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Ducks lose finale to Sugar Land, 8-4, after winning first two games

Long Island Ducks starting pitcher Eric Niesen delivers

Long Island Ducks starting pitcher Eric Niesen delivers a pitch against the Sugarland Skeeters on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at Bethpage Ballpark. Credit: George A. Faella

After a strong start to the weekend series against the Sugar Land Skeeters, the Ducks' offense was held in check for most of Sunday's game.

Limited to one run through the first seven innings, the Ducks lost to visiting Sugar Land, 8-4, in 10 innings in an Atlantic League game.

Dustin Martin's 10th-inning RBI single off Patrick Crider put Sugar Land ahead 4-3. Beamer Weams followed with a three-run home run and Delwyn Young made it back-to-back blasts, giving the Skeeters an 8-3 lead.

Cody Puckett singled with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to drive in Lew Ford, but Andrew Johnston struck out Blake Davis with the tying run on deck to end it.

Sugar Land starter Sean Gallagher allowed one run through seven innings, but the Ducks' Prentice Redman hit a two-out, two-run single off reliever James Parr in the eighth to tie it at 3-3.

"[Gallagher] threw all pitches for strikes. He was doing good mixing things up and hitting his spots," said Redman, who went 2-for-5 with a first-inning solo home run that opened the scoring.

The Ducks (6-4) had won the first two games of the series, scoring five runs on Friday and 10 on Saturday, before running into Gallagher. He struck out six, walked none and allowed four hits in seven innings.

Ducks starter Eric Niesen matched Gallagher through six innings, striking out eight and allowing seven hits and no walks, but he surrendered an RBI double to Jon Weber in the sixth that tied the score at 1.

"I was able to throw a lot of strikes with most of my pitches," said Niesen, a former Mets prospect. He made 59 relief appearances last season and walked 6.8 batters per nine innings but has allowed only two walks in 11 innings as a starter this season.

Said Niesen, "I've been focusing on being straight forward and just making sure everything comes out of the same slot."

The Skeeters (6-5) took a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning against Amalio Diaz (he replaced Niesen, who had thrown 91 pitches) before Amadeo Zazueta singled in a run off Hector Ambriz in the eighth.

The Ducks' bullpen entered Sunday's game with a 2.08 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 26 innings. "Our bullpen has been pretty impressive. I have confidence in all of them," Ducks manager Kevin Baez said. "It's just one of those days."

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