Blue Crabs split twin­bill with Som­er­set

Five-game los­ing streak ends; gives Pa­tri­ots its first loss of 2016

Maryland Independent - - Sports B - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @aj­ma­son301

Af­ter fall­ing in three straight games over the week­end at Long Is­land, the road did not get eas­ier for the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs as they kicked off a four-game se­ries Tues­day night at de­fend­ing At­lantic League cham­pion Som­er­set.

The Blue Crabs got off to a rough start, fall­ing in Tues­day’s se­ries opener 4-2 and 4-1 in the first game of a Wed­nes­day day-night dou­ble­header.

How­ever, Wed­nes­day night the Blue Crabs found a way to knock off the hottest team in the league, tak­ing the sec­ond game of the dou­ble­header, 6-4, end­ing a five-game los­ing streak.

“The big­gest thing was that we over­came ad­ver­sity,” Blue Crabs man­ager Jeremy Owens said. “We had a good night and ev­ery­one ral­lied be­hind one an­other. Som­er­set is the hottest team in the league and we just fol­lowed the tasks at hand and made the plays we needed too.”

With the win, South­ern Mary­land (3-10 over­all) handed Som­er­set, which de­feated the Blue Crabs in four games in last year’s league cham­pi­onship se­ries, its first loss of the sea­son. En­ter­ing the sec­ond tilt of the twin­bill the Pa­tri­ots were a per­fect 13-0 on the sea­son. The se­ries fi­nale was sched­uled for Thurs­day night as the Blue Crabs had a chance to split the se­ries with a win.

South­ern Mary­land starts the first of a three-game home se­ries ver­sus York, sched­uled for 7:05 tonight.

Trail­ing 3-0 af­ter four in­nings Wed­nes­day night, the Blue Crabs came to within 3-2 in the top of the fifth on a two-run sin­gle by Steve Lom­bar­dozzi.

Som­er­set went up 4-3 in the bot­tom of the frame, but the Blue Crabs, who had 12 hits in the game, ex­ploded for three runs in the seventh on an an­other RBI sin­gle from Lom­bar­dozzi, an RBI triple by Darby My­ers and an RBI sac­ri­fice fly by Zach Wil­son.

In the eighth, Fred Lewis pro­vided some in­sur­ance with a solo hom erun.

South­ern Mary­land starter Jon Le­ices­ter had a no-de­ci­sion, al­low­ing four runs on six hits over six in­nings with one strike­out. All three Blue Crabs vic­to­ries thus far have been no-de­ci­sions for the starters.

Jeff Ur­laub got the win out of the bullpen, pitch­ing two score­less in­nings with two strike­outs. Cody Ep­p­ley earned the save, throw­ing a score­less ninth.

“Our pitch­ing staff is start­ing to come into our own and they bared down and threw strikes ver­sus a very good hit­ting team,” Owens said.

In the first of the dou­ble­header, the Blue Crabs man­aged just three hits as Som­er­set starter Efrian Nieves got the win on the hill, al­low­ing just one run on two hits in five in­nings with four walks and four strike­outs. Jon Hun­ton al­lowed a hit in the ninth but picked up the save.

Starter Brian Bur­res got the loss for the Blue Crabs. In 4 2/3 in­nings, Bur­res yielded three runs on seven hits with a walk and four strike­outs.

Som­er­set, which had 10 hits, over­came a 1-0 deficit by scor­ing three runs in the (Stand­ings as of May 4) Free­dom Divi­sion W York 9 Sugar Land 7 Lan­caster 5 Blue Crabs 3 Lib­erty Divi­sion W Som­er­set 13 Long Is­land 5 New Bri­tain 5 Bridge­port 5 L 6 6 7 10 L 1 6 7 9

fifth and once in the sixth.

Tues­day, a com­bi­na­tion of strong pitch­ing and de­fense by South­ern Mary­land was able to keep Som­er­set in check un­til the eighth.

Trail­ing 2-1, Som­er­set took its first lead of the game when Rob Kral drove in My­cal Jones on an RBI sin­gle to tie the game. Then a two-run triple to deep left-cen­ter field by Trayvon Pct. .600 .538 .417 .231 Pct. .929 .455 .417 .357 GB — 1.0 2.5 5.0 GB — 6.5 7.0 8.0 Streak W-4 L-1 L-6 W-1 Streak L-1 W-4 W-1 L-4 Last 10 6-4 4-6 3-7 3-7 Last 10 9-1 5-5 4-6 4-6

Robin­son help se­cure the 4-2 come­back win for the Pa­tri­ots.

The Blue Crabs got on the board first in the third on a RBI sin­gle by Lom­bar­dozzi. My­ers was 2 for 3 at the plate for South­ern Mary­land.

Justin Berg got the loss, giv­ing up all three runs in the eighth, his only in­ning of work.

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