The Long Island Ducks have not got off on the start they wanted to so far in 2013. The season is just seven games young, but the defending Atlantic League champions find themselves near the bottom of the division standings with a record of 1-6.
The Ducks opened up their season last week on the road against the Sugarland Skeeters, and it was the beginning of a tough road trip. They were swept by the Skeeters in the four-game series as the offense faltered. Long Island was only able to scratch together six runs in the four games.
A positive that could be taken away from that first series is the Ducks pitching. Despite only scoring four runs, the Ducks did not get blown out in any of the games against the Skeeters. They held a 4-0 lead in the third game of the season, but defense and bad bullpen work cost the Ducks a chance to pick up the first win of the season.
After losing the first four contests of the season, the boys from Long Island traveled to Lancaster to take on the Barnstomers, the team they defeated in the league championship last season. The Barnstomers were out for revenge and opened up the series by scoring six runs in the first inning of the opening game off of Ducks starter Bill Murphy, who lost his second start of season. The big first inning for Lancaster proved to be too much for the Ducks who dropped the contest 8-2.
In the second game of the series, the Ducks got off to a good start thanks to homeruns from Adam Bailey, Joash Brodin and Danny Perales. They held a 4-2 lead until the fifth inning, when Travis Denker hit a three-run homerun followed by a Daryl Ward solo homerun that put the Barnstomers up for good. The Ducks dropped the game 6-5 to begin the season on a six-game losing streak.
Long Island was able to take the final game of the series against the Barnstomers on Thursday night. The Ducks picked up its first win of the season by winning 6-0 behind an excellent outing by starting pitcher Matt Way. Way allowed just four hits in seven shutout innings, delivering a much –needed gem for the Ducks. The big blow by the Ducks was a three-run homerun by Joash Brodin in the fourth inning, his second of the season.
One of the major off-season storylines was the signing of former Major League great, Vladimir Guerrero. However, Guerrero has yet to report to the team because of personal issues, and this will be a situation that will continue to be monitored by the Ducks staff.
The Ducks now return home to Bethpage Ballpark after a long seven-game road trip to face the team that beat them in the first four games of the season, the Sugarland Skeeters. It will be a special Friday night as the Ducks will host a banner and championship ring ceremony sponsored by P.C Richard and Son, celebrating the team’s Atlantic League Championship last season.
The Ducks will look to build on yesterday’s victory, and try to improve their 1-6 record. Tickets are still available for the special night this evening as the Ducks look to continue their winning ways as they open up a six-game home stand in Central Islip.