Friday, August 05, 2016

L.I. Ducks: First Place Showdown at Harbor Yard

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

The Ballpark at Habor Yard

LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Flock Migrate Across the Sound for First Place Showdown Against Fish.

Never mind the part about Long Island holding a 10-3 advantage over the Fish in this season's Ferry Cup series.  Bridgeport enters this weekend's series against the migrating Ducks by just a game in the Liberty Division standings.

The Ducks lost their Thursday morning series finale to the Patriots by a 3-1 score in Somerset, leaving the Bluefish just a half game behind.  Bridgeport, however, failed to seize the moment Thursday evening when they bowed to the Sugar Land Skeeters, thus setting the stage for this weekend's first place showdown at Harbor Yard.

These teams last met in July with the Ducks taking two of three at Bethpage Ballpark.

Friday series opener will feature a pair of right-handers.  Bobby Blevins will climb the hill for Long Island and will be opposed by Bridgeport's David Kubiak.

I just might be there, as I embark on my second road trip back into New England for more minor league baseball.  I'm thinking of attending just to kick back with a hot dog before the longer drive ahead, and of course, to cheer on the Ducks in another team's ballpark.

  • The Ducks will miss Bridgeport starting pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo who pitched on Aug. 2 against Sugar Land, and whom leads the Atlantic League with 10 victories, and is fourth with 99 strikeouts.
  • Long Island's Darin Downs and John Brownell are among those tied for second with eight victories each.
  • Delta Cleary Jr. enters the series leading the Atlantic League with a .321 batting average.   Fehlandt Lentini is second with a .309 average.

Somerset Patriots salvage series finale

Ducks win series 2-1
I - LID 4; SOM 2
II - LID 3; SOM 2
III - SOM 3; LID 1

With the Ducks still patching together a solution for a fifth starter, southpaw Dustin Richardson made only his fourth start of the season Thursday morning in Somerset.  He tossed five innings before exiting on the losing side of a 3-1 game and eventual Ducks' loss.

Dustin allowed all three Somerset runs on 10 hits and two walks, with four strikeouts.  He faces 24 batters, threw 89 pitches, with 55 (61%) going for strikes.

The Atlantic League batting leader, Delta Cleary Jr. knocked in the Ducks lone run of the game with a double in the third inning scoring Fehlandt Lentini.

Somerset employed a pitcher by committee, utilizing seven hurlers, who limited Long Island to just four hits all game.  Starter Rudy Owens started, allowed just a hit but walked five batters in 2.2 innings of work.  Six other relievers combined to allow no runs on three hits, no walks, with five strikeouts over 6.1 innings of work.  Former Ducks closer Jon Hunton notched his league leading (tied) 25th save of the season.

On August 1, rhp DJ Mitchell was acquired from Bridgeport for first baseman Sean Burroughs.  He made his first appearance for the Ducks on Aug 3 in Game Two against Somerset.  He threw five innings for the victory, allowing just two earned runs on four hits and four walks, with five strikeouts.
  • Mitchell previously made 12 appearances and nine starts for the Fish, posting a 2-3 record with a 4.39 ERA.  He allowed 58 hits and fanned 48 through 55.1 innings pitched.
Staff ace John Brownell was stellar in Tuesday's series opener in Somerset.  He walked off to a no decision, but tossed seven innings, allowed one earned run on five hits and no walks, while striking out eight.

Extra Innings

The dog days of summer are upon us.  Long Island will have one day off throughout the month of August (Monday the 22nd).  Due to a scheduled double-header late in the month against Lancaster, Long Island will wind up playing 30 games in 30 days.

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