Blue Crabs off to tough start

Drop three games in series to Long Island

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­

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.

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