Sunday, September 08, 2013

L.I. Ducks: Staying In First Place Proving Difficult

From the desk of:   THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Atlantic League Round-Up

LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Still Treading Water; Hold Two Game Lead In Liberty Division With Seven Games To Go.

Can't anybody stop the Sugar Land Skeeters?  The Ducks have failed to do so in three games so far this series, as well as sixteen other times this season.  In nineteen total games played against the Sugar Land Skeeters, the Long Island Ducks have won but three.  The two teams will meet for the twentieth and final time on Monday night

The Sugar Land Skeeters continue to romp through the Atlantic League.  When they recently hit eighty-nine wins for the season, they set a new Atlantic League record.  With Sunday afternoon's victory, Sugar Land now has a 92-41 overall record.  In just their second season of existence, the Skeeters reset the league mark previously established by the 2012 Lancaster Barnstormers.

Somehow, last year's Atlantic League champions remain in first place of the Liberty Division.  That's because no other team wants to challenge Long Island for the lead.  At least that's the way it has appeared for a considerable portion of the season.  The Long Island Ducks are playing below .500 overall, with a 60-73 record.  The Liberty Division's first half title went to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, while the Ducks posted a disappointing 30-40 record and finished second.  In the second half, all members of the Liberty Division are currently playing below the .500 mark.  The Ducks presently have a 30-33 record, and maintain a two game lead over the second place Bridgeport Bluefish.  Including Monday night's series finale against Sugar Land, the Ducks have seven games remaining in their regular season.  A home series against Lancaster follows the Skeeters, then the Ducks wrap up the season on the road against Somerset.

Lost in all this, is the season the Somerset Patriots are having.  If not for the Sugar Land Skeeters, all the talk would be of Somerset and how they could have set the league's new victory total as well.  Overall, they sport an 88-46 record - one away from Lancaster's old mark.  Somerset is presently the only other team to achieve eighty wins this season, and are fast closing in on ninety.  They will enter this season's post-season as the Freedom Division Wild Card, as the Skeeters have clinched both halves of the regular season.

To date, the Lancaster Barnstormers are the third best overall team this season, behind Somerset and Sugar Land.  They are worth a mention because ironically, they hold many of the league's marbles.  Barnstormer Jerry Owens leads the circuit with a .344 batting average, while his team mate Ryan Harvey leads the Atlantic League with twenty-eight home runs and eighty-eight runs batted in.  On the hill, Lancaster's Dwayne Pollok leads the league with eighteen wins and a 2.92 ERA.


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