Blue Crabs split twin bill with Bluefish
Prevent series sweep with second win of season
After back-to-back losses, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs were looking to get a much-needed win to end a two-day, three-game series with Bridgeport.
With strong hitting and defense, the Blue Crabs did just that as they prevented another sweep en route to a 5-1 victory over the Bluefish in the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
Bridgeport (3-4 overall) won the series opener on Tuesday night 9-3 and the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader 7-4. Wednesday’s opener was originally supposed to begin at 10:35 a.m., but was delayed for 44 minutes due to rain.
Southern Maryland (2-5) was able to hold Bridgeport, which had 29 runs on 38 hits in its last three wins, to just one run on six hits in the series finale.
The Blue Crabs used four different pitchers as starter Brian Burres pitched a no-decision, allowing just one run on three hits with six strikeouts and a walk in four innings.
Jeff Urlaub, Navery Moore and Cody Eppley allowed a combined three hits with two strikeouts, with Moore picking up his first win of the season.
“Early in the game I wanted to get in the zone and the hitters off-balance,” said Burres, who was tied for first in the Atlantic League with 12 strikeouts. “Even though I threw 80 pitches in four innings, I just wanted to attack the zone. Our starting pitchers are still progressing and getting better.”
Southern Maryland kicked off an eightgame road trip, starting with the first of a four-game set at Long Island (1-6) on Thursday night. The series continues Friday through Sunday before the team
heads to Somerset, which was the lone undefeated team in the league remaining at 7-0 going into Thursday night’s action.
“Yes we came alive with our bats in that game. We only had two smooth innings,” said Blue Crabs manager Jeremy Owens of Wednesday’s Game 2. “That is a testament to our pitchers just grinding it out. They worked hard and kept us in the game and finally our offense was able to come through. Right now it’s like we are in spring training, the guys are still getting their timing down.”
After Bridgeport got on the board first with an RBI single from Luis Rodriguez, the Blue Crabs got back-to back solo home runs from Fred Lewis and Michael Snyder to give Southern Maryland a 2-1 lead.
The shot over the right field wall for Lewis was his second of the season, while it was the fourth for Snyder, who had two homers in Tuesday’s loss.
Snyder currently leads the league for the most homers and RBIs (8) thus far for 2016.
“Just being able to get in a groove has served me well,” Snyder said. “I’ve been working hard with the coaches in BP [batting practice] and it has been paying off. We have a really good team and there is no doubt that we are going to start winning ballgames.”
The Blue Crabs pulled away in the sixth with a threerun frame as Lewis, who was 2 for 3 at the plate singled in former Washington National Steve Lombardozzi. Snyder then reached first on a fielder’s choice as Gary Brown came to home plate to make the game 4-1. Moments later, Jamar Walton hit a twoout RBI triple to right field, scoring Snyder to cap off the game’s scoring.
“We got very good pitching and our bats got warm in the second game,” Lewis said.
“Again it is early and we are improving. It was a good win for us.”
Ruben Sosa Jr. led Bridgeport with two hits and a run scored in the game.
The Bluefish brought across six runs in the first three innings in Game 1 of the twin bill, highlighted by a four-run third that was sparked by a three-run homer by Jose Cuevas and a solo homer by Wilkin Ramirez, giving it a 6-2 lead.
Snyder hit a two-out, tworun double in the fifth to bring the Blue Crabs to within 6-4. However, Bridgeport tacked on one more run in the sixth as Rossmel Perez
singled in Carlos Sosa.
Bridgeport used four different pitchers in the win with Taylor Thompson getting the win and Carpenter the save.
Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson, a 2003 La Plata High School graduate, suffered his second straight loss of the season. In just 2 2/3 innings, Thompson allowed six runs, five earned, on seven hits with one strikeout.
Lombardozzi, who sat in second in the Atlantic League with a .462 batting average after Wednesday, had his second straight three-hit performance with a run scored and a RBI. Snyder also had three hits.
In the series opener Tuesday, Bridgeport took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and went up 3-1 in the third. The Bluefish went on to score six runs over the final four innings to secure the victory.
The Blue Crabs came to within 3-2 in the fourth and 4-3 in the sixth, but did not get any closer.
Bridgeport starting pitcher Mike Antonini picked up his first victory of the season, tossing five innings with three runs on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts. The Bluefish bullpen pitched four scoreless innings with five strikeouts.
Southern Maryland starter Shaun Garceau got the loss in his first start of the season. Garceau surrendered four runs, three earned, on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, while walking one and striking out three.
The Bluefish, who were outhit by the Blue Crabs 1211, were led by Dan Johnson, who was 2 for 4 with a tworun homer and a run scored. Sosa Jr., Endy Chavez and Josh Vitters also had two hits and one double each.
Blue Crabs shortstop Steve Lombardozzi pivots and throws to first while avoiding the slide from Bridgeport’s Rafael Lopez in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. The Blue Crabs won the finale of the three-game series 5-1.
Bridgeport’s Wilkin Ramirez, right, beats the throw home to Blue Crabs catcher Angel Flores on Rossmel Perez’s sacrifice fly in the top of the second inning in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. The Bluefish won the game 7-4, with the Blue Crabs claiming a split with a 5-1 win in Game 2.