ATLANTIC LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
* * LIBERTY DIVISION * *
Series tied 1-1
I - SOM 5; LID 3
II - LID 5; SOM 4
III - FRIDAY
Long Island Ducks
GAME TWO: Darin Downs Pitches Gem, But Costly Ducks Errors Require Late Rally For 5-4 Comeback Victory.
Ducks starter Darin Downs pitched a gem. Long Island's southpaw maintained a no-hitter until Aharon Eggleston's single with 2-outs in the 6th.
Downs otherwise completed 7 scoreless innings, faced 25 batters, and threw 104 pitches with 66 going for strikes. He allowed a mere 2 hits, walked 2, and fanned 7 batters before exiting on the winning side of a 3-0 game.
Cody Puckett drove in Long Island's first run with a sac-fly in the 2nd inning. The Flock increased their lead to three in the 4th with an RBI from Dan Lyons, followed by Cody Puckett's second of the game.
Patriots starter Mickey Storey yielded all three runs. He likewise lasted 7 innings, allowed 6 hits, walked 2, and fanned 5 batters before his removal on the losing side.
Both starting pitchers' efforts, however, would shortly be reduced to no-decision status.
With relievers Ricardo Gomez and J.C. Romero pitching the 8th, Long Island's defense went awry. Errors by catcher Mike Blanke (interference), and a back-breaker by first baseman Sean Burroughs helped pave the way for 2 unearned runs and 4 runs in all giving Somerset a sudden, and astonishing 4-3 lead.
Somerset then took their turn at coughing up Game Two.
Fehlandt Lentini drew a walk leading off the bottom of the 8th. Two wild pitches by two different pitchers later, Lentini scored the tying run. With 2-outs, Sean Burroughs enjoyed the ultimate redemption by connecting on the game winning RBI.
J.C. Romero secured Long Island's 5-4 victory with a 1-2-3 9th inning.
The Ducks only managed 7 hits, and Sean Burroughs accounted for 3 of them. He is now 6 for 8 in the series with 2 RBI.
New Jersey for Game Three
(..through Five, if necessary).
- The Patriots went 3-3 during the regular season against the Ducks at Bethpage Park. A split seemed natural then. The Ducks, however, posted a 7-4 record at Somerset this season. We'll see how that translates in the post-season.
GAME ONE RECAP: They Say It's Not A Series
Until The Home Team Loses.
Somerset Patriots Go Yard En Route to 5-3 Opening Victory
Over John Brownell, Ducks.
The Ducks and Somerset Patriots opened their much anticipated Liberty Division playoff series Wednesday evening at Long Island's Bethpage Ballpark.
Staff ace John Brownell climbed the hill in Game One, and was opposed by Somerset's Ray Merritt.
The Patriots wasted no time getting on the board. Left fielder Aharon Eggleston singled and scored on right fielder Michael Burgess' 2-out triple in the opening frame.
The Ducks quickly tied the game in the 2nd inning. Dan Lyons led-off with a double to right, then scored on second baseman Greg Hopkins' error. An inning later, Sean Burroughs singled home Lew Ford putting the Ducks ahead.
That, however, marked Long Island's high point of the night.
Patriots first baseman Matt Fields knotted the game at two when he took John Brownell deep in the 4th. Somerset then pulled away in the 5th. After Thomas Neal's RBI single put Somerset ahead, Michael Burgess struck again, this time for a 2-run home run giving the visitors all the insurance they'd need.
The Patriots totaled 5 earned runs on 7 hits off loser John Brownell, whom issued 2 walks and fanned a pair. John faced 26 batters and labored through 102 pitches with 66 (64%) going for strikes.
Ray Merritt likewise tossed 6 innings for the victory. He limited Long Island to a pair of runs (one earned) on 6 hits and 3 walks. He faced 27 batters and struck out three. Closer Jon Hunton pitched a scoreless 9th inning for the save.
The Ducks scored on a wild pitch in the 7th giving Game One its 5-3 final score.