(Sugar Land, Texas, Sept. 25, 2018) – The Long Island Ducks were defeated by the Sugar Land Skeeters 5-4 in 13 innings on Tuesday night in Game One of the Atlantic League Championship Series at Constellation Field. The Skeeters now lead the best-of-five series one game to none.
Lew Ford gave the Ducks an early 3-0 lead with a three-run home run to left field in the opening inning off Skeeters starter James Russell. It stayed that way until the bottom of the fifth when Sugar Land closed to within one on an RBI single by Anthony Giansanti and a sacrifice fly to center by Juan Silverio off Ducks starter Jake Fisher.
The Ducks stretched their lead back up to two in the top of the eighth on a mammoth solo homer to left by Cody Puckett. However, a two-run bottom of the inning for the Skeeters against reliever Jose Cuas tied the game at four. A two-out RBI single to right by Tony Thomas followed by an RBI double to left from Derek Norris did the damage.
Both sides would wiggle into and out of trouble over the next four innings. Long Island threatened to take the lead with back-to-back walks to begin the 13th inning, but they could not push across the go-ahead run. In the bottom of the inning, Sugar Land loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. That set the stage for Javier Betancourt, who ended the game with a sac fly to center that scored Thomas.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Fisher lasted six and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out four. Russell pitched six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and four walks with five strikeouts. Michael Mariot (1-0) collected the win after pitching a scoreless 13th inning, working around three walks and striking out two. Hector Silvestre (0-1) took the loss, giving up the winning run on two hits and three walks over one and two-thirds innings of relief.
Every Ducks starter reached base safely in the game. Jordany Valdespin led the way with three hits, while Daniel Fields and Dioner Navarro each added two.
The Ducks and Skeeters return to the field on Wednesday night for Game Two of the Atlantic League Championship Series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT from Constellation Field. 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 Matt Larkins (7-5, 4.56; 1-0, 2.57) takes the mound for the Ducks against Skeeters righty Konner Wade (8-6, 3.10; 0-1, 27.00).
The series will then return to Bethpage Ballpark on Friday night for Game Three. 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). The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive Ducks Thundersticks, and fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:15 to enjoy pre-game team introductions. Tickets for the game, and all Ducks home playoff games, are on sale now! Fans can purchase their tickets by visiting the Bethpage Ballpark box office, calling (631) 940-TIXX, CLICKING HERE or visiting the Ducks mobile app.
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 40 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 players and 70 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.
For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.