(Photo courtesy of Sam Graham)
(High Point, N.C., April 28, 2023) – The Long Island Ducks were defeated by the High Point Rockers 3-2 on Friday night in the opening game of the 2023 season at Truist Point.
Boog Powell gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead on the fourth pitch of the game, crushing a solo home run to right field off Rockers starter Craig Stem. High Point tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Michael Russell doubled, advance to third on John Nogowski’s single and scored on a wild pitch by Ducks starter Brett Kennedy.
Following a 55-minute rain delay, Sam Travis put the Ducks back in front with an RBI triple in the third, but Zander Wiel’s run-scoring fielder’s choice in the bottom of the inning tied the game back up. High Point took a 3-2 lead in the fourth on a solo homer to left field by Ben Aklinski. It stayed that way through a 38-minute rain delay and the remainder of the game despite threats from both sides on offense.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Kennedy pitched one inning, allowing a run on two hits while striking out three, while Stem lasted two innings, conceding a run on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Bryce Hensley (1-0) picked up the win after pitching two innings of one-run ball, allowing three hits. Chris Cepeda (0-1) took the loss, surrendering two runs on three hits and three walks in two and one-third innings. Ryan Dull picked up his first save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Powell led the Flock offensively with three hits and a walk. Daniel Murphy added three hits and a run, while Travis ended up with two extra-base hits and an RBI.
The Ducks and Rockers continue their three-game season-opening series on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point. Fans can follow all the action live on Flo Baseball by CLICKING HERE. Left-hander Ian Clarkin (2021: 3-7, 7.86) takes the mound for the Ducks against Rockers southpaw Ben Braymer (2022: 2-1, 6.75).
Long Island returns home on Tuesday, May 2, for Opening Night at Fairfield Properties Ballpark. The Ducks will host the Staten Island FerryHawks at 6:35 p.m., with gates opening at 5:35 (5:20 for full season ticket holders). The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive Ducks Reversible Bucket Hats, courtesy of P.C. Richard and Son. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:15 to enjoy pregame team introductions. Tickets for the game, and all Ducks games, are available by visiting the Fairfield Properties Ballpark box office, calling (631) 940-TIXX or CLICKING HERE.
The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball. Over 8.5 million fans have enjoyed the Ducks brand of affordable, fun entertainment at Fairfield Properties Ballpark since inception in 2000. For further information, visit LIDucks.com or call 631-940-DUCK (3825).
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary Season in 2023, the Atlantic League is Major League Baseball’s first Professional Partner League, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. ALPB has sent over 1,200 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 45 million fans to its family-friendly ballparks throughout its 25-year history. Please visit AtlanticLeague.com.