(Bridgewater, N.J., June 15, 2017) – The Long Island Ducks defeated the Somerset Patriots 3-1 on Thursday night in the finale of a three-game series at TD Bank Ballpark.
Ducks starter Matt Larkins (2-5) nearly made history, coming just three outs shy of pitching the second no-hitter in franchise history (Rod Henderson, 5/25/01 vs. Atlantic City). The right-hander retired the first 20 batters he faced before allowing a two-out walk in the seventh inning to Carlos Guzman, ending his bid for a perfect game. He set down the next four hitters in order to bring a no-hitter into the ninth. However, he surrendered a leadoff solo home run to Chris Grayson that ended his chance at history.
“It was a little bit of a let down,” Larkins commented following the game. “You want to get through nine with it. It’s one of those things that doesn’t happen too often. I threw a good changeup down and away, and he kind of just got enough of it to get it out. I have no problem with the pitch; He just did a good job of hitting it.”
Larkins finished his night with eight and one-third innings pitched, yielding just the homer and two walks while striking out seven batters. He threw 99 pitches while earning the victory, 67 of which were strikes.
“I felt good pretty much the whole game,” Larkins commented following the game. “I think I knew pretty much the whole game what was going on. It was just one of those nights where I had a really good sinker going – had a lot of movement on it – and then really good command of the other two pitches.”
The Ducks (27-26) were kept off the scoreboard by Patriots starter Lucas Irvine until the top of the seventh inning, when Long Island broke through against reliever Duane Below. Delta Cleary Jr.’s two-out single and Giovanny Alfonzo’s RBI double put the Flock ahead 1-0. Long Island added single runs in the eighth and ninth to build a 3-0 lead on RBI singles by Angelo Songco and Dan Lyons.
Following Grayson’s homer in the ninth, Somerset (32-21) put the tying runs on base via a one-out walk to Scott Kelly and a two-out walk to Carlos Guzman. However, Chin-Hui Tsao struck out former Duck Mark Minicozzi to end the ballgame.
Irvine took a no-decision for the Patriots, tossing six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out five. Below (3-1) suffered the loss, surrendering two runs on four hits and a walk in two innings of relief with four strikeouts. Tsao collected his seventh save of the season after recording the final two outs of the game, both on strikeouts.
Marc Krauss led the Flock offensively with two hits in the victory, while Elmer Reyes added a hit and three walks.
The Ducks continue their road trip on Friday when they open a three-game series against the Lancaster Barnstormers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. from Clipper Magazine Stadium. Fans can follow all the action on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming HD video and audio will be available via BoxCast on the Ducks’ official Facebook page, YouTube channel and at LIDucks.com. Right-hander Alfredo Simon makes his Ducks debut against Barnstormers righty Bryan Evans (3-2, 4.87).
Long Island returns home on Monday, June 19 to open up a four-game set with the Patriots. 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). It’s Health Night at the ballpark, presented by Northwell Health, and the first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive Commemorative Purple T-Shirts. It’s also a Military Monday, and as a thank you to the men and women of the armed forces who risk their lives to keep us safe, active military members (with valid military ID) will receive a special $7 ticket offer when purchasing tickets to Monday’s game at the Bethpage Ballpark box office (subject to availability). 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.
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 36 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.