Blue Crabs hold off Sugar Land in Texas
Night after 12-inning win, team prevails again in Texas
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.