Eighth inning solo homer proves to be difference in high-scoring affair
(High Point, N.C., Sept. 24, 2019) – The Long Island Ducks defeated the High Point Rockers 8-7 on Tuesday night at BB&T Point in Game One of the Liberty Division Championship Series. Long Island now leads the best-of-five series one game to none.
The Ducks put up a four-spot in the top of the third inning against Rockers starter John Brownell to take a 4-0 lead. An RBI triple down the right field line by Vladimir Frias, a two-run double to center by Steve Lombardozzi and a sac fly to right off the bat of L.J. Mazzilli did the damage. A sac fly to left off the bat of Deibinson Romero in the sixth extended the Ducks advantage to five.
Quincy Latimore lifted a solo home run to center field off Ducks starter Darin Downs in the sixth, trimming the Ducks lead to 5-1. However, RBI singles by Lew Ford and Mazzilli in the seventh pushed Long Island’s edge up to 7-1.
High Point rallied for six two-out runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at seven. A two-run double to right field by Hector Gomez and a two-run single to center by Myles Schroder highlighted the inning. The Ducks had an answer though, as Romero launched a leadoff solo homer to left in the eighth to put the Flock on top for good at 8-7.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Downs pitched six and one-third innings of two-run ball, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out seven. Brownell lasted six and one-third innings as well, conceding seven runs on six hits and eight walks with two strikeouts. Rob Rogers (1-0) got the win despite allowing the game-tying hit in one-third of an inning. Sam Runion (0-1) took the loss after serving up the go-ahead home run to Romero in the eighth. Cody Mincey earned his first save of the postseason with two scoreless innings, yielding a walk while striking out one.
Lombardozzi led the Flock offensively with three hits, two RBIs and a walk. Frias added two hits, an RBI and two runs.
The Ducks and Rockers continue the playoffs on Wednesday night with Game Two of the Liberty Division Championship Series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at BB&T Point. Fans can follow all the action on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming video and audio will be available via BoxCast on LIDucks.com, Facebook Live and the Ducks official YouTube channel. Right-hander Vin Mazzaro (11-4, 3.61) takes the mound for the Ducks against Rockers righty Craig Stem (5-5, 2.89).
The two teams return to Long Island for Game Three on Friday, September 27. 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 1,500 fans in attendance will receive Ducks Thunderstix, courtesy of Newsday. In addition, every time the Ducks score a run during the game, one lucky fan will win a gift card, courtesy of P.C. Richard and Son. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:10 p.m. for pre-game introductions of the two teams. Tickets to the game, and all Ducks home postseason games, can be purchased by visiting the 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)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 42 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history.
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