Blue Crabs drop two of three to Long Is­land

Drop two of three in home se­ries to Long Is­land

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.

PHOTO BY BERT HINDMAN

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.

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