From the desk of: THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Realignment Has Turned The Somerset Patriots Into This Year's Problem.
Only a sweep over the Patriots would have truly made a difference, nonetheless this past weekend's series against Somerset was an opportunity lost. By dropping two of three games, the Ducks fell a fourth game behind the Liberty Division leading Patriots.
If you remember, Somerset took two of three from Long Island in the season's opening series. The Ducks are now 2-4 versus the newly transplanted Patriots this season.
For now, Long Island seems to be going with Plan B - beat up on the rest of the competition.
Ducks hurler John Brownell set about initiating that plan Monday night. John last pitched against Lancaster on May 28th, earning his 3rd victory of the season in 6 modest innings of work. As a result, Brownell missed the series against Somerset.
In Monday night's series opener against the visiting Barnstormers, John Brownell turned in his finest performance of the season, needing a mere 2:42 to complete his gem. Making his 8th start, John pitched his first complete game of the season, allowing 2 earned runs on just 4 hits and one walk. He fanned 9 batters, and now leads the circuit with 43 strikeouts. He improved his record to 4-3, and lowered his ERA from 4.81 to a 4.33 mark.
The Ducks provided Brownell with 9 runs of support, led by 3 RBI from Brandon Lyons. Cody Puckett went 3 for 5, as did Joash Brodin, which included a double, triple and 2 RBI.
The Patriots also won their Monday night game over York, and so Long Island entered Tuesday's action 4 games out of first.
Bobby Blevins then climbed the hill Tuesday at Bethpage Park, and was opposed by Lancaster's Chris Schwinden.
After spotting the Barnstormers a 2-0 lead in the 2nd, Blevins kept Lancaster scoreless long enough for the Ducks to comeback with 6 runs in the 6th inning and put him on the winning side. Blevins pitched 7 innings in all, allowed 2 earned runs on 7 hits and just one walk. He struck out 7 batters to bring his season total up to 41, which ranks 2nd in the circuit behind team mate John Brownell.
Lew Ford, who has struggled of late, broke out with a 4 for 4 night, while the Ducks cranked out 17 hits in 40 at-bats en route to an 8-4 final.
This evening Long Island hosts the Lancaster Barnstormers for the third of their four game series. The Ducks Shaun Garceau will climb the hill at Bethpage Park, and will be opposed by Cody Scarpetta for the Barnstormers.
The York Revolution romped over Somerset on Tuesday. However, the Patriots won their matinee game Wednesday to reestablish a 3.5 game over the Ducks.
Realignment has certainly put a new twist into this season's (1st half) division race. So far, Somerset's 4 victories over the Ducks are the difference. In ten more days, the Ducks and Patriots will square off again in a four game weekend series. Till then, the Ducks need to keep pace with Plan B.