Sunday, April 30, 2017

L.I. Ducks: Rollercoaster Ride Continues

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE


Bees     3
Ducks   4

Opening the 2017 regular season on the road seemingly caused a little limp in the Flock's waddle.   They dropped four of their first seven games punctuated by a series loss against the Somerset Patriots.  The webbed wonders did, however, take the series finale from their chief rival to at least head home on a winning note.

Friday's Opening Day game at the Pond against the New Britain Bees was one of those which reaffirms the notion - it's not how you start, but how you finish that's important.  That being said, the visitors jumped out to an abrupt first inning lead when Bees DH and clean-up hitter Craig Maddox stroked a majestic three run home run off Ducks starter Keith Couch.

But Couch regrouped, and followed up with three scoreless innings of work.  Although charged with three runs on three hits, he fanned five batters and retired nine of his last ten batters faced through the fourth.

Reliever Zac Treece picked up where Couch left off, with three scoreless innings of one hit ball.  And after a good stretch, Long Island finally got Couch off the losing side, with a four run outburst in the home seventh.

Second baseman Elmer Reyes plated the Ducks first two runs with a double.  Delta Cleary Jr.'s RBI single tied the game at three, and DH Marc Kruass' sac fly to center gave the Ducks a 4-3 lead, and their final margin of victory.

Patrick Crider struck out the side in the eighth, and veteran David Aardsma fanned a pair in during a scoreless ninth for his first save.  Zac Treece earned the well deserved victory.

Saturday Final
Bees     3
Ducks   2

Unfortunately, the Flock were unable to extend their winning streak to three, dropping the middle game if their three game set against New Britain.

Saturday's 3-2 loss also lowered Long Island's early season record below .500 again.

Ducks starter Tim Melville pitched five innings in a losing effort, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits, with three strikeouts.

Matt Larkins will start Sunday's rubber game for Long Island.

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