Hector Sanchez and Steve Lombardozzi each smack grand slams to beat Legends

(Central Islip, N.Y., May 31, 2021) – The Long Island Ducks swept a single admission doubleheader against the Lexington Legends on Monday at Fairfield Properties Ballpark, rallying to defeat the Legends 4-3 in the opener before waddling off with a 5-2 win in nine innings during game two. Both games were scheduled for seven-innings.

Lexington took a 2-0 lead in the second inning of game one on Roberto Baldoquin’s two-run single to right field off Ducks starter Joe Iorio. A sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Tillman Pugh in the fourth inning extended the Legends advantage to three.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the fifth when, after a walk and two singles, Hector Sanchez crushed a grand slam over the right field fence off Legends starter Liam O’Sullivan, giving the Ducks a 4-3 lead.

Iorio did not factor into the decision but lasted four innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on one hit and five walks while striking out two. Devin Raftery (1-0) picked up the win after pitching a scoreless inning in the fifth. O’Sullivan (0-1) suffered the loss, surrendering four runs on three hits and a walk over five innings with five strikeouts. Michael Tonkin recorded his first save of the season with a scoreless seventh inning, striking out one.

The Ducks struck first in game two on back-to-back doubles in the third inning by Sal Giardina and Jesse Berardi. Lexington tied the game in the top of the fourth on a sac fly to left by Darlin De La Rosa.

Both teams traded zeroes until the top of the ninth when a sac fly to left by Ben Aklinski scored Jake Romanski to give the Legends a 2-1 lead. However, the Ducks loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, and Steve Lombardozzi won it with a walk-off grand slam over the right field fence.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Vin Mazzaro pitched three and two-thirds innings for the Ducks, giving up a run on two hits and four walks while striking out three, while Dustin Beggs lasted four innings for the Legends, allowing a run on five hits and two walks with one strikeout. Chris Reed (1-0) collected the win despite allowing a run on two hits and two walks over two innings with two strikeouts. Shawn Blackwell (0-1) took the loss, conceding four runs (three earned) on a hit and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.

The Ducks hit the road for the first time in 2021 on Tuesday when they open a three-game series against the West Virginia Power. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at Appalachian Power Park. Fans can follow all the action on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming video and audio will be available via BoxCast on as well as the Ducks official Facebook and YouTube accounts. Right-hander Brendan Feldmann gets the start for the Ducks against Power righty David Kubiak.

Long Island returns home on Tuesday, June 8, to begin a three-game series against the High Point Rockers. Game time is slated for 6:35 p.m., with the Fairfield Properties Ballpark gates opening at 5:35 (5:20 for full season ticket holders). It’s the first Triple Play Tuesday of the season! If the Ducks turn a triple play in the game, one lucky fan will win $25,000. Simply sign up prior to first pitch at the Ticket Kiosk on the main concourse to be eligible. Tickets to the game, and all Ducks home games, are available by calling (631) 940-TIXX or by CLICKING HERE.

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball, and play their home games at Fairfield Properties Ballpark. For further information, visit or call (631) 940-DUCK (3825).

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

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