From the desk of: THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE
Long Island Ducks: Improve Lead In Liberty Division To 2.5 Games. Mike Parisi and Mike Loree Providing Long Island With Strong One-Two Punch On Mound. Offense Among League's Most Potent.
In game two in a series between the Atlantic League's two first place teams, Kennard Jones hit a two out home run in the third inning for an early 1-0 Ducks' lead.
Long Island followed up in the fourth inning with two more runs. John Rodriguez led off with a double and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Matt Esquivel drove him home with a single. Esquivel stole second and reached third on a ground ball to second retiring Matt Padget for the first out. J.R. House then drew a walk putting runners on first and third. Freddie Thon reached first base on a fielder's choice scoring Esquivel from third to make it a 3-0 Ducks lead after four.
In the fifth inning, the Ducks struck for more. Kennard Jones and Ray Navarrete led off the inning with a pair of singles. After Javier Colina popped up foul to first, John Rodriguez hit a booming home run over the right center field wall to put the Long Islanders up by a 6-0 score.
Lancaster's starting pitcher; Yunior Novoa; was removed from the game after only three innings pitched. Justin Segal was called on to relieve. Both pitchers were roughed up for an equal amount of runs by the Ducks; three apiece through five innings. Two more Lancaster pitchers kept Long Island quiet through the ninth.
Ducks' starter; Mike Parisi; cruised through the first seven innings striking out six batters while surrendering only four hits and one walk. In the eighth, the first out was a hard liner to Esquivel in right. Parisi recorded his seventh strike out of the night for the second out. Then Mike Parisi powered a fastball; his 96th pitch of the night; past Lancaster's Gilberto Mejia for out number three.
Then out came Mike Parisi for the ninth in pursuit of a complete game shut-out. Lancaster's two; three; and four hitters lie ahead. The Barnstormers' Matt Watson flied to left for the first out. Third baseman Tommy Everidge, ran a full count against Parisi who then surrendered his second walk of the game. Fernando Seguignal was robbed by a brilliant backhand play by L.I. first baseman Freddie Thon who made the putout at first unassisted. With two outs, Parisi got the count to 0-2 against Aaron Herr, and yes, ended his complete game shutout with his 9th strikeout of the game.
Mike Parisi's performance gives the Ducks their first 9-inning complete game shutout of the season. He improved his record to 5-1, with five being good enough for third in the league. Mike Loree is tied for the Atlantic Lead with six. Parisi also lowered his ERA to 3.81. His 47 strikeouts now place him second in the League behind his staff-mate; Mike Loree. He and Mike Loree are emerging as a dominant starting combination who, backed by a robust offense, are leading the Ducks during the first half Liberty Division race.
Offensive Contributors Like Tonight's trio:
Kennard Jones; 3 for 4; home run; rbi; run scored.
John Rodriguez; 2 for 4; home run; 3 rbi; 2 runs scored.
Matt Esquivel; 3 for 4; rbi; run scored.
...when combined with starts like Loree yesterday and Parisi today, are what successful seasons are built upon. Forty-five home runs ties them for second in the Atlantic League. And the Ducks lead the league in runs scored.
Long Island is now 26-14 on the season and winners of four in a row. Over the last ten games, the Ducks are the hottest team in the League. The Camden River Sharks took it to the South Maryland Blue Crabs again defeating them 6-3. So that ups the Ducks lead over South Maryland to 2.5 games.
The series concludes Thursday before the Ducks go back home to play the Road Warriors.