Friday, September 20, 2013

L.I. Ducks: Series Migrates South After Blue Crabs Hand Flock Game Two

From the desk of:   THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Ducks Lead Series 2-0
I - Ducks 6; Blue Crabs 2
II - Ducks 6; Blue Crabs 5*
III - @ Southern Maryland

LONG ISLAND DUCKS: The Flock Is Heading South With A 2-0 Lead Over The Blue Crabs.

On the heels of Thursday night's extra-inning victory over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, the Long Island Ducks have secured a 2-0 series lead in the Liberty Division playoffs.  Having swept the first two games at Bethpage Park, the Ducks are now heading south of the Mason-Dixon line, where they will have three opportunities to win one game, and advance to the Atlantic League finals.

Southern Maryland all but handed Long Island their Game Two victory.  After seven innings played, the Blue Crabs held a 5-3 lead.  Shaun Marceau started on the hill for Long Island, and lasted 6.2 innings before needing bullpen relief.  He was charged with all five Blue Crabs runs, on ten hits.  He walked one and struck out five batters before departing the game to a no decision.

Southern Maryland starter Ian Marshall did himself no favors in the bottom of the second.  His error, the first of four the Crabs would commit, opened the door to a pair of Long Island runs.  Two sacrifice flies by Josh Barfield and Bryant Nelson drove in the two runs.  In the bottom of the seventh, the Ducks were helped out by another error, this time by second baseman Jake Opitz.

Five Long Island pitchers then combined to keep Southern Maryland scoreless over the next three innings.  The Ducks meanwhile, tied the game at five in the bottom of the eighth.  With two outs, Ryan Strieby and Kraig Binick connected on back to back doubles to bring the Ducks within one.  Yet another Blue Crabs error, by third baseman Renny Osuna then allowed Kraig Binick to score the game tying run.

In the bottom of the tenth inning, Ryan Strieby led things off with another base hit.  Coach Baez subbed-in P.J. Phillips as a pinch-hitter, who immediately stole second.  Southern Maryland's fourth error of the game, by catcher Alvin Colina let Phillips advance to third.  Then with Dan Lyons at the plate, Blue Crabs reliever Nick Sarianides unleashed a wild pitch allowing P.J. Phillips to cross the plate with the winning run.

Jared Lansford was credited with the victory in relief.  He pitched the tenth, allowed one hit and struck out two.

Game Three is scheduled for 7:05pm Friday evening.  Bob Zimmermann will climb the hill for the visiting Long Island Ducks.  He will be opposed by Southern Maryland's Logan Williamson.


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