The Long Island Ducks had a disappointing Memorial Day as they lost 15-3 to the Road Warriors in a game which featured 12 ejections and one bench clearing brawl.
Things looked good early for the Ducks. Ray Navarrete’s first home run of the day gave Long Island a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and starter Joselop Diaz (2-2) was perfect through the first two innings.
But in the third inning, Diaz had trouble finding the plate and when he did, the Road Warriors strung together four hits in a row, a hit batsman and another hit to push seven runs across the plate and blow the game open. The Road Warriors sent 11 men to bat in the third inning and scored seven runs on five hits, two walks and one hit batter.
John Rodriguez hit a sac fly in the third and Navarrette blasted another solo shot in the fifth inning to pull the Ducks to within 7-3. That’s when things started to get out of hand. The first pitch to the next Ducks batter, Javier Colina was high and behind Colina’s back. Both benches and bullpens emptied and eventually, punches were thrown.
“Things got out of hand,” admitted Ducks manager Kevin Baez after the game. “When guys get together like that, things get out of control. One of their guys threw a punch. Our guys were trying to break it up. They saw it and didn’t like it and things got out of control. We’re just trying to move on from this and forget about it.”
The bad blood between the teams continued in the top of the eighth innings when the Road Warriors pushed six more runs across the plate. Three straight Ducks relievers were ejected for throwing at or behind opposing players. All told, there were 12 ejections in the game, six Long Island players, two coaches and Baez while two Road Warriors players and one coach were also sent home early by the umpires.
After adding six runs in the eighth, the Road Warriors tacked on two more in the ninth when outfielder Lew Ford came on to pitch the ninth inning.
“It was a very disappointing day for us and for them, you never want to really see that,” admitted Navarrette after the game. “Things got a little heated there. You had two teams that thought they were doing the right thing by sticking up for each other…Our strength is the character we have on this team and the relationships we have with each other…It was pretty ugly out there but one thing you did see if you were a Ducks fan was 25 guys who would not lay down for anybody.”
The two teams take a much needed day off Tuesday before returning to action at Bethpage Park on Wednesday and Thursday at 6:35.
This was the Road Warriors first win over the Ducks since June 28, 2007, ending a 13-game winning streak for Long Island.
The team used red, white and blue bases to honor America on Memorial Day
Centerfielder Kraig Binick went one-for-three in the game to extend his on base streak to 19 straight games which is tied for the league high this season. Binick’s batting average for the season is .406.