Ducks Top Skeeters in See-Saw Extra Inning Slugfest
(Sugar Land, Texas) - The Long Island Ducks defeated the Sugar Land Skeeters 8-5 in 11 innings on Saturday night in the middle game of a three-game series at Constellation Field.
Jason Martinson hit a two-out solo home run to left field in the second inning off Ducks starter Jake Fisher to give Sugar Land and early 1-0 lead. Rey Fuentes and Kirk Nieuwenhuis answered back with solo homers in the third and fourth, respectively, off Skeeters starter Dallas Beeler to put Long Island in front 2-1.
Sugar Land tied the game in the fifth on an RBI single by C.J. McElroy, but an opposite-field solo homer to left by Kirk Nieuwenhuis leading off the sixth put the Ducks back in front 3-2. Courtney Hawkins drove a two-out solo homer to left in the bottom of the sixth that evened the score at three, but Nieuwenhuis launched his second leadoff homer of the night to left in the eighth to put the Flock ahead again at 4-3.
Hawkins tied the game at four in the bottom of the ninth with a leadoff solo homer to left. Long Island would not falter though, as they plated four runs in the 11th inning to take an 8-4 lead. Steve Lombardozzi's two-run single to right, a wild pitch that scored Fuentes and a sac fly to left by Nieuwenhuis did the damage. Sugar Land got a run back in the 11th on a double play grounder, but that was as close as they'd come.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Fisher tossed seven innings of three-run ball, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out 11, tying his career-high. Beeler lasted five and two-thirds innings, giving up six hits and two walks with four strikeouts. George Kontos (1-0) picked up the win in his Ducks debut, yielding a run on one hit while striking out two in two innings. Lucas Irvine (0-1) took the loss, surrendering four runs on one hit and one walk in the 11th.
Nieuwenhuis and Fuentes each had three hits to lead the Ducks offensively. Nieuwenhuis drove in three runs and scored twice, while Fuentes reached base all six times he came to the plate, scoring twice and drawing two walks.
The Ducks and Skeeters wrap up their three-game set on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. CDT (3:05 p.m. EDT) at Constellation Field. Fans can follow all the action on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming video and audio will be available via BoxCast on LIDucks.com, Facebook Live and the Ducks official YouTube channel. Left-hander Sean Nolin (1-0, 3.00) toes the rubber for the Ducks against Skeeters righty Mitch Talbot (0-1, 6.35).
Long Island returns home on Friday, May 17, to begin a four-game series against the New Britain Bees. Game time is slated for 6:35 p.m., with the Bethpage Ballpark gates opening at 5:35 (5:20 for full season ticket holders). It will be Flashback Friday, and fans will be able to enjoy 2000 season pricing on select Ducks individual game tickets purchased via the team's in-game vendors. Field box seats for future Ducks games will be just $9, while box seats will be only $8 (restrictions apply). In addition, Ducks staff members will be handing out coupons for a free regular sub (no purchase necessary) and $2 off any size sub at Jersey Mike's Subs to fans as they exit the ballpark. Tickets to the game, and all Ducks home games, can be purchased by visiting the box office, calling (631) 940-TIXX.
The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit www.liducks.com.
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