The Long Island Ducks had not been hitting much of late, but all they needed was one inning to cure whatever had been ailing their dormant bats.
Riding an 11-run sixth inning, the Ducks won their home opener Friday night against the Camden Riversharks at Bethpage Ballpark, 13-2. The 11 runs were two shy of the franchise record.
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"It's always nice to have Opening Day at your home ballpark," manager Kevin Baez said. "We were on the road for seven games and started out well against Somerset, but Bridgeport just took it to us.
"It's a fresh start, so the guys are looking forward to it. It's a fun time."
The Ducks suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the Bridgeport Bluefish. They scored but two runs in each of the three games, including a 15-inning loss Wednesday.
Brandon Sing's solo home run in the bottom of the first inning, his third of the season, put the Ducks on the scoreboard Friday. The Riversharks' Felix Pie tied it with a home run in the top of the sixth.
In the bottom of the inning, Bryant Nelson's RBI infield single opened the Ducks' offensive show. Ryan Garko drew a bases-loaded walk, Ray Navarrete plated a pair with a single and Lew Ford hit a two-run double. Shawn Williams' single brought home Ford before Nelson added the exclamation point with a grand slam that cleared the two-tiered advertisements beyond the rightfield wall.
"Those three days in Bridgeport, it rained every day, and we really didn't take batting practice," Nelson said. "I'm not making excuses, but today, we got to the ballpark and did some early work. And it paid off."
Ducks starter Bob Zimmermann allowed four hits and one earned run in seven innings to earn his first win of the season. He was in a pitcher's duel before the Ducks began their hit parade.
"When the offense does that, it's easy to pitch," Zimmermann said. "That is what we are capable of, and we're going to do that a lot this season."
Notes & quotes: Before the game, the Ducks announced the signing of RHP Wynn Pelzer, who began the season in the Baltimore Orioles' organization with Double-A Bowie (Md.) before being released April 19 . . . Former Yankees LHP Randy Keisler will make his first start of the season Saturday against Camden's Humberto Sanchez . . . East Rockaway native Reid Gorecki is day-to-day with a pulled groin.