Tuesday Night Final
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Sixth Straight Loss Reduces Liberty Division Lead To One Game Advantage Over Bridgeport Bluefish. Five Games Remain In Regular Season.
Ducks Magic Number Still Set At Four.
For a second consecutive night, and for the third time in four days, Ducks reliever Erick Threets was treated very rudely by his opponent and factored mightily in his team's loss. This time, the Lancaster Barnstormers took their turn.
Long Island starter John Brownell pitched representative baseball over his six innings of work. He left on the winning side of a 5-3 game.
The Ducks jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first inning. The first three Ducks batters reached safely to load the bases for shortstop Bill Hall, who doubled home two runs. Adam Bailey drove in a run with a sac-fly. Bill Hall then scored on a wild pitch unleashed by Lancaster starter Derrick Loop. Next up, Ryan Strieby drove in the Ducks' fifth run with a double.
After the first, Derrick Loop shut down the Ducks. He pitched 7.1 innings, allowed the five runs on six hits, of which, five came in the first inning. He walked one and struck out eight before departing the game.
Lancaster scored three times off John Brownell in the fourth. Right fielder Ryan Harvey connected on a two run home run, and a sac-fly by Gustavo Molina made it a 5-3 game. John Brownell lasted six innings in total, allowed the three runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out five. He left the game on the winning side. In relief, Erick Threets began the seventh inning. He only managed to record one out before being charged with four runs on two hits and a walk. Coach Baez then summoned Eddy Ramos, who was charged with another run on three hits, to make it an 8-5 Long Island deficit.
Cody Eppley relieved Derrick Loop with one out in the eighth. With two on and two outs, Adam Bailey grounded into a force play to end Long Island's threat. The Barnstormers tacked on one more run in the top of the ninth. Yoslan Herrera entered the game in relief of Eppley, and dispatched the Ducks over the final 1.1 innings to preserve Lancaster's 9-5 victory. After the first inning, Long Island only managed three hits the rest of the way. Erick Threets was credited with yet another loss - his third in Long Island's last four games.
The second place Bridgeport Bluefish were victorious over the Somerset Patriots this evening, reducing Long Island's division lead to just one game.
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As they say in the old ball game, three strikes and you're out. Coach Baez has probably run out of patience with Erick Threets by now. The reliever has now negatively factored in too many critical games down the stretch. Manager Kevin Baez will no doubt have to rethink his bullpen strategies over the last five games of the season. Bridgeport is at the gates.