(Long Island, NY) With the Long Island Ducks clinching the North Division First Half championship recently, it will be their third consecutive post-season appearance. The reliable veteran lefthanded starting pitcher Bill Pusipher was the winning pitcher and his addition to the Ducks’ staff came at a perfect time.
Pulsipher is making his third go-round on Long Island. He was an integral part of the 2004 Atlantic League championship club. He came back last season and led the team to the second half flag. And now he has won his first two decisions with the Ducks.
The Ducks captured this first half title in a more conventional way as compared to 2004. That season, the Ducks had to sweep the Bluefish in Bridgeport the last series before the All-Star break to qualify. After winning the first two games, they were tied with the ‘Fish in the ninth inning when the rains came. The league decided to play a make-up game ‘for all the marbles.’ The first opportunity to do so with both team’s schedules was August 9th in Connecticut. The Ducks prevailed and went on to win it all.
The team once again beat out their rivals from Bridgeport, this time by one slim game. Contributions from the entire roster have been essential, especially because of six players being signed by major league organizations. Since April, three starters (Ryan Jensen, Andrew Lorraine and Nelson Figueroa) and the closer (Todd Erdos) were lost from the staff. Outfielder Dominick Ambrosini and infielder Tony Schrager also have moved on.
The Ducks were well represented at the Atlantic League All-Star Game on July 12th at Bridgeport. Joining Schrager were fellow infielders Bucky Jacobsen, Carlos Hernandez and Eric Almonte; outfielder Mel Stocker; and pitchers Pat Ahearn and Pat Mahomes.
It should be an exciting baseball October this year. Not only in the Bronx and Flushing, but in our own backyard, too.