South Jersey Baseball:
Sunday, September 26, 2004
By Don Delaney
The Long Island Ducks became the 2004 Atlantic League Champions on Sunday evening at Campbell's Field as they knocked off the Camden Riversharks, 4-3, to complete the three-game sweep of the best of five series.
It was the third straight game to be decided by one run as the Ducks won the opener 11-10 and 5-4 last night, both games were played at Citibank Park. It was two key errors that accounted for the four Duck runs. Long Island scored a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning and two more runs in the seventh inning to account for their scoring.
Lincoln Mikkelsen, who took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, allowed just one earned run as he suffered the loss, despite pitching a complete game for the Riversharks. Bill Pulsipher was just as effective as Mikkelsen as he allowed three earned runs in seven innings of work before turning the game over to Bill Simas in the eighth inning.
Pitching on two days rest, Simas, Long Island's closer, allowed just one hit, a two-out single to outfielder Chris Wakeland in the bottom of the ninth, to finish off the victory for the Ducks.
The Riversharks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Ryan Jones, Dwight Maness and Travis Anderson all delivered RBI-singles. The Riversharks' offense was effective all evening as they pounded out a total of 10 hits.
The loss will conclude the 2004 season for the Riversharks, who finished the 2004 campaign with a League best 76 victories. They also won their first playoff series by sweeping through the Atlantic League South Division Championship with a pair of runs over the Atlantic City Surf.
Justin Davies was named the Most Valuable Player of the Atlantic League Championship Series after accounting for a pair of game-winning RBI-singles in each of the first two games.