the game with a strikeout, and just like that, the series was tied at a game apiece.  At the very least, Long Island accomplished the task of gaining at least a split on the road.
Dan Lyons had four runs batted in.  And as mentioned, Brandon Sing continues to deliver big hits.  he had two RBI in Game Two.
For his two innings of scoreless work, Jared Lansford gets credit for the win.

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