Tag Archives: Long Island Ducks

2019 Indy League Champions

With the MLB World Series wrapping up (Congratulations to the Washington Nationals!), let’s recap the 2019 Independent League Champions throughout the country.

All stories and photos courtesy of the individual team and league’s websites.

Atlantic League – Long Island Ducks

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Long Island Ducks Are 2019 Atlantic League Champions

(Sugar Land, Texas., Oct. 6, 2019) – The Long Island Ducks defeated the Sugar Land Skeeters 8-4 on Sunday night at Constellation Field in Game Five of the Atlantic League Championship Series. The Ducks win the best-of-five series three games to two and are the 2019 Atlantic League champions.

This marks Long Island’s fourth Atlantic League Championship in franchise history, joining their 2004, 2012 and 2013 clubs. The Ducks ended 2019, their 20th Anniversary Season, by winning the first and second half Liberty Division titles, the Liberty Division Championship and now the Atlantic League Championship. Long Island’s four Atlantic League titles are second-most in league history.

A bases loaded walk to Hector Sanchez in the first inning gave the Ducks an early 1-0 lead. Denis Phipps tied the game at one in the second with a leadoff solo home run to left field. Long Island went back on top in the third inning on a two-run single to left by Deibinson Romero.

An RBI single to left field by Sanchez and a sacrifice fly to left by Romero increased the Ducks lead to 5-1. Sugar Land scratched across a run in the seventh on a sac fly to center from Cody Stanley. However, the Ducks got the run back in the eighth on Daniel Fields’ sac fly to left.

The Skeeters plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI fielder’s choice from Albert Cordero and a wild pitch that scored Anthony Giansanti. However, a two-out, two-run home run from Romero in the ninth put the game out of reach at 8-4.

Ducks starter Vin Mazzaro (3-0) earned the win, tossing six and one-third innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out three. Skeeters starter Mike Hauschild (0-3) suffered the loss, surrendering five runs on seven hits and five walks over four and one-third innings with two strikeouts.

Romero led the Flock offensively with two hits, five RBIs and a run in the game. He was named the Atlantic League Championship Series Most Valuable Player after finishing the series with a .444 batting average, two home runs, nine RBIs, three runs, eight hits and 15 total bases.

The Ducks will host a celebration for all fans in the Duck Club at Bethpage Ballpark on Tuesday, October 8. Festivities will get underway at 6:30 p.m., and brand new 2019 Atlantic League Championship merchandise will be on sale for the very first time. Stay tuned to LIDucks.com for further information.

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) 

With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 42 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history.

For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.

American Association – St. Paul Saints

 

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LEILA NAVIDI – STAR TRIBUNE The Saints’ Chesny Young holds the American Association championship trophy as the team celebrates the league title

ST. PAUL SAINTS TAKE 2019 AA FINALS

St. Paul 6, Sioux City 3-Box Score

The St. Paul Saints finished off a series sweep of the Sioux City Explorers with a game 3 win in the American Association Finals to earn the 2019 American Association Championship.

The Explorers scored their only runs on a three-run home run by RF James Hazelbakerin the top of the first.

The Saints cut the lead to 3-1 on a solo home run by SS Chris Baker in the bottom of the third. 3B Chesny Young hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to give St. Paul a 5-3 lead. One inning later 1B John Silviano (3-for-4) added an RBI double to bring the game to its final score.

LHP Jordan Jess earned the win after throwing 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. RHP Tanner Kiest pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save.

Saints’ SP Ryan Zimmerman gave up three runs (two earned) in five innings of work while earning a no-decision.

Sioux City’s SP Taylor Jordan allowed four runs in 5.1 innings of work to be tabbed with the loss.

The American Association title is the first in the history of the St. Paul Saints.

Can-Am League – New Jersey Jackals

  • The last Can-Am League champions

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NEW JERSEY JACKALS: 2019 CAN-AM LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

September 14 Playoff Recap

New Jersey 8, Sussex County 7 – Box Score (Game 4 – New Jersey wins championship, 3-1)

The New Jersey Jackals won their first ever Can-Am League championship as they defeated Sussex County in game four of the title series by the score of 8-7. New Jersey had an 8-2 lead through 3 ½ innings of play before having to hold off a furious rally by the Miners to claim the championship.

The Jackals pounded out 11 hits in the contest with four batters having multi-hit games. New Jersey DH Richard Stock led the way going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Jackals SS Santiago Chirino and CF David Harris each collected a pair of hits and a run while LF Alfredo Marte drove in two runs and went 2-for-5.

New Jersey pitcher Reece Karalus tossed two innings of relief and grabbed his third win of the postseason. Karalus (3-0) allowed an earned run on two hits and struck out two batters. Jackals closer Dylan Brammer threw three shutout innings and notched his fourth save. Brammer fanned four batters and left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to end the contest.

For Sussex County in the losing effort, LF Jose Brizuela had a 2-for-5 night with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI.

 

Frontier League – River City Rascals

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RASCALS GO OUT ON TOP

The River City Rascals defeated the Florence Freedom 7-5 in Game 5 of the Frontier League Championship Series on Monday night, earning their second league title, and first since 2010. The championship marks the end of the team’s 21-year run in O’Fallon, as they announced in August that they would cease operations at the end of the season. Outfielder LJ Kalawaia was named the FLCS MVP, and hit a key two-run double in a pivotal six-run seventh inning.

The Freedom jumped out to an early start, getting an RBI single from Isaac Benard in the first inning. The Rascals responded with an RBI single from Tanner Murphy in the fourth, before the Freedom regained the lead with a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.

After Ricky Ramirez Jr.’s RBI single in the sixth gave the Freedom a 3-1 lead, the Rascals rattled off six in the seventh, getting an RBI single from James Morisano, Kalawaia’s two-run double, a two-run triple from Kameron Esthay, and a sacrifice fly from Zach Lavy to take a 7-3 lead.

The Freedom were able to rally for two runs in the bottom of the ninth, before Andrew Vernon got Brandon Pugh to pop-up to Lavy at first to seal the victory and earn the save.

Rascals starter Jason Zgardowski allowed two runs over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision, while Anthony Herrera (1-0) earned the win. The Rascals also got two key innings of relief from Taylor Ahearn. Freedom starter Scott Sebald (2-1) took the loss, allowing three earned runs over 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

United Shore Pro Baseball League

USPBL – Utica Unicorns

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Unicorns Capture USPBL Championship

September 8th, 2019

Box Score | Photo Gallery

UTICA, Mich. – It was a magical season for the Utica Unicorns, capped off by rallying from four runs down late to defeat the Westside Woolly Mammoths, 6-5, in the United Shore Professional Baseball League Championship Game on Sunday in front of the largest crowd in USPBL history, 4,926. The Unicorns’ Jimmy Latona was named Most Valuable Player after driving in two runs, going 1-for-3.

Right-handed pitcher Nolan Clenney broke the single-season USPBL record with his eighth save of the season, tossing two perfect innings. RHP Luke Dawson earned his first win of the season, throwing a scoreless seventh inning.
The Mammoths sprinted out to a 5-1 lead with two runs in the first inning and third inning. The regular-season champion had the USPBL Pitcher of the Year Matt Cronin on the mound at 7-0, and he tossed 6.1 innings, allowing just three runs in the no decision. The Unicorns got to the Mammoths’ bullpen, scoring three runs in the seventh inning and the winning run in the eighth inning.

On his birthday, Malik Blaise finished 3-for-4 with one run scored. Dan Elliott and Kyle Bonicki each went 2-for-4 for the Unicorns.

Leading the Woolly Mammoths were Sonny Cortez and Dan Williams. Each drove in two runs and Cortez smacked a home run in the first inning.
It was a historic season for the USPBL, with a record 62 sell outs, 259,000 fans and a single-game attendance record on Championship Sunday. Nine players were signed by Major League Baseball organizations and former Unicorns’ pitcher Randy Dobnak became the first-ever major leaguer, pitching nine scoreless innings so far in the MLB and earning a save for the Minnesota Twins.

#MakeTimeForFun
#YourSummerDestination

Pacific Association – San Rafael Pacifics

September 1, 2019 at 9:35 pm

 

Jailen Peguero took the mound for San Rafael in the bottom of the seventh on Sunday and didn’t stop pitching until the Pacifics had clinched both the victory and a second consecutive Pacific Association title.

Peguero faced 11 batters, retiring nine of them to earn the three-inning save as San Rafael topped host Sonoma 5-3 in the Game 3 of the Championship Series.

The win allowed San Rafael to defend its title from last season and win its fourth overall Pacific Division title — claiming championships in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019.

Brock Knoten pitched the middle three innings of the game to earn the victory. San Rafael trailed 3-2 when he entered and had tied the game 3-3 when he exited after the sixth inning. The Pacifics scored twice in the top of the seventh, with Ermindo Escobar delivering the go-ahead hit.

Raul Navarro and Yeiler Peguero both had two hits apiece atop the order for the Pacifics. Mike Annone delivered the game-tying hit in the top of the fifth.

Pecos League – Alpine Cowboys

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The Alpine Cowboys defeated the Bakersfield Train Robbers to win their second Pecos League championship.

Sam Little hit a game tying home run in the bottom of the ninth.  With one strike left before extra innings, Rodney Tennie hit a grounder to third base that got away from Bakersfield’s third baseman allowing Kellen Hatheway to come in and score the winning run for the Cowboys.

Empire League – Plattsburgh Thunderbirds

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PLATTSBURGH THUNDERBIRDSD WIN 2019 EMPIRE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

SARANAC LAKE, NY – The Plattsburgh Thunderbirds have defeated the New Hampshire  Wild  in the Empire League Championship Series two games to take home the 2019 Empire  League Championship.

The Thunderbirds took the lead in game one and never looked back. Chris Tessitore was the Pitcher of the series with 2 wins in the playoffs.

Drake Sykes made Empire League history in the wild card playoffs by hitting a 0-2 count with 2 outs , bases loaded and down by 3 runs hit a Grand Slam to keep the season going for the Thunderbirds.

Chris Tessitore got the win in the Wild Card game and also the win in game 2 of the finals where the Thunderbirds won the championship. Simon Palenchar, Hiroki Itakura and Stephen Octave led the offensive attack for the Thunderbirds.

This Championship is the Thunderbirds 2nd franchise championship in Plattsburgh.

 

 

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Introducing Coach Billy Horn

As the Atlantic League’s spring training gets underway, we want to introduce you to our newest guest blogger, Billy Horn.  Billy is the pitching coach for the Long Island Ducks. He will be guest blogging about life as a coach in the Atlantic League this season.

Here is his first introductory blog.

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Billy Horn – Blog # 1

Background

   I was born & raised in the Bronx, NY and always wanted to play in warm weather. In HS I played 3B, however never seeing 90+ helped me segway into becoming a pitcher down the road.
   I played at Division II powerhouse Lynn University in the Sunshine State Conference from ’98-’01. My freshman year I couldn’t hit 90+ plus AND I KNEW IT.
   Luckily I had a cannon for an arm so I decided to try pitching. I was only low – mid 80s after college and thought it was over and took “a real job”.
   I was playing in a men’s league and started throwing upper 80s. I had an opportunity to go to Italy and play in 2003. I was there 2003-2004 and played for the San Marino Titans. I was nothing special 88-91, with a plus curve – in my mid 20s and no real experience.
   Missing the Olympics that season due to injury, I came home and pitched in the Golden Baseball League for the Long Beach Armada in 2005. Having suffering a torn rotator cuff – it was all over.
   Working regular jobs and such, I hated it. Then I turned to coaching HS, then was the pitching coach in 2009 for my alma mater, Lynn University, winning the 2009 NCAA D II National Championship.
   Now doing lessons on the regular, I had to throw and long toss with the kids and I found myself 87-89 mph. In 2010, mid life crisis at age 29 kicked in and I went back to Italy to prove to myself I can do anything. Statistically it was a mess, but I showed myself what I needed to see.
   As you can see below, my career statistical totals are nothing special, but never stopped me from trying to coach.
G   GS   W – L   ERA    INN    H       K     BB   WHIP  HBP
47  27   9-12    4.40    184  193   143   64     1.39   15
   That was my last season and then a few seasons later, the Pecos League came calling for a coaching opportunity……….

Why Coaching?

   I got a call in winter of 2011 about a possible coaching opportunity while I was working a “real job”. I hated it and was “flipping boxes” in south Florida. I was selling copiers, business – business and it was the worst – we were lower than used car salesmen with cheesy 80s mustaches, fake leather booths and a real bad afta-shave! Our own clients hated us.
   When the opportunity came to fruition, I decided to say goodbye to being a nobody anymore and start signing autographs again — at least that’s what I thought.
   The Pecos League, 2012…………. Say what you want, but it has been a long standing league that has given many players opportunity in this game – and it saved my life and put me in the position I’m in today.
   I had fun there but knew that wasn’t the top stop for me. With nothing on the horizon of an upward move, I stared with the lessons and HS gig again, and of course, got tired of parents. They are the worst at the HS level – everyone’s son is the next MLB star and the coach is always wrong.
   Around that time, now long time friend, Brooks Carey, manager of the Normal Cornbelters in the Frontier League, knew Hal Lanier was looking for a pitching coach for the 2015 season for the Ottawa Champions in the CanAm League.
   Having been Hal’s pitching coach a few years prior, he knew what kind of guy Hal needed and he called Hal and said this is your guy – hire him. And of course Hal’s reply was “who the hell is Billy Horn?”
   This of course goes back to me never playing with an organization and only 4 short years of independent ball / Italian Baseball League under my belt.
   Of course we met and Hal offered me the job about a month later.
   2015, the inaugural season, despite not making the playoffs, was a personal success. Having a lot of leeway come towards the latter part of the year, Hal was teaching me about managing in independent baseball. Player procurement. Player procurement. Player procurement.

   What I learned most was this —

“When coaches are being seeked-out, a manager needs to know ONLY 3 things :
1) Can he get players
2) Can he throw BP
3) Can I live with this guy for 6 months”
That’s it! Doesn’t matter in independent ball where you played, where you coached, but if you can get players, throw BP and people like you, you’ll get a job!
   2016 was a story book season. Here, we won the CanAm League Championship, Hal was named MOY, I was of course making all the mound visits, BUT I WAS ALSO taking guys out of games, doing the plate meeting before games with the umpires and opposing manager, writing he occasional lineup, doing pregame interviews everyday and sometimes coaching 3B. All managerial duties.
   Hal was very gracious in teaching me and showing me the ropes – it was the best on-the-job training anyone could ask for – by an MLB Manager of the Year Award winner. It was a great 2 years and I’m going to miss Ottawa, the organization and my man Hal.

How Did I Get to Long Island?

   With all that being said, I knew I had hit my ceiling in the CanAm League and one afternoon I decided to “test the waters”.  Being that I was handling part of the procurement duties, I developed relationships with managers, coaches and GMs with every single club in all of Indy ball – from the Pecos / United Shores developmental leagues all the up to the Frontier, AA and The Atlantic League.
   While interviewing for an AA managing job, I thought ‘why keep all my eggs on one basket’?
  A simple text to Long Island Ducks GM changed everything.
  “Hey Mike (Pfaff). Hope all is well. If there become any openings for a pitching coach in the Atlantic League, please keep me in mind. Thank you.”
   A few moments later he replies :
“Send me your resume. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
   I was excited and thought maybe one of the other clubs maaaaaay have an opening. When he called and said Long Island was looking for a pitching coach I knew this was the opportunity for me that I was looking for.
   After a lengthy interview process, I got the call. At the beginning it was mixed emotions – leaving Hal in Ottawa but he gave me his blessing and told me this isn’t something to pass up.
   Now, about a month away from spring training, I’m really looking forward to getting there and getting to work. Long Island is also about an hour away from my hometown. Being able to coach close to home and family is also a major plus.
   I try to explain the path of coaching to young independent players that themselves and myself are in the same boat – were both trying to make it to the big leagues someday – however, if we both make it, you’re going to make a lot more money as a player than I would a coach!
   With that being said, just being in the game of baseball as a profession and not doing the “suit and tie thing” is big league enough for me.

Billy will be guest blogging all summer long about his season in the Atlantic League.

Make sure to subscribe to our email list! You won’t want to miss out on any of our guest blogs this season!

Writing and sharing stories about Independent Baseball.

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