The Long Island Ducks got their feathers ruffled tonight. Loosing to the Lancaster Barnstormers 7-6 in a game that was ultimately decided with one out in the top of the ninth inning.The lack of command by everyone tonight was unusual. Most of the time one or two pitchers will be inconsistent with their command. Tonight everybody got into the act. The pitchers were off the charts poor, as everyone had command problems. Catchers would set up inside or outside and pitches ended up in the center of the plate. When that happens in pro ball, it’s Bang zoom Boom, good-by uncle Louie. Doubles, triples and Home runs will be aplenty.
The Ducks were lucky to get their first three runs in the second inning. Jordan Pacheco got things started when he hit a reverse spin screwball to Lancaster first baseman Sean Halton that ended up down the right field line for a double. After retrieving it, Halton turned to throw and froze as it seemed like the entire Lancaster infield and maybe all the umpires were watching the replay of “Dancing with the Stars.” No one was ready to have the ball thrown to them. As he held the ball, an alert Marc Krauss raced home with the first of four runs they would score that inning. It also allowed Pacheco to end up in scoring position.
The Ducks were carrying a four run lead into the fourth inning when starter Alfredo Simon began to loose gas and gave one run back in the fourth and three in the fifth. He almost got out of the fifth inning as he left the game with runners on first and third with 2 outs and put the ball in the hands of lefty John Lannan to face left handed batter Caleb Gindl. On his second pitch he laid a medium size Duck egg over the middle of the plate that Gindl deposited in right center to tie the game at 5-5. The flock came back to take the lead after Lancaster reliever John Kuchno laid his own egg and left a hanging slider over the middle of the plate for veteran Lew Ford, who drove it into the night over the left field wall for the go ahead run.
Amalio Diaz looked good for his first three outs, but then after a brilliant bunt for a base hit by Rico Noel in the top of the ninth, Gindl hit a bomb that when hit, sounded like a leftover explosion from the 4th of July. It sailed over the second back wall in right field. The ball was reported to of landed on Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays. One of many pitches thrown tonight buy members of both pitching staffs, that went to a place where it was not intended. Tonights pitchers produced enough eggs to fill the Whitehouse lawn for the annual Easter day hunt.
This was not a sloppy game. In fact there were some darn good fielding plays. Including a great snatch by Lancaster closer Anthony Carter in the ninth inning on a come-backer to the mound, that he turned into a 1-6-3 double play to end any hope of a come back by the Ducks.
One thing I know for sure, I will not be having egg salad for lunch tomorrow.