Saturday, July 16, 2016

L.I. Ducks: John Brownell outlasts Somerset in series opener

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Long time Atlantic League rivals
resume antagonisms at Bethpage Ballpark

Ducks lead series 1-0
I - LID 6; SOM 3

Somerset Patriots
Long Island Ducks
The Pond

Long Island Ducks: Flock plant flag back atop first place.

Not a bad way to resume play...

Previous to Friday, the Ducks and Patriots hadn't faced each other since May 20-22 at Somerset.   Minus a head-to-head match up through the rest of the season's first half, each team was instead left to wrestle through common opponents in order to win a division flag.

A tight race to the end, Long Island prevailed to win the first-half pennant over Somerset - which hasn't always been he case since the Patriots were realigned into the Liberty Division a few years back.

With the Atlantic League All-Star game out of the way, and their place in this post-season secured, the Long Island Ducks resumed play on Friday.

Opening a weekend series at Bethpage Ballpark, John Brownell outlasted Somerset's Will Oliver for his seventh victory of the season, but not without a little help from his friends.

Patriots starter Will Oliver exited on the winning side of a 3-2 game after out-dueling Brownell through six full innings pitched.  Long Island's ace nevertheless persisted through a scoreless top half of the seventh.

Leading off the bottom of the frame, Ducks first baseman Mark Manicozzi promptly greeted Somerset reliever Jeremy McBryde with a game tying home run.  Ruben Gotay then followed with a double.  Shortly thereafter, catcher Mike Dowd connected on the Ducks second home run of the inning giving the Ducks a 5-3 lead, and an eventual 6-3 victory.

Making his 14th start of the season, John Brownell allowed three earned runs on seven hits and two walks, with four strikeouts over seven laborious innings in high humidity.  He faced 30 batters, and threw 96 pitches with 67 (69.7%) going for strikes.

Closer Todd Coffey recorded his 14th save of the season.

The now first place Ducks lead Somerset by one-half game in the second half standings.

Not a bad way to resume play indeed.

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