September 20, 2012 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Long Island Ducks
(Bridgewater, N.J., Sept. 19, 2012) - The Long Island Ducks were defeated by Somerset Patriots 3-2 in 17 innings on Wednesday night in the first game of a rain-shortened two-game series at TD Bank Ballpark.
Somerset struck first in the second inning on a solo homer to left-center field by Corey Smith off Ducks starter Bobby Blevins. Long Island jumped in front in the fourth on a two-run blast to left-center by Lee Cruz off Patriots starter Roy Merritt.
Both teams exchanged zeroes until the seventh when Smith went deep again, this time off Bob Zimmermann, to tie the game at two. It would stay that way until the bottom of the 17th inning when Dan Hennigan won it for the Pats with a walk-off RBI fielder's choice.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Blevins tossed five innings, allowing just one run on one hit while striking out two, and Merritt lasted six innings, yielding two runs on four hits with three strikeouts. Chase Wright (5-3) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief, and Chris Hayes (3-4) suffered the loss, surrendering a run on one hit in three and two-thirds innings of relief.
Joash Brodin led the Flock with three hits. The two teams combined to use 13 pitchers in what tied a record for the longest game in Patriots history at 17 innings. The Ducks have now combined to play 31 innings in their last two Wednesday games, after outlasting the Barnstormers 6-3 in 14 innings a week ago at Bethpage Ballpark.
The Ducks and Patriots play for the final time in 2012 on Thursday night. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. from TD Bank Ballpark. Fans can follow all the action live online at LIDucks.com by clicking the Listen Live icon on the homepage. Streaming audio will be provided by iBN, the Internet Broadcast Network. Left-hander Randy Keisler takes the mound for the Ducks against Patriots southpaw Doug Arguello.
Long Island returns home for the playoffs on Friday, September 28 when they play Game Three of the Best-of-Five Liberty Division Championship Series. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m., with the Bethpage Ballpark gates opening at 6:05. Following the game, all fans in attendance will be treated to a Grucci Fireworks Extravaganza. Tickets for the game and all Ducks home playoff games are available by visiting the Bethpage Ballpark box office, calling 631-940-TIXX or visiting www.liducks.com.