The LI Ducks started off Memorial Day weekend by dropping the opening game of a three game series to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at Bethpage Ballpark on Friday night. It was an exciting affair that saw 19 total runs scored, as the Ducks fell 12-7. The Blue Crabs scored seven runs over the game’s final four innings, pulling away from the streaking Ducks.
Danny Perales paced the Ducks with four hits, while Bryant Nelson drove in four runs. However, it wasn’t enough for Long Island as starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis continued his early season struggles by allowing five runs over five innings to pick up his second loss of the season.
The Long Island Ducks enjoyed a successful run for the first time this season over the last week. The Ducks won five straight games, their longest winning streak of the season, and now find themselves just 2.5 games out of first place in the Liberty Division.
The defending Atlantic League champions began the week by dropping a Friday night affair to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, 7-5. Most of the damage was done in the second inning, as the Blue Crabs poured in five runs to take the lead for good. Nick DeBarr endured the loss for the Ducks as he drops to 0-4 on the season.
The following day began a good stretch of games for Long Island, as the bats came alive. P.J Phillips blasted a two-run homerun in the second inning. Bryant Nelson added an RBI single later in the game and that was all the Ducks needed as starter Connor Graham tossed six shutout innings and struck out six batters to earn the victory. It was Graham’s second win of the season, and gave the Ducks a much needed quality start.
It was just the catalyst that the Ducks needed as they reeled off four more wins after that, bringing themselves right into the thick of things in the Atlantic League standings.
The signature win of the streak came on the opening game of a three-game series against the Camden Riversharks when the Ducks pummeled them 10-0. Danny Perales continued his hot hitting as he led the game off with a homerun, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Catcher Ramon Castro added a homer in the first as well and the Ducks put a three up on the board in the first.
The Ducks spread out their scoring, tacking on a couple of runs each inning. Seven different Ducks hitters had a run batted in, but the story of the game was starting pitcher John Bronwell. Bronwell tossed a complete game shutout, striking out seven in the process and provided the Ducks with its best pitching performance of the season.
Joash Brodin currently leads the Ducks in hitting with an average of .328 to go along with three homeruns and 13 runs batted in. Danny Perales has been the rock in the lineup though, leading the team with six homeruns and 23 runs batted in.
Bronwell has anchored the Duck pitching staff, leading the team in both innings pitched (40) and strikeouts (34). Closer Leo Rosales has been consistent all year closing out games, and leads the team with a 1.28 ERA and eight saves.
The Ducks will not play tonight as the game has been postponed due to rain. They will play a day-night doubleheader beginning at 1:35 p.m. on Sunday to wrap up their three game series with the Blue Crabs on Memorial Day Weekend.