Wednesday, August 08, 2018

L.I. Ducks: Flock Forge First Place Tie With Somerset

From the desk of:  THE WEBBED SPIKES NINE

Flock At The Gates!
Ducks Lead Series 2-0
I - LID 7; SOM 2
II - LID 10; SOM 7

Long Island Ducks
Somerset Patriots
New Jersey

Long Island Ducks: Surging Flock Now Tied With Somerset Patriots for Liberty Division Lead.

With Monday's 7-2 victory over the Patriots, the Long Island Ducks closed within one game of first place Somerset.  Right-hander Chris Pike - a new addition out of the Tampa Bay Rays system - starts for Long Island, allowing two earned runs on two hits and two walks before being relieved with one out in the fourth.  Coach Baez then treats Somerset to a Long Island bullpen bonanza, doling out an inning apiece to six different pitchers.  It worked, as the sextet joined in limiting the Patriots scoreless on seven hits and just one walk, with seven strikeouts.  Lorenzo Barcelo earned the victory for his scoreless work in the fifth.

Long Island powered up with another three home runs against Somerset.  Taylor Ard strikes early with a two run shot in the first.  Cody Puckett connects on a solo blast in the fifth, and David Washington caps off the night with his team leading 16th home run in the eighth.

With a follow-up victory over the Patriots in Game Two, the Ducks could finally achieve a tie for the  Liberty Division lead with Somerset.

... and they did just that.

The Ducks hit Patriots starter Kyle Davies hard and often.  Both Daniel Fields and David Washington greet him with home run blasts in the first inning; Fields' a solo shot, and Washington's a three-run strike.

In the top of the second, Patriots' Kyle Davies walks the first four batters faced.  A base hit from Travis Snider plates two Long Island runs for a commanding 7-0 Ducks lead.

Rest assure, Somerset does not go down quietly, posting two runs in the third, one in the fourth, and another pair in the fifth.  However, Daniel Fields provides the Ducks with an important insurance run in the sixth when he triples home Dan Lyons.  Ramon Cabrera later gives the Ducks a 9-5 lead with a home run leading-off the eighth.  Resilient Somerset claws back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame off Ducks reliever Colton Murray, but no more.  The Flock score yet another insurance run in the top of the ninth helped by a throwing error by Chase Hutchingson, allowing Dan Lyons to score, and give Long Island a 10-7 lead, and final margin of victory.

Francisco Rodriguez closes out the game for Long Island, pitching a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts for his 20th save of the season.

The Ducks are winners of five straight, and have now defeated Somerset in five straight as well.  Earlier this season, they were down 3-9 in head-to-head gams.  But with one more victory on Wednesday, Long Island will achieve a second straight sweep over Somerset and ensure a split of the season series.

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