Ducks Sweep Liberty Division Series 3-0
I - Ducks 6; Blue Crabs 2
II - Ducks 6; Blue Crabs 5*
III - Ducks 4; Blue Crabs 1
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Veni, Vidi, Quack! - The Flock Sweeps Southern Maryland In Three Games For Chance To Defend Title Against The Somerset Patriots.
Over 5,100 fans showed up in Southern Maryland Friday night to witness the completion of a first round sweep. After hosting, and winning the first two games in Long Island, the Ducks clinched their third straight Liberty Division crown on the road with haste.
In Game Three, third year Ducks pitcher, old reliable, thirty-one year old Bob Zimmermann hurled his Long Island team mates into the Atlantic League championship finals. In six innings pitched, he limited the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to just one earned run on four hits, walked two and struck out five before departing the game on the winning side of a 2-1 game.
The Ducks gave Zimmermann a 2-0 lead in the first inning and played superlative defense behind him, to include turning a huge inning ending 6-4-3 double-play in the sixth, with what was at the time, the tying run on third. Josh Barfield then gave the Ducks a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh when he deposited the first pitch he saw over the left/center field wall. It was his eighth home run of the season and first of the playoffs. Ryan Strieby drove in Long Island's two runs in the first and Adam Bailey had Long Island's fourth RBI.
Leo Rosales closed out the Blue Crabs season with a scoreless ninth inning. The Ducks win the Liberty Division series three games to none.
They will now take on the winner of the Freedom Division finals. As such, I told you! not to let the Somerset Patriots hear that talk of Sugar Land dominating the 2013 Atlantic League regular season. The Skeeters have been swatted from the post-season. While it is true, the Sugar Land Skeeters finished the regular season with a A.L. all-time best 95-45 record, the Patriots only finished 4.5 games behind then, in an equally record setting season for victories. They too won up to ninety games this season, and on Friday night, likewise completed a three game sweep of the Skeeters to advance into the Atlantic League championship series.
The Ducks have now defeated Southern Maryland in each of the last three post-seasons to capture Liberty Division titles. As such, this will be Long Island's third straight trip to the finals. After the Long Island Ducks championship effort short circuited in the 2011 finals, they rebounded the very next season to capture the 2012 Atlantic League crown. For the first time since winning the title in 2004, they will now have the opportunity to defend it.
The Somerset Patriots will attempt to improve upon their league record five Atlantic League championships. They previously won titles after the 2001, 2003, and 2005 seasons, and back-to-back titles during the 2008-2009 seasons.