Thursday, September 22, 2016

L.I. Ducks: Patriots Walk Off With Game One Victory

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Patriots lead series 1-0
I - SOM 3; LID 2*
*11 innings
II - Thursday @ Somerset

Long Island Ducks: Patriots Get Unlikely Jolt From Bat of Scott Kelly, as Anthony Vega Watches Game One Hopes Sail Over Left Field Wall.

The rematch of last year's Liberty Division final is underway in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

And to the surprise of no one, the rivalry needed extra innings in order to decide the series opener.

After splitting 20 regular season games down the middle, did you expect otherwise?

Ducks     2
Patriots  3
11 innings

Toeing the rubber for Somerset, starter Will Oliver successfully turned away Long Island's first three batters of the evening.

Long Island starter John Brownell, however, commenced his evening rather ominously, walking the first batter he faced, center fielder Vinny Zarillo, on four pitches.  Zarillo and left fielder Aharon Eggelston traded places on the bases after a fielder's choice.  With two outs, Brownell issued another walk to first baseman Bryan LaHair.  Third baseman David Vidal then doubled home Eggelston with the game's first run.

Long Island promptly tied the score in the top of the second on singles by Cody Puckett and Ruben Gotay, and a throwing error by Will Oliver.  They took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on Anthony Vega's two out RBI single plating Ruben Gotay.

But the defending Atlantic League champs would not be denied, tying the game at two with a run in the home sixth.  John Brownell issued a two out walk to number six hitter Kyle Roller, who promptly scored on right fielder Carlos Guzman's double to center.

Both starting pitchers walked off with no decisions.
  • Will Oliver faced 30 batters in seven innings pitched, in which he allowed two runs on eight hits and two walks, with three strikeouts.
  • John Brownell faced 26 batters in six innings pitched, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks, with a pair of strikeouts.

Long Island loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the ninth inning on a Mike Dowd double, and walks to Fehlandt Lentini and Dan Lyons.  But Delta Cleary Jr. left them stranded with a harmless fly to left.

Into extra innings they went.

Long Island staved off trouble in the 10th, turning an inning ending double play.

But the Flock's luck would run out one frame later.  With one out in the bottom of the 11th, shortstop Scott Kelly (the apparent Al Weiss of Somerset) jerked a ball just inside the left field foul pole, and barely over the wall for a walk off home run off reliever James Lomangino, giving the Patriots a 3-2 opening game victory over the Ducks.

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