Friday, July 01, 2016

L.I. Ducks: Thanking Patriots for Happy First of July

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Magic Number
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Despite Missteps, Flock Hold on to First Place; First Half Division Title Still Theirs to Lose.

The Somerset Patriots can not have been any more benevolent than they've been.

Over the last week, they lost three of four road games against the Sugar Land Skeeters, then returned home only to lose three of four games against the New Britain Bees, underscored by Thursday night's cardiac arresting 8-7 loss at TD Bank Ballpark.

But the Ducks continue looking their gift horse in the mouth.

Long Island almost pulled off their own comeback during Thursday's series finale against the York Revolution, but wound up bowing to the visitors, and ultimately settling on a four game split.

York hit Ducks' starter Jack Snodgrass early and often, knocking him out of the box after just two innings of work, in which he allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks, with three strikeouts.  He faced just 15 batters, and saw his ERA inflated to a 3.98 mark.

Third baseman Matt Wessinger got the Ducks within 8-7 with a two run home run in the home sixth, but three York relievers kept Long Island scoreless the rest of the way preserving the Revs' victory.

Only by default do the Ducks retain their precarious one game lead over the Patriots, with just three games left to play before the first half expires.  Game #70 of the season is fast approaching this coming Sunday.  At this point, any combination of Ducks wins and Somerset losses totaling three gives Long Island the first half title.

Easier said than done...

The Long Island Ducks are now 15-14 in June, during which time they previously failed to stay in first place on several occasions, much less separate themselves from Somerset in the standings.

It also bares keeping in mind the Somerset Patriots own the head-to-head tie breaker over the Ducks.

That in turn makes the Ducks mission very clear - stay even with the Patriots, or win out.

Long Island will now host the Sugar Land Skeeters for three, while the Patriots host the Bridgeport Bluefish.

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