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FURIOUS RALLY FALLS SHORT IN SERIES OPENER

Ducks nearly erase five-run deficit against Skeeters

(Central Islip, N.Y., July 28, 2016) – The Long Island Ducks were defeated by the Sugar Land Skeeters 8-6 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Bethpage Ballpark.

GAME AUDIO: Highlights from the series opener

POSTGAME VIDEO: Kevin Baez and Mike Dowd talk about the tough loss

Sugar Land opened the scoring in the second inning on Travis Scott’s RBI double off Ducks starter Nick Struck. Mike Dowd answered in the bottom of the frame with a two-run home run to center field off Skeeters starter Roy Merritt. The Skeeters pulled even at two in the fourth on an RBI single by Johan Limonta.

Four runs in the fifth put Sugar Land on top 6-2. Delwyn Young’s RBI double and Ricky Hague’s RBI single highlighted the inning. Long Island closed to within three in the bottom of the fifth on Delta Cleary Jr.’s RBI single, but a two-run homer to right by Young in the seventh pushed the advantage up to 8-3.

Long Island battled back with single runs over the final three innings to close the gap to 8-6. An RBI single by Cleary Jr. and sac flies from Fehlandt Lentini and Mark Minicozzi did the damage, but the Ducks could not pull even.

Merritt (5-2) picked up the win, pitching five and one-third innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out seven. Kyle Hansen (0-1) took the loss, giving up two runs on one hit and two walks in one inning of relief. Derrick Loop collected his 20th save despite allowing a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth. Struck did not factor into the decision but lasted three innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks.

Cleary Jr. and Dowd each had three hits and two RBI to lead the Flock.

The Ducks and Skeeters continue their four-game set on Friday night. 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). The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive Ducks Mini Bats, courtesy of Motorola. It's also a Fowl Pole Friday, and one lucky fan could win $50,000 if a select Ducks player hits a home run off one of the foul poles. In addition, it’s an OK Petroleum Friday, and the Ducks will be running their Friday night Pizza Hut K-Man promotion. Left-hander Dustin Richardson takes the mound for the Ducks against Skeeters righty Jake Hale.

Tickets to the game and all Ducks home games are available by visiting the Bethpage Ballpark box office, calling (631) 940-TIXX or CLICKING HERE. Those unable to make the game can follow all the action live on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Streaming video and audio will also be available online via the Ducks’ official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE.

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.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 35 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Game Date: 07/28/2016
Sugar Land Skeeters  8 AT Long Island Ducks  6

                                 YTD                                   YTD
Sugar Land         AB  R  H BI   AVG  L Island           AB  R  H BI   AVG
Prince, J 2B        2  1  0  0  .264  Vega, A LF          6  1  0  0  .263
Tosoni, R CF        3  2  1  0  .306  Lentini, F RF       4  0  2  1  .317
Young, D 1B         5  2  2  3  .275  Cleary Jr., D CF    5  0  3  2  .335
Hague, R 3B         5  3  3  1  .305  Puckett, C 3B       5  1  1  0  .289
Scott, T DH         5  0  3  1  .252  Lyons, D SS         5  0  2  0  .298
Barfield, J RF      3  0  0  1  .303  Minicozzi, M 1B     3  1  1  1  .352
Limonta, J LF       5  0  3  1  .262  Dowd, M C           4  2  3  2  .308
Weems, B SS         4  0  0  0  .238  Blanke, M DH        5  1  2  0  .263
Cordero, A C        4  0  2  0  .228  Wessinger, M 2B     3  0  0  0  .199
                                       Gotay, R PH        0  0  0  0  .292
                   36  8 14  7                           40  6 14  6

Sugar Land           0 1 0   1 4 0   2 0 0 -  8 14  2
L Island             0 2 0   0 1 0   1 1 1 -  6 14  1
2B--Young, D 1B (19), Scott, T DH (11). HR--Young, D 1B (4), Dowd, M C (3).
RBI--Young, D 1B  3 (39), Hague, R 3B (44), Scott, T DH (41), Barfield, J
RF (56), Limonta, J LF (13), TOTALS  7 (0), Lentini, F RF (48), Cleary Jr.,
D CF  2 (28), Minicozzi, M 1B (15), Dowd, M C  2 (30), TOTALS  6 (0).
HP--Dowd, M C  2 (8). SF--Barfield, J RF (6), Lentini, F RF (5), Minicozzi,
M 1B (1). E--Prince, J 2B (10), Hague, R 3B (18), Vega, A LF (2). 
LOB--Sugar Land 8, L Island 13. DP--M. Wessinger(2B) - D. Lyons(SS) - M.
Minicozzi(1B), C. Puckett(3B) - M. Minicozzi(1B), M. Wessinger(2B) - D.
Lyons(SS) - M. Minicozzi(1B), K. Hansen(P) - C. Puckett(3B) - M.
Minicozzi(1B) - M. Dowd(C). 
                                                                YTD
                                 IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR     ERA
 Sugar Land
Merritt, R (W,5-2)              5.1   8   3   3   1   7   1    2.80
Johnston, A                     0.2   0   0   0   0   1   0    1.69
Zinicola, Z                     1.0   2   1   0   0   1   0    2.93
Runzler, D                      1.0   2   1   1   1   1   0    1.23
Loop, D (S,20)                  1.0   2   1   1   1   2   0    1.37
                                9    14   6   5   3  12   1
 L Island
Struck, N                       3.0   6   2   2   3   0   0    4.97
Hansen, K (L,0-1)               1.0   1   2   2   2   0   0    6.00
Burawa, D                       2.0   2   2   1   0   2   0    1.80
Shuman, S                       1.0   2   2   2   0   2   1    3.24
Lomangino, J                    2.0   3   0   0   1   1   0    2.20
                                9    14   8   7   6   5   1
WP--Loop, D (3). HB--Loop, D (2). SO--Prince, J, Hague, R, Barfield, J,
Limonta, J, Weems, B, Vega, A 2, Lentini, F 2, Cleary Jr., D, Puckett, C,
Lyons, D, Minicozzi, M, Blanke, M 3, Wessinger, M. BB--Prince, J 3, Tosoni,
R 2, Barfield, J, Minicozzi, M, Wessinger, M, Gotay, R. BF--Merritt, R 25
(391), Johnston, A 2 (168), Zinicola, Z 6 (172), Runzler, D 6 (39), Loop, D
7 (167), Struck, N 15 (111), Hansen, K 5 (14), Burawa, D 8 (19), Shuman, S
5 (17), Lomangino, J 10 (74). P-S--Merritt, R 102-68, Johnston, A 7-5,
Zinicola, Z 27-17, Runzler, D 18-11, Loop, D 27-15, Struck, N 51-27,
Hansen, K 16-5, Burawa, D 28-19, Shuman, S 23-19, Lomangino, J 37-23. 
T--3:19.  A--4992
Kevin Baez ejected by Silvio Martinez Jr. in the bottom of the eighth for
arguing balls and strikes.
 
Plate Umpire - John Grasso, Field Umpire #1 - Fred DeJesus, Field Umpire #2 - Silvio Martinez Jr.