Atlantic League Championship Series Preview - Ducks vs. Legends
(Central Islip, N.Y.) - For a record fifth consecutive season, the Long Island Ducks will be competing for the Atlantic League championship. The Ducks, who posted a league-best 68-52 record this season, secured their place in the 2021 Atlantic League Championship Series with a come-from-behind two games to one series victory over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to claim this year's North Division championship. Long Island, who has now reached the ALPB Championship Series every season since 2016, will be vying for its fifth league championship in franchise history and second in a row. Their opponent will be the Lexington Legends, who also rallied back for a 2-1 series win over the Charleston Dirty Birds to claim the South Division championship. The Legends went 60-60 this year and will be gunning for their first Atlantic League championship, in this, their inaugural season of play in the league. However, they will be looking to win a third consecutive championship after claiming the South Atlantic League titles in 2018 and 2019.
ALCS SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES EASTERN)
Game One Fri., October 15 Legends at Ducks 6:35 p.m. Fairfield Properties Ballpark
Game Two Sat., October 16 Legends at Ducks 6:35 p.m. Fairfield Properties Ballpark
Game Three Mon., October 18 Ducks at Legends 6:31 p.m. Lexington Legends Ballpark
Game Four* Tues., October 19 Ducks at Legends 6:31 p.m. Lexington Legends Ballpark
Game Five* Wed., October 20 Ducks at Legends 6:31 p.m. Lexington Legends Ballpark
* - If Necessary
This will be the first time ever the Ducks and Legends meet in postseason play. The two sides faced one another 10 times during the 2021 regular season, with the Ducks winning nine of the 10 meetings, including each of the final eight. On Opening Weekend of the season, the Ducks took three of four games against the Legends, splitting a doubleheader on May 29 and sweeping a twin bill on Memorial Day. Long Island then swept two three-game series in Lexington, taking all three games July 20-22 and September 21-23.
The biggest focal point of this series will be the Legends offense against the Ducks pitching staff and defense. Lexington led the Atlantic League in 2021 with a .293 team batting average, 205 home runs (the only ALPB team with more than 200 longballs), 884 runs scored and 1,203 hits. On the flip side of things, Long Island's pitching staff led the league with a 4.96 ERA and 68 wins while allowing a league-low 606 runs. Additionally, the Ducks posted the best fielding percentage in the Atlantic League at .979 and committed the fewest errors this season, just 84. The Legends also played well defensively, ranking second in fielding percentage and errors, but their pitching staff was sixth in the league with a 6.40 ERA.
Below are the active Atlantic League Championship Series rosters for the Long Island Ducks and Lexington Legends (players listed alphabetically by position):
LONG ISLAND DUCKS LEXINGTON LEGENDS
Anderson DeLeon (RHP) Austin Adams (RHP)
Darin Downs (LHP) Shawn Blackwell (RHP)
Brady Dragmire (RHP) Robert Carson (LHP)
Brendan Feldmann (RHP) Eli Garcia (RHP)
Clint Freeman (LHP) Daniel Gibson (LHP)
Rob Griswold (RHP) J.J. Hoover (RHP)
Scott Harkin (RHP) Francisco Jimenez (RHP)
Adam Heidenfelder (RHP) Jeff Johnson (RHP)
Joe Iorio (RHP) Liam O'Sullivan (RHP)
Frank Moscatiello (RHP) Daren Osby (RHP)
Dylan Peiffer (RHP) Henry Owens (LHP)
Darrell Thompson (LHP) Bryan Quillens (RHP)
Tanner Wilt (RHP) Derek Self (RHP)
Jeff Thompson (RHP)
Zac Westcott (RHP)
Sal Giardina Christian Correa
Hector Sanchez Pete Yorgen
Jesse Berardi Roberto Baldoquin
Nick Bottari Chris Fornaci
Vladimir Frias Brandon Phillips
Ty Kelly Juan Silverio
Ramon Flores Ben Aklinski
Lew Ford Courtney Hawkins
L.J. Mazzilli Denis Phipps
Boog Powell Tillman Pugh
Chris Shaw Ben Revere
Johnni Turbo Cole Sturgeon
Wally Backman - Manager P.J. Phillips - Manager
Lew Ford - Hitting Coach Dave Eiland - Pitching Coach
Darin Downs - Pitching Coach Ben Revere - Hitting Coach
Cip Garza - Bench Coach
Michael Koltak - Bullpen Coach
%: Two-Way Player
The following are the probable pitching matchups for the Atlantic League Championship Series (statistics provided are 2021 Atlantic League records and ERA for regular season and playoffs):
Legends: RHP Eli Garcia (5-5, 7.70 | 0-0, -.--) vs. Ducks: RHP Brendan Feldmann (8-4, 5.49 | 0-0, -.--)
Legends: RHP Francisco Jimenez (1-0, 6.19 | 0-0, 1.80) vs. Ducks: LHP Darin Downs (6-5, 4.50 | 0-1, 5.40)
Ducks: RHP Scott Harkin (5-0, 3.42 | 1-0, 0.00) vs. Legends: RHP J.J. Hoover (7-1, 6.06 | 1-0, 9.00)
GAME FOUR (IF NECESSARY)
Ducks: TBA vs. Legends: RHP Zac Westcott (1-2, 4.70 | 1-0, 2.57)
GAME FIVE (IF NECESSARY)
Ducks: TBA vs. Legends: TBA
Those unable to make it out to the ballpark can follow all the action on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming HD video and audio will be available via BoxCast on LIDucks.com as well as the Ducks official Facebook page and YouTube channel. Fans can follow a pitch-by-pitch account of each playoff game as well via MLB's Gameday Stringer.
Tickets to all Ducks home Championship Series games are available by visiting the Fairfield Properties Ballpark box office, calling (631) 940-TIXX.
Those wishing to attend Games Three, Four or Five at Lexington Legends Ballpark can purchase tickets by visiting LexingtonLegends.com or visiting the ballpark box office.
The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball, and play their home games at Fairfield Properties Ballpark. For further information, visit LIDucks.com or call (631) 940-DUCK (3825).
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Atlantic League Stories from October 14, 2021
- Atlantic League Championship Series Preview - Ducks vs. Legends - Long Island Ducks
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