Patriots Pluck Ducks, 10-5

By Dan MaricondoRebecca Anzel, Frank Olito, and Samantha Lacovara
The Greene Team

The Long Island Ducks lost the third game of a four-game series on Wednesday against the Somerset Patriots, who blew an early three-run lead in the fourth inning but regained the advantage in the sixth inning with a pinch-hit homer.

The Ducks fell 10-5 in front of a capacity crowd of 6,000-plus people.

Plucked Ducks

Ducks fans rallied despite the loss. Photo by Samantha Lacovara.

Despite the loss fan Charles Burns, who has been passionate about baseball for 42 years, said he enjoys watching the Ducks because, “they play with a little more heart than [the major league teams]. To them it’s not just a business.”

The game was a scoring fest with 15 runs surrendered between the two teams.

Ducks starter and former Major League Baseball pitcher Kip Wells was on the losing side of the affair while the Patriots’ Justin Jones led the way for reliever Casey Cahill to take the win. Cahill pitched more than three run-less innings in a game where pitching was lackluster.

The Ducks offense showed fight in the second inning and nearly closed the three-run deficit ead when Matt Esquivel and Brendan Monaghan hit back-to-back RBI doubles to put Long Island within one.

However, the Somerset Patriots quickly added two more runs to their lead in the next inning when Josh Pressley and Pete Laforest contributed with RBI singles.

The score was then 5 to 2.

Showing their determination, the Ducks would strike again in the bottom of the fourth when Esquivel hit a long three-run homer to deep left field to tie up the game at 5-5.  The energized fans erupted into a frenzy.

However, the good feelings were only short-lived as previously mentioned because Wells took the mound in the top of the sixth, giving up the pinch-hit two-run homer to Elliot Ayala. Somerset never looked back and Long Island’s bullpen gave up three more runs to put the win out of reach.

Two controversial calls made by the umpires did not help the Ducks’ cause either.

In a first-inning steal attempt off third base by lead-off hitter Wayne London, it appeared that catcher Tom Jennings threw him out, but the third base umpire ruled him safe. London would later score the game’s first run.

This brought out a loud “What?!” and “Cheap Call!” chant from the fans.  It would happen again in the third inning when another runner who fans thought was dead in the water was ruled safe.

This time the players let the umpires hear it.

Although the Ducks lost, it did not stop the fans from enjoying themselves. Peter Smith of Setauket spirited, “If we have fun, we all win.”