There’s at least one team in the New York area that will be going to the playoffs.
While the Mets and Yankees will have to wait until September to sort out their post season hopes, the Long Island Ducks have won the Liberty Division first half, securing a spot in the Atlantic League playoffs.
“It’s awesome. What a great feeling,” said Ducks manager Kevin Baez. “I am proud of the team and proud of what they have done in the first half. What a great group of guys. It’s great to share this moment.”
The Ducks were able to secure the title thanks to two of their divisional rivals, the New Britain Bees and Bridgeport Bluefish, who were able to put the rival Somerset Patriots onto a four game losing streak after being tied with Long Island this past Monday.
Meanwhile, the Ducks took care of business going 3-1 during the Pats losing streak against York, who won the Independence Division’s first half, and Sugar Land.
“We are going to go out and enjoy the night,” said infielder Dan Lyon. “It is extra special coming back from where we started at 1-6. Our team really came through down the stretch and we are going to enjoy the night and come back tomorrow.”
The Ducks have earned their fifth First Half Division title in franchise history and first since 2012. Overall, this marks Long Island’s 11th postseason appearance in 17 seasons of play. The 2016 Liberty Division Championship Series will begin on Wednesday, September 21 at a location to be determined.
Winning the first half, which ends with today’s game, doesn’t mean the Ducks season is over. They can still win the second half, which will make could make life difficult for some divisional rivals, since then a Wild Card, which is derived from the whole league is introduced.
“We are are in the playoffs now, so we just want to go out and play well in the second half,” said pitcher John Brownell.
And he’s right because the Ducks will want to still be playing their best baseball when the playoffs come around, so they can battle for their fourth Atlantic League Championship.