LIBERTY DIVISION FINALS
Series tied 2-2
I - SOM 3; LID 2*
II - SOM 10; LID 0
III - LID 7; SOM 1
IV - LID 2; SOM 0
Long Island Ducks
Home is where the wins are.
Long Island and Somerset have now won two game apiece on their home grounds. The resurgent Ducks hope to continue putting their home field advantage to work on Sunday during the fifth and deciding game of the Liberty Division series from Bethpage Ballpark.
On Saturday, Ducks starter Jarret Leverett made a decisive Game Five possible by allowing six scattered hits over six scoreless innings, issuing one walk and fanning five batters to gain a do-or-die victory for Long Island. He faced 28 batters, and threw 98 pitches with 67 going for strikes.
Relievers Amalio Diaz and Todd Coffey pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth inning to close out Long Island's 2-0 victory.
First baseman Tyler Colvin led off the bottom of the third with a double to left off Patriots starter Shaun Garceau. With one out, left fielder Anthony Vega connected off Garceau for a two run home run.
Otherwise, Shaun Garceau limited the Ducks to only four hits. Somerset, on the other hand, stroked eight hits off Ducks pitching which yielded no runs.
Pitchers John Brownell and Will Oliver are tentatively scheduled to start Sunday's game on four days rest. Each earned no-decisions for their efforts during Game One in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
The Ducks and Patriots have now played 24 combined regular season and playoffs games this season, with both winning 12 games apiece.
Game Five ... here we go again
John Brownell also started last year's Liberty Division series finale, but only lasted 4.2 innings before receiving the hook. He allowed four runs on nine hits and a walk, with just two strikeouts in taking the loss. Roy Merritt pitched a complete game for the Patriots, limiting the Ducks to just four hits and a walk, while fanning three for the clinching victory.
The Ducks and Patriots split the first two games of that Liberty Division series at Bethpage Ballpark.
Long Island then took a 2-1 series lead in Game Three at TD Bank Ballpark. The Patriots, however, stormed back in games Four and Five, turning back the Ducks in back-to-back shutout performances and advancing to the championship series.
In the championship series, Somerset bowed in Game One to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, then rolled to three consecutive victories and capturing their sixth Atlantic League championship.
The Patriots and Long Island Ducks are the league's two most successful franchises. As such, they have now played 24 combined regular season and playoffs games this season, with both winning 12 games apiece.