Blue Crabs hold off Sugar Land in Texas

Night af­ter 12-in­ning win, team pre­vails again in Texas

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Fresh off a dra­matic 2-1 vic­tory in Tues­day’s se­ries opener at Sugar Land in a 12-in­ning marathon, the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs had some mo­men­tum en­ter­ing the sec­ond game of a three-game se­ries Wed­nes­day night.

Be­hind some early of­fense and solid pitch­ing from starter Brian Bur­res, the Blue Crabs de­liv­ered with a 6-4 vic­tory to hold off the Skeeters at Con­stel­la­tion Field in Texas.

South­ern Mary­land (1727 over­all), which sits in last place in the Free­dom Divi­sion in the At­lantic League’s first half of the sea­son, 10 games be­hind first-place York, had won four out of its last five games en­ter­ing Thurs­day’s se­ries fi­nale. The loss was the fourth in a row for Sugar Land (23-23).

The Blue Crabs re­turns home tonight to take on Long Is­land in the first of a three­game se­ries at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf. First pitch is sched­uled for 7:05 p.m.

“What I’m see­ing is that guys are cut­ting down on er­rors and our start­ing pitch­ing is throw­ing strikes and tak­ing pres­sure off our bullpen,” Blue Crabs man­ager Jeremy Owens said. “We got a great win in ex­tra in­nings last night and scored early tonight and our de­fense and pitch­ing helped shut the door. We are not where we want to be, but we are get­ting there.”

Bur­res notched his fourth win of the sea­son, al­low­ing four runs on five hits with a walk and two strike­outs over seven in­nings. The Blue Crabs also got pro­duc­tion from their bullpen as Nav­ery Moore pitched the eighth and struck out one bat­ter. Cody Ep­p­ley picked up eighth save of the sea­son as he pitched a score­less ninth.

“I felt good tonight,” said Bur­res, who threw 106 pitches, 72 for strikes. “The team re­ally did a great job all around. Scor­ing runs early and play­ing great de­fense. The bullpen then came out and shut the door. We are re­ally com­ing to­gether as a team. We are just go­ing to try to keep build­ing mo­men­tum the rest of the way in this first half.”

South­ern Mary­land scored all six of its runs in the first three in­nings. Des­ig­nated hit­ter Michael Sny­der hit a tworun home run in the top of the first in­ning to help set the tone

and a two-run sin­gle from third base­man Bryant Nel­son high­lighted a three-run sec­ond.

Pro­vid­ing the of­fen­sive spark for the Blue Crabs was Nel­son with two hits, two RBIs and a dou­ble. First base­man Zach Wil­son and right fielder Ja­mar Wal­ton each had two hits and a run scored.

Sugar Land’s Bar­rett Loux got the loss, giv­ing up five runs on only two hits with five walks in 1 1/3 in­nings. The Skeeters (23-23) used four dif­fer­ent pitch­ers in the con­test.

Skeeters catcher Wil­fredo Ro­driguez was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, in­clud­ing a tworun home run in the fifth that brought the hosts to within 6-4.

Sugar Land one run each in the bot­tom of the sec­ond and third in­nings and added two more in the fifth.

Tues­day with the score tied at 1 in the top of the 12th, right fielder Fred Lewis put the Blue Crabs ahead by scor­ing on a Sugar Land er­ror stem­ming from a grounder hit by Gar y Brown.

Lewis led the in­ning off with a sin­gle and ad­vanced to sec­ond on an er­ror. Wal­ton was in­ten­tion­ally walked. An­gel Flores then grounded out, ad­vanc­ing Wal­ton and Lewis to sec­ond and third.

Eric Gar­cia then reached on an in­ten­tional walk to load the bases. Brown then got on base to bring in the go-ahead run. Ep­p­ley re­tired the Skeeters in or­der in the bot­tom of the 12th to se­cure the win, which in­cluded a nine-pitch at-bat to Kent Matthes that ended in a strike­out.

The Blue Crabs scored the first run of the game in the top of the third on a Brown solo homer, while Sugar Land tied it in the eighth on a Ricky Hague sac­ri­fice fly. The teams com­bined to make seven er­rors in the game as the Blue Crabs had four.

Or­lando San­tos picked up the win for the Blue Crabs, pitch­ing one in­ning and al­low­ing just one hit with Ep­p­ley get­ting the save.

Blue Crabs starter Scott Sn­odgress pitched to a no-de­ci­sion, al­low­ing just two hits and strik­ing out six while not giv­ing up a walk in seven in­nings.

Rob­bie Wein­hardt got the loss for Sugar Land as he pitched the fi­nal two in­nings, which in­cluded giv­ing up the un­earned run in the 12th.

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