Liberty Division Standings:
1) Somerset 9-6
2) Camden 10-7
3) Bridgeport 8-7
4) Long Island 9-8
Long Island Ducks: Wading in crowded waters.
After getting swept by the Bridgeport Bluefish, the Ducks turned their fortunes around by taking 3 of 4 games from the defending Atlantic League champions.
Long Island hosted the Lancaster Barnstormers for a weekend series. On Friday, the teams engaged in a wild affair. Jon Griffin, who's been struggling at the plate, connected on a game winning RBI double in the bottom of the 9th to give the Ducks an 11-10 victory.
They played a twin bill on Saturday. The Ducks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd, and held on for a 3-2, 7-inning final. Making his first appearance as a Duck, Nick Struck pitched 2 innings in relief of starter Bruce Kern to earn the victory. Reggie Corona was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Dan Lyons drove in his 6th run of the season.
- Nick Struck, 25, spent his first 4 seasons as a pro in the Chicago Cubs system. He then spent most of last season with the L.A. Dodgers AA affiliate. He has 36 appearances and 179 innings pitched at the AAA level. He has 678.1 total innings pitched in his minor league career, with a 4.26 ERA, a 1.426 WHiP, and a 6.1 K/9 average.
In Game Two, the Ducks cruised to a 6-1 victory behind the hitting of Lew Ford and Cody Puckett, and a brilliant performance from (reactivated) starter Mark Rogers. Batting 3rd and 4th respectively, Ford and Puckett combined to go 5 for 7, with 3 runs scored, and 4 RBI.
- After a pair of sub-par outings, Mark Rogers earned his first win of the season. In 6 innings pitched, he faced 20 batters, threw 76 pitches, with 48 (63%) going for strikes. He allowed no runs, on no hits, walked one, and fanned 8 batters.
On Mother's Day, the Barnstormers salvaged the series finale with a 4-3 win. Starter Mickey Jannis got touched up for 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits over 6.1 innings pitched. He walked a pair and fanned a pair in suffering his second straight defeat.
The Ducks nevertheless climbed back above .500 again, improving their record to a 9-8 mark.
LONG ISLAND DUCKS
The Ducks .242 batting average and their .346 slugging both rank sixth in the league, yet, they are third with 71 runs scored. They are fourth in the league with a .314 OBP, and lead the league with 19 stolen bases.
Long Island additionally has the distinction of leading the Atlantic League with 141 strikeouts, with no one creating more wind than Jon Griffin. He has fanned 25 times in 61 at-bats, for a rate of 41%. Evan Crawford and Bryan Sabatella aren't too far behind with 19 whiffs each.
There are several Ducks wielding very productive bats though. Second baseman Reggie Corona is second in the Atlantic League with a .383 average, while his .420 OBP and .532 slugging both rank fourth. Cody Puckett's 4 home runs are tied for second in the circuit. He and Lew Ford are both tied for second in the league with 12 RBI.
On the hill, the Ducks 3.17 ERA, 1.24 WHiP, and .228 average against, are all third best. Long Island pitchers are tied for the league lead with 130 combined strikeouts, however, they've issued the third most walks.
John Brownell, Mickey Jannis, Ian Marshall, and Mark Rogers, have all made 3 starts, and all have ERA's below three:
- Brownell - 2.25
- Marshall - 2.25
- Rogers - 2.63
- Jannis - 2.76
In the bullpen, closer Ryan Kussmaul is in a three way tie for the league lead with 5 saves.
- Catcher Mike Blanke sold to Boston.
- Reliever Hector Ambriz sold to Washington.
- Mark Rogers reinstated.
- Signed pitcher Nick Struck.