Blue Crabs off to tough start
Drop three games in series to Long Island
After starting the 2016 season at the friendly confines of Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs went on the road for the first time and so far have found the road not to be so friendly.
The Blue Crabs kicked off an eight-game road trip Thursday night in Long Island and by weekend’s end three more losses were added to the team’s record, 6-4 on Thursday, 10-2 on Friday and 5-4 on Saturday. The final game of the series Sunday was postponed and rescheduled as part of a doubleheader in Long Island on May 14.
Southern Maryland, which fell to 2-8 on the season, headed to Somerset, the lone undefeated team in the Atlantic League at 11-0, for the first of a four-game series on Tuesday. The teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader at 11:05 a.m. today and 7:05 tonight at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, N.J.
“The biggest things was that we didn’t take care of the baseball,” Blue Crabs manager Jeremy Owens said. “We aren’t keeping baseballs in front of us and we have too many wild pitches. Long Island has a veteran team and they didn’t give away any atbats. They made us catch the ball defensively and make plays. It doesn’t get easier, Somerset is the hottest team in the league right now.”
Saturday, Long Island (4-6),
which had 11 hits in the game, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning only to see the Blue Crabs tie things up at 1 in the top of the second. The teams traded runs in the seventh to make it 2-2.
In the top of the eighth, the Blue Crabs took back the lead again on a two-out, two-run home run to left by cleanup batter Michael Snyder, his league-leading fifth homer of the season.
“Honestly we didn’t give up,” Snyder said. “It’s been a really tough start to the season, but we’re battling pitch by pitch. The will to win is there and I know it’s going to happen real soon.”
Long Island rallied in the bottom of the eighth with three runs on an RBI single by Dan Lyons and a tworun single by Cody Puckett (3 hits), giving the Ducks a 5-4 lead that they would not relinquish.
Neither starting pitcher in the game factored into the decision as Amalio Diaz picked up his first win of the season, allowing two runs on two hits in one inning of work. Justin Berg suffered his first loss of the season for the Blue Crabs, surrendering three runs on four hits and a walk in the bottom of the eighth. Todd Coffey got the save for the Ducks despite giving up a leadoff double to Bryant Nelson in the ninth. With Nelson at third representing the tying run and two outs, Eric Garcia grounded out to end the game.
Snyder was 3 for 4 at the plate for the Blue Crabs with two runs scored, while was 2 for 3 with one run scored. Angel Flores also added a hit with two RBIs in the losing effort.
In Friday’s contest, Long Island, which outhit the Blue Crabs 9-7, jumped out to a 5-2 lead after four innings and added on five more runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull away for the win.
Blake Tekotte led the Ducks with a double, triple and three runs scored, while Fehlandt Letini had a hit with four RBIs.
Leading Southern Mary- land in just his second game of the season was designated hitter Kuan Jen-Chen of Taiwan, who was 3 for 4 at the plate, including two doubles, an RBI and a run scored.
Ducks starter Jack Snodgrass got the win, pitching six innings of two-run ball, one earned, with nine strikeouts. Blue Crabs starter Scott Snodgress got the loss, allowing five runs on five hits with two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
Despite outhitting Long Island 12-10, the Ducks was able to have the upper hand in the series opener on Thursday.
The Ducks led 3-1 after two innings, but the Blue Crabs tied the game at 3 in the top of the third. Long Island scratched out two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to go up 5-3.
The Blue Crabs came to within to 5-4 in the seventh after Steve Lombardozzi scored on a wild pitch, but an RBI single in the eighth by Sean Burroughs helped secure the win for Long Island.
Ducks starter Bobby Blevins got the win on the mound, while Jon Leicester suffered the loss for Southern Maryland.