Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Ducks beat Lancaster, 9-3, to force a Game 5

Ducks starting pitcher John Brownell delivers a pitch

Ducks starting pitcher John Brownell delivers a pitch in a game against Lancaster. (Oct. 6, 2012) Credit: George A. Faella

The Ducks live to quack another day.

Behind a seven-run sixth inning highlighted by Bryant Nelson's two extra-base hits, the Ducks cruised to a 9-3 win over Lancaster in Game 4 of the best-of-five Atlantic League championship series in front of 3,230 Saturday night at Bethpage Ballpark.

The championship-deciding Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 5:05 at Bethpage Ballpark, with Ducks righthander Bobby Blevins (1-0, 2.42) pitching against Game 1 starter Dwayne Pollok, who will be going on three days' rest.

Each team is playing for its second Atlantic League title; the Ducks won in 2004, Lancaster in 2006.

Nelson bookended the sixth with his fourth and fifth extra-base hits of the playoffs. He led off the inning with a double to left and capped the scoring in the inning with a two-out, bases-loaded triple to the wall in right to make it 8-2.

Nelson, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a run, entered the game batting .156 in the playoffs. "I knew had to come with a fastball, and luckily it fell," Nelson said of the triple. "This is how we've been all year. We never quit. We're not even supposed to be winning, so to speak. So there's no pressure on us."

After Nelson's double, Lee Cruz's broken-bat single put runners at the corners for Matt Esquivel, who walked. Three straight RBI singles by Mitch Canham, Kraig Binick and Joash Brodin gave the Ducks a 4-2 lead, and Ray Navarrete walked to force home a run before Nelson's big blow.

Lancaster used six pitchers, including three in the sixth. Two of those three, Ross Peeples and Beau Vaughan, failed to record an out.

The Ducks' John Brownell had his second strong outing of the postseason, allowing two runs and three hits -- all in the first -- in six innings. He walked two and struck out two. At one point, Brownell retired 11 of 12 batters, with the lone baserunner reaching on an error.

Lancaster scored in the first on Tommy Everidge's RBI groundout and Fehlandt Lentini's RBI infield single.

"I got us in a hole early, but I knew I had to put up zeroes so we could get back in the game, and we did," Brownell said.

Dan Lyons singled with two outs in the fifth and scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-1. He was the first Duck to reach third base safely. Plenty more followed in the sixth.

Jared Lansford and Eric Niesen pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth. Josh Lansford allowed a homer to Ryan Harvey in the ninth, his Atlantic League-record fourth of the playoffs.

New York Sports