BRIDGEWATER, N.J — It got to a point early Thursday night where the in-house music operator at T.D Bank Ballpark ran out of music to play after a Ducks batter struck out. First it was “Goodbye to You” by 80’s rock band Scandal. Then, it was “Bye, Bye, Bye,” by 90’s boy-band NSYNC. Finally, “Happy Trails” by 40’s cowboy Roy Rogers blared over the speakers.
It soon became more of a study in ‘strikeout music through the years,’ than a playoff baseball game. And for good reason. The Ducks struck out 16 times in their 10-0 loss to the Somerset Patriots in Game 2 of the Liberty Division Championship Series. They trail the best-of-five series, 2-0.
Game 3 is at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip Friday night. Games 4 and 5 — if necessary — are also on Long Island.
Somerset starter Nik Turley baffled the Ducks in Game 2. He allowed three hits in seven innings, struck out 14 and walked one. The Ducks had four hits.
“He had a good fastball and good off-speed today,” said Lew Ford, who went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. “He was throwing everything for strikes and in different counts.”
Ducks starter Matt Larkins, pitching in his first playoff game as a professional, was chased after two innings. Larkins, who was acquired from an outside Independent league on Sept. 7, allowed five runs on seven hits in two innings.
“He left a couple sliders and cutters up,” Ducks manager Kevin Baez said.
The Patriots scored five runs in the second. Yovan Gonzalez’s bloop single to leftfield drove in David Vidal to start the scoring. Two batters later, Vinny Zarrillo’s fielder’s choice made it 2-0. Aharon Eggleston, Eric Farris and Bryan LaHair also had RBIs in the inning.
LaHair’s RBI double in the fourth gave Somerset a 6-0 lead. The Patriots added four more runs in the fifth.
Now, the Ducks must rally from an 0-2 hole. They have never won a series after losing the first two games. They forced a Game 5 against Southern Maryland in the 2009 Liberty Division Championship Series, but lost the series.
The must-wins start Friday night for the Ducks. Because, if the Ducks lose, it’ll be “Bye, Bye, Bye” for good.