Blue Crabs split twinbill with Somerset
Five-game losing streak ends; gives Patriots its first loss of 2016
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.