Sunday, June 12, 2016

L.I. Ducks: Flock Bow to Blue Crabs but Gain Share of First Place

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Series tied 1-1
I- LID 4; SMD 2
II - SMD 2; LID 1

Long Island Ducks: Crabs get to John Brownell; Flock go limp against Sexton; backdoor way into first place tie with Somerset.

On Saturday, John Brownell set the franchise all-time record with his 92nd start,
but was denied a would be record breaking 41st victory for the Ducks.

One lucky claw back...

That's what Saturday's game must have felt like to John Brownell.

Damn Crabs.

After trading zeroes with opposing starter Tim Sexton through the first five innings, Long Island broke through with a run in the top of the seventh when Sexton himself unleashed a wild pitch allowing Anthony Vega to score from third.

That lead was short lived.  After issuing a 1-out walk to Zack Wilson in the bottom of the frame, Brownell surrendered a 2-out home run to Blue Claws right fielder Jamar Walton.

There's your ball game.

John Brownell completed eight innings of work, allowed two earned runs on six hits and one walk, and fanned ten batters in what devolved into a disappointing loss.

Outside of a gift wild pitch, Tim Sexton fended off the Ducks offense for seven innings, allowing just four hits and a walk, with six strikeouts.

After Sunday's series finale in Southern Maryland, the Ducks will return home on Tuesday to host the New Britain Bees and Lancaster Barnstormers.

Liberty Division Standings
Patriots   26-22
Ducks      26-22
Bees         24-24
Bluefish   19-30

Somerset has certainly done everything possible to hand Long Island the division lead, having posted a 13-22 record after their stellar 13-0 start to their season.  They entered Saturday's action with a precarious 1/2 game lead over the Ducks, then took yet another step backwards in their deteriorating season with their own 6-4 loss to the Barnstormers, and therefore dropped into a tie with the Ducks atop the Liberty Division with identical 26-22 records.

But after posting an 18-10 record in May, the Ducks are now 4-6 in the month of June, and clearly failing to seize the day.

Upon the conclusion of Sunday's rubber game/series finale against Southern Maryland, the Ducks will have 24 games remaining on their first half schedule.  Long Island and Somerset are effectively done with each other, and will not face each other again until the second half.  This division race is gearing up for a photo finish, and must ultimately be won based on how each runs against common opponents.

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