Rain-Delayed Loss in Series Opener
Jake Dunning pitched five scoreless innings, and the Long Island Ducks received homers from Anthony Vega and Elmer Reyes in a rain-delayed 10-1 win over the Lancaster Barnstormers Friday evening at Bethpage Ballpark.
Dunning (2-0) scattered six hits in his five innings of work. Lancaster advanced runners into scoring position in three of those innings but failed to get a run across the plate as Cole Garner lined to center with runners at second and third to close the top of the third, and Nate Coronado was gunned down at home by Vega attempting to score what would have been the tying run in the fifth.
Long Island’s offense started slowly against Joe Gardner (0-3). In the second, Angelo Songco poked a double into left and scored when Gotay smashed a single off the glove of second baseman Garrett Weber into right field.
Gardner wiggled through a tricky fourth inning with two Ducks being thrown out on the bases as Songco tried to sneak to second behind a throw to third on his single, and Gotay was doubled off first on a line drive by Elmer Reyes.
The right-hander still trailed, 1-0, going into the bottom of the fifth with rain intensifying. Gardner struck out Alex Burg to open the inning but never retired another hitter. Dan Lyons reached on a single on a high hop to third base, and Vega followed with his homer. Delta Cleary, Jr. rapped a single back off Gardner that deflected toward third baseman Josh Bell, and Marc Krauss singled into left for a 4-0 lead.
Kevin Munson took over with the bases loaded. The right-hander induced a force out at the plate from Gotay, and got Reyes to hit a pop up on the first base side. With Steve Clevenger and Weber looking up through the raindrops, they allowed the ball to fall between them as two runs scored.
Play was halted after 5 ½ innings, and the game was delayed by 70 minutes before resuming.
Long Island added four runs in the bottom of the seventh off R.J. Hively, the first on Gotay’s drive to right center, where the original call of a double was overturned after the umpires huddled together.
Lancaster finally broke through in the ninth. Rob Rogers walked both Sean Halton and Weber. Clevenger singled to load the bases, and Halton scored when Josh Bell grounded into a double play.
Luis Gonzalez will make the start for the Barnstormers on Saturday evening, his first start since tearing a knee ligament in his final scheduled start of 2016. He will be opposed by veteran big leaguer Alfredo Simon. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:15.
NOTES: Lancaster has dropped 10 out of 13, all by four runs or greater…Scott Shuman struck out three batters in the eighth, but one of the third strikes was dropped…He was 1-2 on Reyes before the Ducks second baseman grounded out.