Long Island Ducks: Early Struggles Against Bridgeport Bluefish Becoming a Distant Memory. Flock Takes Lead in Ferry Cup Series.
Fishing for Ten: Ducks Post 2nd Nine Game Winning Streak of June
Long Island started the season just 1-6 against Bridgeport. They were outscored 47-25 in those first 7 games.
A series split against the Patriots back in May certainly didn't hurt the Ducks' standing. That's why one might argue that within their initial poor play against Bridgeport this season lies the reason Long Island is not in first place today.
With Sunday's 8-3 victory, the Ducks have since defeated the Fish six straight times, and now lead the season series 7-6 heading into Monday night's series finale. The Ducks have additionally turned the tables, and outscored the Fish by a 71-68 margin in the season series.
Sunday's win was Long Island's 9th straight victory, which marks their second such streak this month, and gives them a near perfect 19-1 record in June. They improved to 38-17 for the season.
Ironically, it was the Fish who handed the Ducks their only loss this month, which halted their 10 game winning streak on June 11th.
The league's #1 offense erupted for 12 runs against the Fish Saturday, and for another 8 runs on Sunday. They have outscored Bridgeport this series by a 26-11 margin.
Catcher Jose Morales and DH Randy Ruiz provided most of Saturday's lumber, combining on 2 doubles, a home run, and 7 RBI. Jon Griffin drove in a pair on Saturday, and another on Sunday to raise his season total to 39 RBI.
Bryan Sabatella returned to the lead-off spot on Sunday, going 2 for 5 with a runs scored, while Reegie Corona went 3 for 4, with 2 RBI.
There's presently no Ducks player hotter than Dan Lyons. In his last 6 games, the Ducks shortstop is 8 for 17 (.470), with 2 home runs and 8 RBI. His average up to .312 which now rates him 4th in the league, and his 31 RBI rank him 3rd behind team mates Lew Ford and Jon Griffin.
In fact, the Atlantic League leader board is covered in Ducks feathers. Lew Ford still leads the circuit in hitting, and as noted, Ford, Griffin and Lyons lead the league in RBI. Delta Cleary Jr. now has enough at-bats to qualify for 3rd in the circuit with a .323 average.
On the mound, John Brownell tops the league in strikeouts and is second in wins, while Mickey Jannis leads the circuit in ERA.
4th of July Weekend Showdown: T-Minus 11 Games
Despite losing 3.5 games in the standings to the Ducks since June 1st, the Somerset Patriots continue to set the pace in the Liberty Division race. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games. With yet another victory over the Sugar Land Skeeters on Sunday, Somerset became the first Atlantic League team to reach 40 victories this season, and thus retained their diminishing 1.5 game advantage over Long Island.
After Monday night's series finale against Bridgeport, the Ducks will migrate westward to Sugar Land, Texas, where they'll engage the Skeeters in a crucial 6-game series. After which, they'll return home to host the Lancaster Barnstormers.
The Somerset Patriots will close out their series with Sugar Land Monday night, then travel to Lancaster to play the Barnstormers beginning Tuesday. They'll return home to host the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs then head down the turnpike to visit the Camden Riversharks.
On Friday, July 3rd, the Somerset Patriots and Long island Ducks will open a 3-game series at Bethpage Ballpark that seemingly will determine the season's first-half Liberty Division champ.