Blue Crabs split twin bill with Blue­fish

Pre­vent se­ries sweep with sec­ond win of sea­son

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.

PHOTOS BY BERT HINDMAN

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.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

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.

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