The Long Island Ducks aren’t going to go away without a fight.
New York’s franchise in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball lit up five Lexington Legends pitchers for 15 hits Saturday afternoon and won Game 2 of the teams’ best-of-five championship series by beating the visitors 9-7.
After a day off for travel, the teams resume their series, now tied 1-1, on Monday night with Game 3 at Lexington Legends Ballpark. Game 4 is Tuesday night and Game 5, if necessary, Wednesday night, also in Lexington.
Lexington is vying for its third consecutive minor league baseball championship. The Legends won South Atlantic League titles in 2018 and 2019. The 2020 SAL season was canceled because of COVID-19. The Legends moved to the ALPB ahead of the 2021 season.
Long Island set the tone for a high-scoring affair Saturday by putting up four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Boog Powell homered, Lew Ford and Sal Giardina smacked RBI singles, and Legends starter Francisco Jimenez walked in a run.
The South Division champion Legends battled right back, matching the North Division champs with four runs of their own in the top of the second. Lexington pieced together four runs with two singles, two walks, a hit batsman, a fielder’s choice, a sacrifice fly and a Long Island error.
Lexington scored three more in the third, two coming on a home run by former Cincinnati Reds All-Star Brandon Phillips, to take a 7-5 lead.
The Legends were unable to score again Saturday while the Ducks tied things with two in the fourth, then put the game away with single runs in the fifth and the sixth.
Jimenez, Lexington’s starting pitcher, lasted only one inning, allowing five runs on seven hits. Daren Osby and Jeff Thompson combined to allow four more runs and seven more hits over the next five innings before Robert Carson and Daniel Gibson each pitched a scoreless inning.
Playoff tickets are available online at LexingtonLegends.com or by calling the team box office at 859-422-7867. First pitch Monday night will be 6:31 p.m., with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.