Bethpage Ballpark, Long Island
ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Lancaster leads Series 2-1
I - Lancaster 5; Long Island 1
II - Long Island 9; Lancaster 4
III - Lancaster 12; Long Island 5
IV - TONIGHT
V - if necessary*
In the first Finals game played at The Pond, the Barnstormers took a 2-1 series lead with a 12-5 thumping of the Ducks. Game Three started out well enough. But from the fourth inning on, Lancaster kept the home team under duress.
After the first two innings, all seemed well for Long Island. To Lancaster's dismay, the Ducks led 2-0 after Barnstormer starter, J.D. Durbin, issued three walks in the first, forcing Long Island's first run home. Lee Cruz bounced into a fielder's choice which delivered the Ducks second run. In the second inning, the Ducks upped their lead to three when Dan Lyons scored on Joash Brodin's fielder's choice.
Ducks starter, Bob Zimmermann, cruised through the first three innings. He struck out the side to open the game. A walk, a 6-4-3 double play, and his fourth strikeout retired the Barnstormers in the second. In the third, he hit a batter. Otherwise, his first time through the line-up went very well. After Zimm struck out his sixth batter to open the fourth, the bottom fell out from underneath the Ducks starter. Six consecutive hits, starting with a double and ending with a triple, transformed Long Island's 3-0 lead into a 5-3 deficit. Chris Hayes was summoned to stop the bleeding. Before he could, Hayes allowed Lancaster's sixth run of the inning.
In the fifth inning, Lancaster continued to increase their lead against Chris Hayes. Four hits and three runs later, the Barnstormers were up by a 9-3 margin. The Ducks chipped back with one run on Ray Navarrete's sac-fly in the bottom of the frame.
The teams traded runs again in the seventh inning. Lancaster scored their tenth run, this time against Connor Graham. In the bottom of the frame, Kraig Binick tripled, and Joash Brodin drove him home with a single.
Nick DeBarr was the seventh Ducks pitcher of the game. Picked up in September, he surrendered Lancaster's eleventh and twelfth runs of the evening. And so, Game Three of the Atlantic League Championship series ends disappointingly for Long Island in a 12-5 final.
Very simply, the Ducks must win Game Four in order to extend the series. Should Lancaster defeat Long Island this evening, the Barnstormers would win their second ever Atlantic League championship. If the Ducks win tonight, the decisive Game Five will be played at The Pond on Sunday.
LONG ISLAND DUCKS
Long Island, N.Y.