Blue Crabs drop two of three to Long Island
Drop two of three in home series to Long Island
Things did not bode well for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game versus Long Island.
After a solo home run by right fielder Fehlandt Lentini on the first pitch of the game, the Ducks were in total control, scoring 13 runs in the first five innings en route to a 14-4 victory over the Blue Crabs at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf in front of 3,395 fans.
Long Island (27-22 overall, a half-game behind Somerset for top spot in the Liberty Division) matched its season-high 20 hits. The Ducks three runs each in the top of the first and second innings, one in the third, two in the fourth, four more in the fifth and added one for good measure in the eighth. Entering Tuesday, they led the Atlantic league in batting average (.287), hits (481), RBIs (230) and runs scored (258).
Southern Maryland (18-30, in fourth place, 10 games behind York in the Freedom Division), which managed just eight hits on the day, was off on Monday before kicking off another three-game homestand versus Bridgeport on Tuesday. Game two is scheduled for at 7:05 tonight.
“We are in a part of the season right now where it is nearly impossible to even win this first half of the season,” said Blue Crabs manager Jeremy Owens after Sunday’s loss. “We have to make sure we stay positive and take one game at a time and not try to get ahead of ourselves. We are banged up, but fortunately we get a day off where we get to chill out.”
The Blue Crabs grabbed a 2-1 win on Saturday to even the series with Long Island before Sunday’s loss. They fell 4-2 in 11 innings on Friday and dropped the final game of a three-game series at Sug-
ar Land, 6-5, but did win the series by taking two of three.
Sunday, the Ducks had five batters in the lineup with three hits or more. Lentini led the visitors, finishing 4 for 5 with three RBIs, including the homer and a double. He was a triple away from hitting for the cycle.
“They are very aggressive in the zone and have guys in their lineup that dig in and go to work,” Owens said. “They have a solid club and their pitching is strong also. They are going to one of the teams to beat in the end.”
First baseman Mike Blanke, third baseman Cody Puckett and left fielder Anthony Vega and second baseman Ruben Gotay all finished with three hits each. Gotay also had three RBIs and four runs scored, including a two-run homer in the fifth and a double in the eighth.
Ducks starter Darin Downs picked up the win, pitching six innings with four strikeouts, allowing just two runs on six hits with one walk.
Blue Crabs first baseman Michael Snyder continued his strong hitting as of late, finishing with three hits, including a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.
Snyder now has 11 homers on the season, which was good for second in the Atlantic League in that category entering Tuesday. The homer Sunday was Snyder’s fourth in the last five games and he has driven in eight runs in his last five games.
“Each at-bat matters. Crazy things happen in baseball,” Snyder said. “Right now we need to figure some things out and we are getting close. We really do believe that can be one of the best any team in this league.”
Starter Scott Snodgress, one of six Blue Crabs pitchers used in the game, suffered his fourth loss of the season. Snodgress (1-4) lasted just three innings, surrendering seven runs, five earned, on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
The bright spot for the Blue Crabs was Saturday’s win as right fielder Jamar Walton hit a two-out, tworun blast over the right-field wall off of Ducks starter John Brownell in the sixth to help secure the eventual game-clinching win.
Starter Tim Sexton got the win for the Blue Crabs, his first of the season, allowing one run on four hits with six strikeouts in seven innings. Cody Eppley got his ninth save of the season with a scoreless ninth. Brownell gave up just two runs on six hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
Friday’s game was tied at 2 until Long Island scored two two-out runs in the 11th to get the win. The runs scoring on an RBI single by Mike Dowd and an RBI double by Matt Wessinger.
Neither starter factored in the decision as a total of 14 pitchers were used in the game, with the Blue Crabs using eight.
Frank DeJiulio Jr. got the win after recording the final out of the 10th, stranding the winning run at first base. Eury De La Rosa picked up his first save, striking out Snyder representing the tying run in the 11th.
Robert Carson took the loss for the Blue Crabs, yielding two runs on one hit and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. Starter Gaby Hernandez went the first seven innings, giving up just two runs, one earned, on four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.
Fred Lewis led the Blue Crabs with a 2 for 4 night at the plate, while Snyder added a solo homer.
Thursday’s loss featured a 5-0 Blue Crabs lead before Sugar Land even got to the plate, highlighted by a Snyder three-run homer. The host Skeeters then scored three times in the bottom of the first and three more in the fourth to win the game.
Daryl Thompson, a 2003 La Plata High School graduate, allowed six runs, all earned, on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts in six innings.
Blue Crabs third baseman Bryant Nelson beats the throw to home plate on Zach Wilson’s RBI single in the bottom of the third inning of Sunday’s 14-4 loss to the Long Island Ducks in the three-game series finale at Regency Furniture Stadium.