Wednesday, August 19, 2015

L.I. Ducks: Flock Fit To Be Tied

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE:


Series tied 1-1
I - SOM 5; LID 4
II - LID 8; SOM 7

Long Island Ducks
Somerset Patriots
Some Ballpark
New Jersey

LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Flock overcomes poor start by John Brownell to even series.

Like two stubborn mules, neither team is budging.

Game One:
Ducks     4
Patriots  5

Game Two:
Ducks     8
Patriots  7

Long Island enters Game Three this evening the same way they entered Monday's series opener - trailing the first place Somerset Patriots by one game in the standings.

Game One in Somerset was a see-saw affair.  Each scored a pair in their respective halves of the 3rd inning.  After Somerset went ahead 4-2 in the 4th, the Ducks answered back with two runs in the 5th.

The game then ended, very literally in walk-off fashion.

In the home 9th, Ducks' reliever Billy Buckner issued a lead-off walk to Patriots' left fielder Aharon Eggleston.  With 1-out, Buckner issued an intentional pass to DH Michael Burgess.  An E-5 then loaded the bases.  After fanning second baseman Nate Spears, Billy Buckner walked right fielder Ricky Claudio to plate the winning run.

Former Ducks closer Jon Hunton pitched a scoreless top half of the 9th to earn his 2nd victory of the season.  Hunton otherwise has successfully saved 30 games this season.

Ducks starter Darin Downs pitched to the scoreboard.  Through 7 innings pitched, he allowed 4 earned runs on 6 hits, walked 4 and fanned a pair prior to being relieved by Buckner.

This was only Billy Buckner's third loss of the season.  After getting tagged with his first loss back on May 29th, Billy went on to post 7 straight victories before losing his last two.

The loss dropped Long Island 2 games back of Somerset.

...but not for long.

The Ducks trailed the Patriots 7-4 through 8 innings of Game Two.

Enter Jon Hunton.., again.

With one on, and 2-outs in the top of the 9th, Hunton issued a walk to shortstop Dan Lyons.  Then with 2-outs, the Ducks strung together 4 straight hits en route to a 4 run outburst, and an 8-7 margin of victory.

Despite issuing 3 walks, Ducks reliever Nick Struck pitched a scoreless 8th to earn his 5th victory.   Amalio Diaz closed out the 9th inning earning his 9th save of the season.

Starter John Brownell easily suffered his worst start of Summer.  In only 4 innings pitched, he faced 20 batters and exited after 81 pitches.  He allowed 6 runs (5 earned), on 6 hits and 2 walks, while fanning 3 batters.

In his 4 previous starts, John posted a 2-0 record with 2 no-decisions.  He fanned 28 batters in 29.2 innings pitched, but issued 9 walks (with his W/9 indeed on the rise).  John Brownell is now tied for second in the circuit with 20 starts, and leads with 135.1 innings pitched.

Lead-off batter Delta Cleary Jr. went 3 for 5 with an RBI; third baseman Sean Burroughs was 2 for 4 with an RBI; and Cody Puckett went 3 for 5 with a pair of RBI.

Liberty Division Standings:
1) Somerset        21-17   *
2) Bridgeport       21-17   *
3) Long Island     20-18   1
4) Camden          16-22   5

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