LONG ISLAND DUCKS
Long Island, New York
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Late Power Surge Propels Flock In Game One. Shaun Garceau Goes Tonight In Game Two.
Despite trailing the Somerset Patriots 2-0 through six complete innings, Coach Baez demonstrated unwavering confidence in his Game One starting pitcher. The manager's faith paid off, as John Brownell kept the Patriots at two runs through eight full innings.
Meanwhile, in the batter's box, patience was the name of Long Island's game. The Ducks outlasted strong Somerset pitching with clutch late inning hits. Three Patriots hurlers combined to limit the Ducks to just four hits, while striking out eleven, but two of Long Island's hits were particularly huge decisive blows.
Long Island cut their two run deficit by one in the bottom of the seventh inning on Bill Hall's solo home run off Somerset starting pitcher Josh Lowey. Then in the bottom of the eighth, a lead-off walk issued to Kraig Binick, and a one out single by Lew Ford put runners on the corners. Second baseman Josh Barfield followed, and put the Ducks ahead with a three run clout off reliever Jim Hoey.
After a brief rejoicing, the Long Island capacity crowd grew queasy when Somerset DH Cory Aldridge went deep off Leo Rosales in the top of the ninth inning to make it a 4-3 game. But that's all the Patriots would score. Leo Rosales struck out two and stranded a runner to earn a save in Game One of the Atlantic League finals. John Brownell earned the victory for his eight innings of work, in which he allowed two earned runs on six hits, walked one, and struck out six.
Game Two's pitching match-up at Bethpage Park tonight features Shaun Garcueu for Long Island versus southpaw Roy Merritt. Garceau was one of GM Michael Pfaff's late season acquisitions. In just three regular season starts for Long Island, he posted a 2-1 record and 1.17 ERA in twenty-three innings pitched. He allowed fifteen hits and walked four for a 0.826 WHiP, and struck out seventeen batters. Shaun Garceau previously pitched for the Kansas City T-Bones of the independent American Association. Somerset's Roy Merritt is a New York Mets farm product, selected 29th in the 2007 June draft. He joined the Patriots in 2012, and enters tonight's game with a 4-2 record, 1.96 ERA and seventy-one strikeouts in 64.1 innings pitched this season.