Long Island battles Sugar Land for league crown
(Central Islip, N.Y., Sept. 26, 2016) - The 2016 Atlantic League playoffs have been thrilling from the get-go. Now, it’s time to decide an Atlantic League champion. The Liberty Division champion Long Island Ducks will face the Freedom Division champion Sugar Land Skeeters in the best-of-five Atlantic League Championship Series. Long Island earned its fourth trip to the ALCS in six seasons and fifth all-time after rallying from an 0-2 deficit to defeat the Somerset Patriots in five games during the Liberty Division Championship Series. In doing so, they became just the second team in league history to accomplish that feat (2001 Patriots in Atlantic League Championship Series vs. Newark). Sugar Land punched its ticket to the finals after sweeping the Freedom Division Championship Series against the York Revolution. The Skeeters came from behind to win all three games of the series.
SERIES SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES EASTERN)
||September 27||Ducks at Skeeters||8:05 p.m.||Constellation Field|
|Game Two||September 28||Ducks at Skeeters||8:05 p.m.||Constellation Field|
|Game Three||September 30||Skeeters at Ducks||6:35 p.m.||Bethpage Ballpark|
|Game Four*||October 1||Skeeters at Ducks||6:35 p.m.||Bethpage Ballpark|
|Game Five*||October 2||Skeeters at Ducks||5:05 p.m.||Bethpage Ballpark|
|* - If Necessary|
This year marks the Ducks’ fifth trip to the Atlantic League Championship Series and the Skeeters’ second. Long Island has won three of its first four trips (2004, 2012 and 2013), with their only loss coming in 2011 to York. Sugar Land, who entered the Atlantic League in 2012, was swept in its lone trip to the Championship Series by Lancaster back in 2014. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams in the Atlantic League playoffs.
The Ducks and Skeeters faced 20 times during the 2016 season, with the Ducks winning the season series 11-9. Long Island won six of the 10 meetings at Bethpage Ballpark, while the two sides split the 10 games down in Texas. The Ducks were dominant against Sugar Land in the first half, winning seven of 10 meetings. However, the Skeeters answered back by taking six of 10 in the second half of the year. Long Island most recently took two of three games at Constellation Field during the final week of the regular season.
Since the Skeeters’ inaugural season of 2012, the teams have faced 99 times during the regular season. Sugar Land holds a slim 50-49 advantage in the all-time series. In the 49 games played on Long Island, the Ducks have compiled a 30-19 record against the Skeeters. However, in 50 games down in the Lone Star State, the Skeeters have built a 31-19 edge over the Flock.
The following are the probable pitching matchups for the series, with playoff statistics (if applicable) followed by regular season stats.
Ducks: RHP Bobby Blevins (2-12, 5.51 ERA) vs. Skeeters: RHP Jake Hale (6-3, 3.73 ERA)
Ducks: RHP Matt Larkins (0-1, 22.50 ERA; 1-0, 3.21 ERA) vs. Skeeters: RHP Michael Nix (2-1, 3.12 ERA)
Skeeters: RHP Sean Gallagher (0-0, 1.80 ERA; 10-8, 3.79 ERA) vs. Ducks: RHP Nick Struck (1-0, 1.28 ERA; 4-5, 3.34 ERA)
Skeeters: RHP Brett Marshall (0-0, 7.20 ERA; 6-6, 4.33 ERA) vs. Ducks: TBA
Skeeters: TBA vs. Ducks: TBA
Those unable to make it out to the ballpark can follow all the action live for all five potential games on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Streaming audio for each game, including video for each home game, will be available online by CLICKING HERE.
PROMOTIONS AND TICKET LINKS
The first 1,000 fans in attendance at every Ducks home game will receive Playoff Rally Towels, courtesy of News 12 Long Island.
Tickets to all Ducks home postseason games are available by visiting the Bethpage Ballpark box office, calling (631) 940-TIXX or CLICKING HERE.
Those wishing to attend Games One and Two at Constellation Field can purchase tickets by calling (281) 240-4487 or visiting www.sugarlandskeeters.com.
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.