The Long Island Ducks defeated the Sugar Land Skeeters 8-4 on Sunday night at Constellation Field in Game Five of the Atlantic League Championship Series. The Ducks win the best-of-five series three games to two and are the 2019 Atlantic League champions.
This marks Long Island’s fourth Atlantic League Championship in franchise history, joining their 2004, 2012 and 2013 clubs. The Ducks ended 2019, their 20th Anniversary Season, by winning the first and second half Liberty Division titles, the Liberty Division Championship and now the Atlantic League Championship. Long Island’s four Atlantic League titles are second-most in league history.
A bases loaded walk to Hector Sanchez in the first inning gave the Ducks an early 1-0 lead. Denis Phipps tied the game at one in the second with a leadoff solo home run to left field. Long Island went back on top in the third inning on a two-run single to left by Deibinson Romero.
An RBI single to left field by Sanchez and a sacrifice fly to left by Romero increased the Ducks lead to 5-1. Sugar Land scratched across a run in the seventh on a sac fly to center from Cody Stanley. However, the Ducks got the run back in the eighth on Daniel Fields’ sac fly to left.
The Skeeters plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI fielder’s choice from Albert Cordero and a wild pitch that scored Anthony Giansanti. However, a two-out, two-run home run from Romero in the ninth put the game out of reach at 8-4.
Ducks starter Vin Mazzaro (3-0) earned the win, tossing six and one-third innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out three. Skeeters starter Mike Hauschild (0-3) suffered the loss, surrendering five runs on seven hits and five walks over four and one-third innings with two strikeouts.
Romero led the Flock offensively with two hits, five RBIs and a run in the game. He was named the Atlantic League Championship Series Most Valuable Player after finishing the series with a .444 batting average, two home runs, nine RBIs, three runs, eight hits and 15 total bases.