Saturday, September 24, 2016

L.I. Ducks: The Flock Strike Back

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Patriots lead series 2-1
I - SOM 3; LID 2*
II- SOM 10; LID 0
III - LID 7; SOM 1
IV- @ Long Island

Somerset Patriots
Long Island Ducks
Central Islip, L.I.

Long Island Ducks: Pond Sweet Pond; Flock Stave Off Elimination with 7-1 Victory in Game Three.

With pitcher Nick Struck providing the Ducks a much needed proverbial shot in the arm, Long Island was able to stave off elimination, and force Saturday evening's Game Four at Bethpage Ballpark.

They say necessity is the mother of all invention...

Long Island's starting rotation suffered a series of major blows back in July when the contracts of Mark Blackmar, Jack Snodgrass, Darin Downs, and Jim Kern were all purchased away.  Nick Struck, therefore, was transitioned out of the bullpen and into the starting rotation by Aug. 9, when he pitched five innings in a winning effort against Somerset.  In nine regular season starts, Struck went 4-3 with 2.50 ERA, allowing 15 runs, 48 hits, and 19 walks, with 43 strikeouts over 54 innings pitched.

Friday evening in Game Three, Struck limited the Patriots to one run on just four hits and two walks, while fanning three batters for the must-have victory.  In facing 25 batters, he threw 95 pitches with 63 going for strikes.

Reliever Amalio Diaz struck out the side in the eighth inning, and Todd Coffey closed out Long Island's first victory of the series with a scoreless ninth.

Playing without top slugger David Vidal, Somerset's lone run of the game came in the seventh inning on a lead-off home run by Bryan LaHair.  Nick Struck then retired the next three batters to complete his final inning of work.

Ducks batters, however, struck for seven runs on 12 hits off Somerset starter Alexis Candelario and reliever Randy Boone.  Both Lew Ford and Tyler Colvin went yard.  Fehlandt Lentini went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBI, while Long Island's four, five and six hitters combined on 6 for 12, with three runs scored and three RBI.

Starter Jarret Leverett will tow the rubber for Long Island at Bethpage Ballpark in Game Four, and will be opposed by the familiar Shaun Garceau for Somerset.
  • Southpaw Jarret Leverett was acquired from the New Britain Bees, and finally shipped over on Aug. 28 to complete an earlier trade.  He squeezed in four regular season starts for the Ducks, going 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA, allowing 11 runs on 23 hits, with 18 strikeouts over 22 innings pitched.  In 28 appearances and ten starts for the Bees, Jarret compiled a 4-7 record and 3.55 ERA, with 68 strikeouts over 93.2 innings pitched.  
  • The Patriots acquired Shaun Garceau from the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs early in the season.  He made 25 combined appearances and 24 starts this season, including 19 for Somerset.  Shaun went 4-6 in the regular season with a 4.97 ERA.  He allowed 128 hits and fanned 74 batters over 132.2 innings pitched.


After winning the first two games of the Freedom Division finals in Sugar Land, the Skeeters completed their three game sweep of the Revolution on Friday with an 8-6 victory in York.  Sugar Land returns to the Atlantic League finals for a second time.  They were swept by the Lancaster Barnstormers in the 2014 finals.

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