CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – The Somerset Patriots (15-17, 53-49) rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to force extra innings, but the Long Island Ducks (18-12, 58-42) edged the Patriots 6-5 in 12 innings Tuesday evening at Bethpage Ballpark.
Fehlandt Lentini, who finished a home run shy of the cycle, singled home the game-winning run as the Ducks have won the first two games of this four game midweek series.
For the fifth time in the last six games, Somerset scored at least one run in the first inning. Kyle Roller rolled a two-run single up the middle to give Somerset an early 2-0 advantage.
Delta Cleary Jr. stroked an RBI single up the middle in the home half of the first inning to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Brian Van Kirk drilled a home run (1) to lead off the bottom of the top of the second inning. It was his first home run in 23 games and it occurred in his 90th plate appearance.
“I’ve never gone that long without hitting a homer so I guess I deserved my first ever silent treatment when I returned to the dugout,” Van Kirk said. “It’s nice to attack pitches in the zone, but I just wish we would have won the game.”
The Ducks rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cleary Jr. clubbed an RBI single, another run scored via a fielding error, and the third run came on an RBI sacrifice fly by Ruben Gotay. The Ducks had a 4-3 lead after six innings.
Long Island tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning as Gotay ripped an RBI single. He has four RBI in the series thus far.
Todd Coffey had been 6-for-6 in save opportunities against Somerset coming into tonight’s action, but the former big leaguer with the Cincinnati Reds yielded two runs on two hits in the ninth. Roller ripped an RBI single and Carlos Guzman tallied an RBI fielder’s choice to tie the game at 5-5.
Somerset had a chance in the top of the 12th inning, but could not score with runners on first and third with no one out.
In the ensuing half inning, Mike Blanke reached via a fielding error. He advanced to second base on Anthony Vega’s sacrifice bunt. With the winning run in scoring position, Lentini ended the night with a walk-off RBI single. Lentini leads the league in batting average at .325.
Chris McCoy (1-0) earned the win throwing two scoreless innings in his Ducks debut. Mickey Storey (1-7) sustained the loss, yielding the winning run in 0.1 innings of work.
The 2016 Somerset Patriots season presented by Ford continues on the road until the team returns to TD Bank Ballpark for a 7:05 p.m. game on Friday, Aug. 12th against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. For tickets, call 908-252-0700 or visit www.somersetpatriots.com. Download our Mobile App for free in the Apple or Android App store.