Though the Ducks failed to secure a playoff berth in the first half of the Atlantic League season, they will head into the second with a full head of steam.
Joash Brodin hit a walk-off double in the ninth to drive in Lew Ford and give the Ducks an 8-7 win over the Camden Riversharks Sunday afternoon at Bethpage Ballpark. They finished the first half on a five-game winning streak.
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The top team in each division from each half makes the playoffs. The second-place Ducks (40-29) ended the first half six games behind the Somerset Patriots in the Liberty Division.
"We're pretty excited," Brodin said. "We've been playing good baseball and we're ready for the second half to get going."
With two on and none out in the ninth, Brodin was given the green light to swing after an unsuccessful bunt attempt. "I saw a pitch that I thought I could handle and was fortunate enough it snuck down there," he said.
The Ducks took a 7-4 lead into the ninth inning but Alex Hudak hit a three-run home run for Camden (23-47).
"It's a positive transition into the second half," Ducks manager Kevin Baez said. "We're in a good state. Our pitching is coming along [and] our hitting is coming along."
The Ducks took advantage of wildness by Camden starter and former Duck Nick DeBarr, who was removed with none out in the third after hitting John Myers with the bases loaded and then walking Sergio Miranda to tie the score at 4-4. Dan Lyons' two-run single later in the inning gave the Ducks a 6-4 lead.
Ford went 3-for-5 with an RBI and Lyons was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Ducks starter Shaun Garceau allowed four runs, seven hits and four walks in six innings, striking out five.