Blue Crabs get one win
Lose 3 of 4 to Long Island, but pick up victory to end series
Having lost four consecutive games, three to Long Island, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs were looking to end a seven-game, six-day road trip on a good note and were able to do so with a 5-3 victory on Sunday afternoon over the Ducks in the finale of the four-game series at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, N.Y.
Long Island (14-9 overall), which was second behind Somerset entering Tuesday in the first half of the Liberty Division standings, won Saturday’s daynight doubleheader 9-5 and 9-2 after winning the series opener on Friday 7-5.
Southern Maryland (717) remained in last place in the Freedom Division and returned home on Tuesday for a seven-game, six-day homestand where it took on Atlantic League newcomer New Britain in the first of a four-game, three-day series. The teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader at 10:35 a.m. Wednesday.
New Britain is managed by Stan Cliburn, who was the Blue Crabs manager last season.
“It was a good way to end the series,” Blue Crabs manager Jeremy Owens said. “We hit the ball and pitched well enough to win it. Now that gives us some momentum going against Stan and his new club. It’s going to be tough. They can pitch.”
Sunday, the Blue Crabs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning on an RBI double from Zach Wilson and an RBI single from Jamar Walton.
Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Ducks jumped out in front 3-2 as Mike Blake scored on a passed ball and Fehlandt Lentini scored on an error.
In the eighth, Southern Maryland tied the game as Steve Lombardozzi scored on a bases-loaded walk to Bryant Nelson and Angel Flores put the Blue Crabs in front to eventually stay with a two-run single.
Wilson had a nine-game hit streak entering Tuesday’s action, collecting at least one double in eight straight contests.
“Zach has been finding his timing,” Owens said, “and it was a matter of time before he got his bat going.”
Right-hander Justin Berg picked up his first win of the season, allowing just one unearned run on three hits with two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Neither starter factored in the decision as Blue Crabs starter Brian Burres lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits with five strikeouts.
Cody Eppley got his second save of the season for the Blue Crabs, pitching a scoreless ninth.
In Saturday’s doubleheader, Long Island scored a combined 18 runs on 22 hits, eight of which were homers. In Game 1, The Blue Crabs took a 4-0 lead in the first, but the Ducks tied the game at 4 on a three-run homer by Lew Ford in the third.
Long Island went on to score one run in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth to secure the win.
Patrick Crider got the win on the mound, while Shaun Garceau got the loss. Garceau gave up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits in four innings.
Walton went 2 for 3 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored, including a solo homer in the fifth.
In Game 2, Long Island scored six runs in just four innings off of Blue Crabs starter Tim Sexton in the win and had four homers.
The Blue Crabs were led by Wilson, who went 4 for 4 with a home run, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.
In the series opener on Friday, the Ducks had 11 hits and scored six runs in five innings off of starter Scott Snodgress.
The Blue Crabs trailed 7-0 after six innings, but rallied in the seventh to score four runs and added one in the eighth, falling just short.
On Thursday, the Blue Crabs fell 1-0 in 12 innings at Lancaster in the finale of a three-game series though they won the series by taking the first two games.
With two on in the bottom of the 12th against Blue Crabs reliever Brian Grening, Kevin Ahrens drove in Josh Whitaker for the game-winning run for the Barnstormers on a hit to left.
Both starters went nine innings and settled for no-decisions. Blue Crabs starter Gaby Hernandez allowed just two hits and no runs with one walk and four strikeouts. Scott Maine took the loss, having put the winning run on base before being relieved by Grening. The Blue Crabs had just five hits in 12 innings, two coming from Wilson.