Tuesday, June 02, 2015

L.I. Ducks: Keeping Pace With Somerset Proving Difficult

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Series tied 1-1
I - YRK 4; LID 3; 15 inn
II - LID 4; YRK 3; 11 inn

York Revolution
Long Island Ducks
Suffolk County Grounds

Long Island Ducks: Jon Griffin Enters June Wielding a Lethal Bat.

Weather permitting, the Ducks host the Revolution for the rubber game of their series this evening.

In each of the first two games, extra innings were required to extract victory.

On Sunday, the Ducks followed up the previous day's victory over Somerset with a game they let slip away.  Ahead 3-1 after 4 innings of play, the Revs tied the game in the 6th off starter Ian Marshall.

The game remain deadlocked at three for the next 8 innings.  Then, leading off the top of the 15th inning, York center fielder Sean Smith promptly homered off Mark Rogers.  Long Island went down in order in the bottom of the frame to close out a crushing defeat.

On Monday, the Ducks found themselves on the winning side of an identical 4-3 final.

Once again, Long Island jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the 1st inning.  After a 1-out single by Delta Cleary Jr, followed a 1-out single with a steal of second, then scored on Cody Puckett's RBI single.  Jon Griffin followed with his 7th home run of the season, Puckett scored.

Starter John Brownell retired his first 6 batters, and kept York scoreless through his first 4 innings.   In the 5th, the Revolution scored a pair on 3 hits and a walk.  In the 6th, an E-3 by Jon Griffin paved the way for another York (unearned) run, and a tie game.

For a second straight game, York and Long Island went into extra innings.

After 7 innings pitched, John Brownell exited to a no decision.  He faced 31 batters, and threw 125 pitches with 73 going for strikes.  He allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 7 strikeouts.  He leads the circuit with 47 strikeouts.

Blake Davis played shortstop on this night, and led-off the home 11th with a hit.  Mike Blanke sacrificed him 90' to second.  Prentice Redman's base hit then plated Davis for the winning run.

The bullpen combined on 4 innings, no hits, and 6 strikeouts.  Nick Struck earned the win in relief.

Center fielder Delta Cleary Jr. went 4 for 4 with a double, lifting his average to a .333 mark.  Since his arrival, he is 18 for 54 with 6 doubles and 6 stolen bases.

Wielding a Lethal Bat: Jon Griffin

In April, the Ducks opened the season against York, then played a 4-game series against Southern Maryland.  During those 7 games, Jon Griffin went 4 for 24 (.167), with a home run, 6 RBI, and struck out (9) 37% of the time.

On May 13th, Griffin finally broke through the Mendoza Line.  In his 17 games since, Jon has gone 23 for 67 (.343), with 5 home runs and 16 RBI, and cut his strikeouts to (19) 28% of the time.

In his last 3 games, he's 4 for 11 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI.  In 35 total games played and 134 at-bats, Jon Griffin is now slashing .269/.347/.463, with 5 doubles, 7 home runs and 25 RBI.

Patriots Keep Setting the Pace:

Somerset still leads the league with a 26-11 record.  Since their meeting against the Ducks, they have gone 3-0, which includes an early game and a rain cancellation on Tuesday.

With Monday's victory, the Ducks are now one of three teams to reach 20 victories, however, they enter this evening's game trailing the Patriots by 5.5 games.

After Tuesday, the Ducks will have 32 games games left remaining to close the gap with Somerset.

Yeah, about that division realignment...,

Welcome to year two.


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